Hotham Valley Railway Review
Dwellingup is the perfect place to visit this spring. The town is quickly growing into one of the best centres for adventure and activity in WA. It has so much to offer from world-class walking and mountain bike trails including the Bibbulmun track, local orchards offering fresh fruit and vegetables, plus treetop and zip wire adventures. There is also the new play park which features a pump track, skate park and nature play area equipped with barbecues. It is located outside the new Dwellingup trails and visitor centre which includes a fantastic cafe.
It is here that our journey on the historical Hotham Valley Tourist Railway started and it didn’t disappoint. We had the most magical experience aboard the heritage train that took us into the heart of the forest.
We booked onto the 10.30am Steam Ranger train that travelled westwards from Dwellingup down the darling range to Isandra Siding. This took about 30mins which was the perfect amount of time to travel with our little humans. They absolutely loved every minute of the journey especially when the train made all the whistling and clicking noises that only a real steam train can make.
We then stopped for 30mins in the forest while they changed the train carriage over. Here we had the opportunity to take photos with the train and get a closer look at the steam engine as it moved to the other end of the carriages and reconnected. We also managed to have a beautiful short walk in the forest and something to eat before boarding again. We then started our steep climb back up this spectacular railway back towards Dwellingup. It is a unique experience to travel on such a beautiful and historical train and will be one that the children will remember forever. The whole experience took approximately 2 hours.
The carriages are basic and spacious, there is plenty of room to store bags and a picnic overhead. There are toilets and a cafe next to the station as well as toilets on the train. There is also and a well-stocked restaurant car aboard the train selling snacks, hot and colds drink, memorabilia and it is licensed.
The booking process was very easy and I highly recommend booking in advance. The train was fully booked on the day that we visited. And only accept cash at the station, no cards. They require you to be there approx 30mins before the train departs ensuring that you have plenty of time to board and get settled before departure. There is plenty of free parking outside the station at the back of the new Dwellingup trails and visitors centre.
The train departs at 10.30am and 2pm on a Sunday and selected Wednesdays. It also runs during the school holidays, check the website www.hothamvalleyrailway.com.au or call them Monday to Friday on (08) 62781111
Hotham Valley Railway also have other experiences including an all Australian five-course meal served on board while you travel through the forest at night softly lit by the train!
If you are planning on staying for the day there are plenty of cafes to choose from including the Blue Wren Cafe and the Dwelly pub, one of WA’s only community-owned hotels! Take the kids bikes and scooters and make a day of it exploring this beautiful area. Dwellingup really is the perfect family destination set in the magnificent forest along the Murray River.
Hotham Valley Railway
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