PLEASE NOTE: Since the video story was made the trolley rides have been discontinued. The railway now operates with a vintage train.
As you drive into Healesville from Melbourne you will see a large yellow banner on the side of the road that says, “Heritage Rail, Trolley Rides Today”. As far as we know, this is the only ride of its type anywhere in Australia.
It’s difficult to describe this attraction because some will love it, while others have been heard to say, “is that all there is?” Anyway, here’s our honest and fair description of the experience.
After buying your tickets from one of the friendly volunteers in the heritage-listed Healesville Railway Station you wait on the platform or poke around the cafe until the next trolley departs. Trolleys depart every 30 minutes.
Here’s how their brochure describes the journey:
“Leaving the Healesville Station, the line traverses the Yarra Glen-Kinglake Road and skirts the local racecourse. The track then bridges the Watts River before commencing the climb to the Donovans Road Overbridge. A “one in forty” climb beginning on Devil’s Bend is completed by a trip through the 1889 brick tunnel and descent into the valley at the rear of the Tarrawarra Estate. We then reverse and return to the Healesville Station. 30 minutes round trip and 9km.”
Saying it’s a round trip could give the impression that this track is a loop. It’s not. You travel along the track up a bit of a hill, go through a tunnel, stop at a sign that says “stop” and then go back the same way you came. That’s the “no-spin” version of the trip. Here’s the ad agency version: “rural homesteads, an eagle’s nest, and a willow plantation for cricket bat manufacturing are intermixed with views across the Yarra River and flood plains making it an historic and scenic trip for all ages.”
Here’s the bottom line. If you are looking for an adrenaline rush you should buy a cheap Jetstar flight to the Gold Coast and take the Superman ride at Movieworld. In fact, if you have recently been on a theme park holiday then you will definitely need to make a mental adjustment to enjoy this experience. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. We loved the ride, but we loved it because it’s everything the theme parks aren’t – raw and quaint and uniquely Australian. And just so you don’t get a sore bottom from the rawness of the trolley seat, you even get to pick your own cushion from a big cage of cushions. You don’t get that at the theme parks!
- Public holidays (excluding Christmas Day)
- School holidays on Wednesdays and Sundays
Check their website for departure times.
Child (3 – 16 years): $12
Family (2 adults and 2 children: $50
Ph: (03) 5962 2490