Puffing Billy, Moonlit Sanctuary & Penguins Day Tour

Puffing Billy, Moonlit Sanctuary & Penguins Day Tour

12 to 14 hours Melbourne, Australia

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Take a day trip from Melbourne to check out 3 of Victoria's very best nature & wildlife destinations. Your journey on the historic Puffing Billy Steam Train will take you through lush green gullies, towering rainforests and quaint towns. The Dandenong Ranges are a truly tranquil part of Greater Melbourne and gives you the opportunity to get back to nature. Then head to the multi-award winning Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park for close up viewing of many rare and endangered species of native animals. You'll even have the opportunity to get up close to some friendly Wallabies and Kangaroos! Finally it's on to the main attraction, the world-famous Penguin Parade! Witness the nightly spectacle as hundreds of Little Penguins make their way out of the surf and up the beach to their nesting grounds.
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Puffing Billy Railway, 1 Old Monbulk Road, Belgrave, Victoria 3160 Australia

Board the historic Puffing Billy Steam Train for a ride through the lush, green forests of the Dandenong Ranges. Learn a little on the history of the area and watch the quaint towns rolls by as you wind up the mountain.

Duration: 45 minutes

Stop At: Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, 550 Tyabb-Tooradin Rd, Pearcedale, Victoria 3912 Australia

Come face-to-face with some of Australia's most famous native animals including Koalas, Kangaroos, Wallabies and Wombats! You'll also have the opportunity to get up close to Kangaroos*

*small additional fee

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Stop At: The Nobbies Centre, 1320 Ventnor Rd, Summerlands, Phillip Island, Victoria 3922 Australia

Once on Phillip Island, your guide will take you to The Nobbies & Seals Rocks for a chance to snap beautiful, panoramic photos of the surrounding coast & sea. If you're lucky, you might even see some members of Australia's largest fur seal colony lazing on the rocks.

Duration: 15 minutes

Stop At: Phillip Island Nature Parks - Penguin Parade, 1019 Ventnor Rd Summerlannds Estate, Summerlands, Phillip Island, Victoria 3922 Australia

At dusk, watch as hundreds of tiny Little Penguins make their way out of the surf, up Summerland Beach and into their burrows. Take some time to wander the many paths and boardwalks within the park for your chance to see some Penguins up close as they settle in for the night.

Duration: 2 hours


  • Friendly & informative tour guide
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Pickup from selected hotels
  • One-way journey on Puffing Billy Steam Train
  • Entry to Moonlit Sanctuary & the Penguin Parade
  • WiFi on board
  • Entry/Admission - Puffing Billy Railway
  • Entry/Admission - Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park
  • Entry/Admission - Phillip Island Nature Parks - Penguin Parade


  • Meals & drinks
  • Gratuities

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered
Pickup is only available from the list of hotels provided upon checkout.

Your pickup will be between 9am-10am (Apr-Oct) or 10am-11am (Nov-Mar) depending on which hotel you selected. Your exact meeting time will be provided after a booking is placed.

This tour returns to Melbourne at approximately 9pm-midnight depending on the season.

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Please limit luggage to a small backpack weighing no more than 11lbs ( 5 kg)
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • If travelling with an infant, please contact Tour Operator directly and request infant seat
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 24 travelers
  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Face masks provided for travelers
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required for travelers
  • COVID-19 vaccination required for guides
  • We have been closely monitoring recommendations from the Australian Government & World Health Organisation (WHO) & have enhanced our cleaning procedures and implemented precautionary measures to ensure the highest levels of safety.


23 Reviews

Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews

5 Stars
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1 Stars

Jennifer_B February 2020

Alan our tour guide was wonderful. Healesville sanctuary was a great stop-we loved the platypus and bird talk. The train is a fun experience, but it is a little disorganized because there are too many workers organizing people.

Roaminhappy February 2020

We had one full day to see as much as we could. Jon was wonderful and the scenery and tour was amazing plus we added on an evening to Phillip Island, After the first part of the tour we were dropped off and Kelli continued the tour and she was fantastic. She was knowledgeable and very caring.We had problems getting around and she went out of her way to where we needed to be.Our day around Melbourne is one we will never forget.

GeeDeeEye October 2019

Lovely half day at Healesville - tour guide was a huge help, reserved us seats at Spirit of the Sky bird show, must see. Then off to Puffing Billy for a 30min train ride through Dandenong forest. Fun for the kids. Feed the birds after the train ride(included) lots of fun having the cockatoos landing on your head and shoulders. Full day - 08:00 until 17:00 from CBD

Supreeda S October 2019

Bill is the best. He look after us so well. Nice & friendly, lots of info, reserved the best seats, took photos... everything you need ! :)

Margs F October 2019

The experience is so much better with a small group tour. Our guide Bill made sure we had the best seats at the Bird Show even queuing up in advance and saving us a spot. We had an amazing close-up experience at the animal hospital in the Healesville Sanctuary where an injured turtle was being treated for shell rot. Lucky to be there at the right time! Puffing Billy train ride was great. 20 mins ride from Belgrave and it was just enough time. We watched the steam train couple up to the passenger carriages before we departed. Our guide took photos at the bottom of the bridge as we went by then sent them us when we returned - how good is that! We even had a stop at the bird feeding spot and got up real close to the cockatoos. Great day!

BethfromA2 September 2019

We wanted to go to both Healesville Sanctuary and Puffin Billy in the Dangdenongs. Our "tour guide" was Tobey who talked for about 10 minutes total during the 8 hour tour.He didn't introduce himself or have the participants introduce themselves. That always helps make the atmosphere on the bus friendlier. While passing the Yarra Valley all he said is that they make white wine and he is more of a beer person. He had really nothing to say along the way to the Dangdenongs. I would opt for a Healesville/Yarra Valley Wine tour with another company.

stephanie_r August 2019

Graham was our tour guide and he was great! Sanctuary was super cool, we got to feed the birds. Cant feed the wallabies or kangaroos unless you pay extra though. Food at the sanctuary was surprisingly good. Steam train was good. Wish the ride on the train was longer and went through more wilderness areas. It mostly drove through backyards. Also, we never went over any of the bridges. A bridge was pictured on the attraction photos, it was a bit of a let down. over all, good trip.

Zetti Z July 2019

I would highly recommend BunyipTours. I traveled solo and joined a day tour with 11 other travellers whom I only met on the bus (families/couples). It’s a 24 seater bus so we had more than enough space for everyone. Shout out to our fun guide, Robert aka Rob. He made everyone comfortable & very attentive.

KWEKSOON_Y June 2019

The 3 hours spent at the Sanctuary gave us ample time to view and be up-close with the Australian wildlife, especially the platypus, echidna, Tasmanian Devil, wallabies, etc. The steam locomotive ride, though a short trip, was a wonderful experience! Special mention goes to Mat, our driver, who was both fun-loving and entertaining! He make the one-day trip a memorable one for us.

Janet N April 2019

Matt was great. He made sure we had a super day out and saw lots of beautiful sights. Both parts of the trip were great and well worth the money

donna b March 2019

The company did not give specific instructions as to where or how to find the tour bus. The guide/driver did not know she could not enter the pier area and as a result she had difficulty picking up all the passengers. This was not really her fault as the company should of informed her where to pick up passengers. I would strongly suggest that the driver hold a sign to identify the company. It was quite stressful for some of the passengers who could not locate the mini bus. The Puffing Billy Steam Train was only a 20 minute ride. I would have preferred a slightly longer ride to enjoy the scenery. If you take the morning train make sure you take a sweater or light jacket as it can be cool and the cars are open. Tour information stated we would enjoy an Aussie BBQ at the Healesville Sanctuary. What they didn't tell us was that you had to try and cook it yourself. When we arrived, our guide picked up a tray of sausages from the restaurant as well as salad. We were led to two grills (one was not working) where one of the passengers tried to cook the sausages. Some of the passengers could not eat pork and had requested another type of sausage but this message had not been passed along. The guide did not know which sausage was pork and which was lamb. To make matters more complicated, ground beets had been added to the sausages so you could not tell if the sausages were actually cooked as the centre always looked red. Several people opted to pay for a lunch at the café. No buns were provided for the sausages, only a piece of bread and no drinks were provided. All this BBQ situation took about an hour out of our time at the sanctuary. I would suggest for the future that the guide know how to BBQ the meat and do so while we explore the sanctuary for 30 minutes or so before coming back to the BBQ station. We did see several animals and the sanctuary is well laid out. The bird show is the definite highlight of the sanctuary. Do not miss this. Our drive back to the port should have only taken about 1 hour 20 minutes but ended up taking 2 hours because the driver did not leave the sanctuary early enough and as a result we spent an hour in traffic. Our guide, who was pleasant but not an overly experienced driver, seemed to think we had had a nice "laid back day" but quite honestly we can be laid back on the ship. At $155 per person this tour, in my opinion, did not provide adequate value.

JeffreyLui81 March 2019

I did 3 day tours with Bunyip for the past week, it was absolutely a great idea to sign up for these little day tour. The guides are all very informative, able to share the history or story about the places we visit. For my Puffing Billy tour, I met this fantastic beautiful guide, her name is Laura, not only she is always smiling, she is able to solve unforeseen situation where need to transfer some of the tourists to another tour so that they are able to catch the ferry on time. I would like to meet her again some time in the future. Good job!

Charles G February 2019

From the historic Puffing Billy Steam Train, Morning tea with scones, Cockatiel feeding, to the Wildlife Sanctuary with its vast space and native Australian inhabitants I was fully satisfied with this experience. Although we did not see much wildlife from the train ride, the scenic views and historic story of the train were quite entertaining and nostalgic.be sure to catch the bird show at the sanctuary. You will see Dingoes, Platypus, Kangaroo, native reptiles, a parrot section, Tasmanian devils, Wombats, tree Kangaroos and more!

Jean S January 2019

Autopia offered a discount since this was the 2nd trip I booked. Thanks! My husband is in the rail industry, so this was a must. As we drove into the Dandenong Mountains, I was reminded of many Sunday drives as a kid. The scenery was spectacular! Paul, our driver/guide was a wealth of information. If you had a question, he had an answer. We stopped for a great scone/tea/gift shop experience. The restaurant was light and airy. Parrots and Cockatoos were around if you had a morsel to offer. We didn't bother with paying to enter the small area to feed the birds, since they came looking for us at the restaurant patio. We had time for a stroll through the trees and loved looking at such mammoth specimens. We began the trip at Puffing Billy. Yes, it's a lovely steam train. My husband had one of the railmen to himself so they compared notes on US vs. Aussie train systems. Not interested, I enjoyed the ride. Could I have skipped this? Sure. Healesville Sanctuary, however, was fabulous! We had 4 hours to tour the sight. A Sanctuary volunteer gave a tour (we skipped past and then rejoined it later). She was very knowledgeable about the animals. The hospital on the grounds is very impressive. Over 1,500 animals are brought there each year. The animals looked healthy and we had a great chance to get close. In fact, you can pet a wallaby! (small kangaroo). I learned a lot about the indigenous animals and really enjoyed the walk. The bird watching is just incredible. On the return, Paul drove a different way in order to view more of the mountains. Breath taking! If you are interested in doing 2 day trips, select this one and the Reverse Great Ocean tour (12 Apostles). You will have a wonderful time! Thanks, Paul and Autopia! Jean

Eka Z September 2018

I actually booked the tour for Saturday, 8th September. However, since they couldn't reach the minimum numbers to guarantee departure, they offered me to move the date. Which is a blessing in disguise since there are fewer people during weekdays compared to weekends. Our tour guide Kyle, are quite knowledgeable about wildlife in Australia since he works in Melbourne Zoo as well and a very friendly guy. We first stop at Healesville Sanctuary, where Kyle guide us for a while to see Koala, Kangaroos, Platypus and let us roam freely after that. He advised us to watch Spirit of the Sky show, which I really recommended. It's amazing birds show, nothing like the stupid animal show elsewhere birds do bike trick etc. Then we move to our main plan, Puffing Billy Steam Train, a short ride from Belgrave to Menzies Creek. unfortunately, they don't allow us to dangle our feet on the train anymore due to an accident 6 month ago. I hope they'll bring back the experience. Kyle is quite smart in advising us to wait until the large group that coming by bus to be rush off the train, so we can take personal pictures in front of the train and the train coming from opposite tracks. So, i definitely recommend Bunyip Tours for this trip. Maybe a point to improve, if I nitpicking, they should upgrade their van. But it still a decent ride.

henshawgn August 2018

We went as part of an organised group. Organisation was perfect almost. Seated and read for the ride in short time. Enjoyed the trip although a lot of it is between trees so views not great. Good look around the engines at the end stop.

LesG12665 June 2018

We did the puffin billy & Healesville sanctuary. Both were amazing. The tea & scones we were served b4 heading out was great. The wild birds we got to feed an amazing experience. The train ride through the rain forest was a great experience. Healesville sanctuary was fantastic. We got to play with wallabies, watch a bird show, see an operation in progress in the animal hospital & see some wonderful animals. A very eventful day. Our bus driver for the tour was a great guide & explained all the surrounding areas to us also as we travelled. I highly recommend this tour if you have a day to spare.

GADawgGa May 2018

This was a very good tour and we enjoyed it, but since we had other tours that visited the same area (Yarra Valley wine tour) and saw wildlife in the wild as well as in another zoo facility, it was not our favorite in Melbourne. If you go on the Yarra Valley Wine tour and the Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island, skip this tour. We took more with Bunyip that were great.

Tamsin H May 2018

We had a great day with Kyle as our guide/driver who was very knowledgeable and super friendly. Small bus tour was fantastic - no waiting around for ages for people to get on and off the bus etc. The tour left from near where we were staying which was great. Will do a tour with these guys again for sure!

Rachel B April 2018

Had such a great time! Bus tours aren’t really my thing, but this was great and easy. Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable about the plants and animals we encountered, and made it easy for all of us. The sanctuary itself is really neat. I’m not the biggest fans of zoos (they make me sad) but this was cool getting to see the animals roam around. The kangaroos just jumping in the footpath is pretty amazing! The train was wonderful, as it puffs along basically a rainforest. It was raining when we went, which was lovely and perfect. Would recommend this for anyone who wants to see cool sights without the normal bus tour vibe.

Wendy K February 2018

Cancelled by tour operator six days out while we were on our cruise. Received an email stating in three to seven business days we will get a refund for the tour we booked months ago. They did not meet their minimum bookings for the tour. A little advance notice would have helped out an alternative. Booked through Viator and they didn't seem to care either.

Lynda H December 2017

What fun the day was, definitely recommend this tour

Su Ying F June 2016

Enjoyable trip for the whole family. Guide Steve was very friendly and engaging. Thumbs up!

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

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