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“A great experience ...”

Hotham Valley Tourist Railway
Ranked #1 of 10 things to do in Dwellingup
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A great experience ...”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 13, 2013

We enjoyed our evening on the train very much. The staff were friendly and efficient. It is a trip probably best enjoyed as a part of a group - not really a romantic evening ! There are a lot of people in a small space and the evening we travelled included quite a loud group, but we still enjoyed it.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank Nicola C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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90 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Nothing like a steam train”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2013

We enjoyed our trip on the steam train, well worth the cost of the ticket. Good sights and sounds, friendly staff, well worth visiting.

Visited September 2013
2 Thank carinastarr61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
35 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Train dinner”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 15, 2013

Great food. The train carriages are over 100 years old and are in excellent condition. The trip started at 800pm and we were bach at 10.45pm.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Paul V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
77 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Lovely family outing”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2013

Really well run and well priced. Lovely travels through the Australian bush on a steam train. A very pleasant way to spend a couple of hours

Visited August 2013
1 Thank itchee1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Steam Trains, Forests and cosy hideaways”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2013

In a Tranquil Forest Retreat.
Steam Trains, Forests and cosy hideaways.
A pleasant hour’s drive out of Perth … you truly don’t need to go far to enjoy an amazing getaway from the city, whether it be a romantic weekend or a family escape!
The lure of the steam train which runs in winter was the catalyst to my husband and I discovering a spectacular bed and breakfast exquisitely designed to enhance the landscape, nestled in a gentle hollow featuring a small dam with a winding road flanked by manicured lawns, local foliage and a mix of picturesque shrubs surrounded by tall and ancient Jarrah and Blackbutt Eucalypt. Romantic seats and resting places strategically placed for optimum views. Shy elusive garden ornaments and an interesting selection of outdoor art can be found amongst the greenery of the garden whilst exploring hand in hand throughout these gorgeous surrounds.
The peace and tranquillity seeps into your very core, the wonders of this environment seeming timeless. The outdoors is shared by a family of Guinea Fowl, a myriad of small birds and local friendly Kangaroos (mostly rescued orphans hand reared by Margaret) being amongst the largest and most obvious wild life but if you share a passion for the outdoors you will not be disappointed …. Amazing adventures are waiting to be discovered at every turn and beneath every ancient giant log.
The main building is spacious and inviting and caters for adult guests. A wide double staircase fashioned by a craftsman from Blackbutt timber which could have been honed from the local forest leads to the guest suites above (you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re in an Alpine Retreat). Each of the four corners of this lavish home features incredibly generous Queen size bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a central communal lounge with comfortable seating area, television, array of DVD’s (in the unlikely event that a movie wins over meandering through the forest) , a fridge, microwave and kettle.
Our choice of Tea or Coffee with Milk and Sugar was available for self service at any time of the day or night and the delightful Hostess happily supplied afternoon cake as we happened to be settling into our room around mid-afternoon.
In the morning we were treated to a lavish cooked breakfast served at 8.30am and easily rivalled top class establishments worldwide. Various breads to toast to your own taste and orange juice are staple; your hot breakfasts depend on the specially chosen contents of the larder and could consist of eggs and hash browns, bacon or sausages, grilled tomato, mushrooms or baked beans. Preserves, Fresh Fruit, Tea and Coffee finish off a spread designed to set you up for a day in the outdoors of the Dwellingup range.
In addition to the main house Mark and Margaret have masterfully put together 6 cabins, one of which is wheel-chair friendly and all cabins are family oriented and provided with linen and even a hairdryer so you don’t need to pack your own. Children are free to roam the gardens and play freely amongst the treasures that they are sure to find in the many and varied hiding places on the property. Mossy logs teaming with creatures are a great outdoors classroom for the little people … 
Mark and Margaret invested three years planning, designing and building their dream venue and have taken into consideration the diverse mix of quiet solitude for private guests as well as intimate weddings and fun filled birthday celebrations. For guests indulging in dinner on the train Mark offers a complimentary shuttle to the station at 7.20pm and happily collects you after 11.00pm when the train returns to Dwellingup Station. A truly convenient and thoughtful service provided by the owners of the Dwellingup Bed & Breakfast.
Winter heralds the start of the Hotham Valley Steam Train which meanders 8km’s along a Pioneering forest railway twice daily. The magnificent old powerful engine chugs slowly from the historical quaint Railway Station to the Isandra siding approximately 90 minutes away with a 30 minute stop allowing the passengers to hop off the train and stretch their legs. While the couplings were dropped and the engines turned we noticed well prepared families enjoying an efficient picnic while excited children observed the running checks and refuelling of the engine and some simply enjoying the surrounding landscape before clambering aboard for the return journey. The trip is slow and although there is a snack bar on the train I would recommend taking on board a little home packed basket of delicacies, flask of tea and a little rug to keep you snug whilst enjoying the steam power as you journey back up the mountain to Dwellingup.
Since our arrival in Perth Neil and I have dwelled on the prospect of enjoying a romantic dinner aboard the evening train that offers a 5 course meal and gently winds through the floodlit forest at night. A choice of the intimate1808 dining car seating only 8 couples or the larger 1919 vintage dining car with tables for 4 and seating up to 40 passengers whose payments contributes solely towards the upkeep of the Hotham Valley Steam Trains. This will ensure future generations are given the opportunity to participate and enjoy the experience of an age gone by.
We were privileged to join a delightfully interesting young couple who were already seated, a large imposing and rather terrifying walking stick bearing a solid skull and intricate carvings was propped up against the table evidencing injuries from nothing less than a motor bike accident, round faced with little plaited beard tendrils complete with miniature skulls in the style of Captain Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean and heavily tattooed. On his arm a tall elegant girl also inked with an array of well positioned body art and our initial thoughts were that we’re in for a dark and gloomy encounter. However, as often is the case; looks are deceiving and we found this young couple with beautiful Souls who have been together for many years happy and gentle and brimming with class! He discreetly proposed to his lady by quietly offering a sparkling diamond ring … we shared an amazing evening with these two young strangers and were delighted to have been included in their exquisite and intimate engagement celebration aboard the Etmilyn Forest Diner.
It must be noted that the entire historical rail service is manned by volunteers whose obvious passion for the steam locomotives is obviously too powerful to resist, they give freely of their time to maintain and service the coaches, cater the dinners and share their knowledge of local history. Although some of us take them for granted, the truth is that this amazing team deserve to be recognised and are always looking for more volunteers to share the fun of running the ancient railroad! If steam is your thing – give them a call!
All in all, it has to be one of the highlights of our new life in Western Australia and we would recommend, if not encourage everyone to take a stroll down memory lane and enjoy quaint and friendly Dwellingup, the historical steam locomotives and the amazing experience of the Dwellingup B&B and Chalets owned and run by the very special Mark and Margaret!

Neil & Charlie Harvey

Hotham Valley Tourist Railway (08) 6278 1111
Dwellingup B& B and Chalets (08) 9538 1155

Visited June 2013
1 Thank Charlene H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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