I had a birthday coming up and chose the Steamrail Victoria excursion to Geelong as my day out. Our sail and rail day started early… we were sailing to Geelong aboard the Victoria Star and coming home via rail on the R711 Steam locomotive.
We left Victoria Harbour in the Docklands at 9.30 sharp and cruised down the river, under the Bolte and Westgate Bridges, past Williamstown, Newport and down to Corio Bay.
It was grey and cloudy as we left, but the weather promised to improve. The Victoria Star is a refabbed Manly ferry, quite roomy though seats were at a premium. We availed ourselves of the refreshments and enjoyed a devonshire tea as we sailed past Williamstown. Mid morning the sun came out, so we got two glasses of chilled white wine, found a nice sheltered from the wind spot and enjoyed the sunshine and scenery.
She arrived in Geelong 20 mins late around 2pm and we headed off looking for lunch. Totally lucked out when we chose the Customs House restaurant and wine bar. Food and service was amazing. Calmari was tender, salad was delicious and the chips were awesome. We followed that up with Belgian waffles, icecream and berries, lubricated with a couple of glasses of Sauvignon and then waddled off to Geelong Station in search of our train.
Seating on the train was reserved so we had a comfy seat all the way home. Carriages had beautiful ornate tin ceilings, windows between each ‘room’ that sat six people and the airconditioning was open a window. Which we did so we could stick out heads out and see the train:)
One carriage was setup as a buffet car, so we lurched, rocked and rolled our way down there to check out it. It made me think back to the old movies with Cary Grant etc., walking down the narrow corridor with people in little rooms to the side…how did the heroine walk down those corridors in heels? Is that why she always fell into the hero’s arms? 🙂
I must say I didn’t realise steam trains went so fast… we flew along from Geelong to Southern Cross Station in about 90 mins with the driver pulling the whistle just about all the way home. We spotted loads of photographers lining the tracks with tripods set up taking photos, everyone watching and waving the train go past had a big smile on their face. There is just something about steam trains and steam whistles that brings out the kid in everyone.