BELLARINE Railway is once again offering annual fundraising trips to raise funds for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal.
Climb aboard the Poziers locomotive and experience the sights and smells of a golden era of travel as you take a scenic trip from Queenscliff Station, along picturesque Swan Bay to Lakers Siding and back again.
The Bellarine Railway is a not-for-profit organisation operated and maintained by the Geelong Steam Preservation Society.
Marketing manager Kate Kenny wouldn’t usually consider herself a twitcher or bird watching enthusiast but says the range of birds is one of her favourite parts of the journey.
“I just love all the birds, there is birdlife from all around the world,” she said.
Swan Bay has one of the most diverse ecosystems on the Victorian coast and around 200 species of birds have been sighted in the area.
The area is listed under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands as being of international importance.
The mudflats are visited by around 10,000 migratory waders including sandpipers, plovers, knots, godwits, and curlews. Many of the species travel from as far away as Alaska and Siberia.
But the trip wasn’t always about sightseeing.
The train track was originally built to connect Melbourne with Fort Queenscliff.
It was subsequently used for ferrying supplies and farm produce and for people venturing out of Melbourne for a weekend away.
“These days it’s just a 45-minute return trip along the section of the track we use,” Ms Kenny said.
“That’s 15 minutes each way with a 15-minute break in between.”
Since 1931, the Good Friday Appeal has raised more than $381 million dollars for the Royal Children’s Hospital.Thousands of people volunteer their time and expertise to organise fundraising activities
“We’ve been doing the Good Friday Appeal for over 20 years,” Ms Kenny said.
“In the past couple of years, we have become an official fundraiser.”
The train will depart Queenscliff Station (20 Symonds Street) on the hour from 11am until 3pm and each return trip is 45 minutes.