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All Aboard the Forest Railway in Dwellingup

All Aboard the Forest Railway in Dwellingup

Western Australia

Give me a boy and I will show you someone who loves trains. Right? The Hotham Valley Railway, run by volunteers who obviously began their love for trains as children, operates several historic trains in the south-west of Western Australia, and has done so since the 1970s.

In fact, the whole of the south-west of WA is a great place for holidaying with kids, but in particular I found that the little town of Dwellingup has come a long way since my last visit back when I was a kid myself. Last school holidays we spent a day there with the grandparents and the highlight for my son was definitely a trip on the Forest Railway, starting in Dwellingup and taking a couple of hours for the return journey.

There are several kinds of old trains run by the Hotham Valley Railway, and we now plan to return some day to ride the steam train - it only operates on certain days, and only in winter when the fire danger is low. For my sonís first old train experience, we rode in a diesel train along the track to Etmilyn.

All Aboard the Forest Railway in DwellingupAll Aboard the Forest Railway in Dwellingup

Historically, the area was laden with sawmills and trains were an essential part of the logging industry. These days you can see historic relics of the industry as you ride the train but most of the view is gorgeous bushland.

When the train reaches Etmilyn Siding, everyone hops out and thereís a walking trail through the bush. Itís a great chance to stretch your legs before the return trip, and the industrious volunteers on the train also set up a small snack cart with food and drinks.

With the half-hour break over, we all hopped back on board the train and were quieter on the return trip. The train carriages arenít enclosed on the sides, which makes for great sightseeing views, but we did feel lucky weíd brought our jumpers as it got much cooler as the afternoon wore on. We chatted with one of the volunteers who knew seemingly all the quirky facts about the railway and one of the kids in our carriage got to wave the flags to signal that the driver could go.

Our afternoon on the Dwellingup Forest Railway was a lovely excursion and one my son has asked to repeat - which is always a good sign!

All Aboard the Forest Railway in Dwellingup

Amanda Kendle is a born and bred Perth girl who loves to hang around with her rubbish-truck-loving five-year-old son. Amanda has lived and worked abroad in Asia and Europe and has been blogging about her travels at home and abroad for almost a decade at Not A Ballerina.

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