Day Out With Thomas – FAQ
2024 event dates
5, 6 & 7 January – bookings open early- November 2023
6-7 April – bookings open late January
5-6 October – bookings open TBA
What do tickets include?
Thomas will be at Queenscliff all day for families to have unlimited rides in those Troublesome Trucks. The trucks are ‘open-air’ wagons and rides take around 5 minutes. Thomas takes a break once the train arrives back from Lakers Siding, and returns once it departs – see the departure times below.
Patrons will be taken on a 45-minute trip to Lakers Siding and returned to Queenscliff Station by a Friend of Thomas. Your trip will be in enclosed carriages with opening windows. When booking patrons select from either 10:30, 11:30, 12:0, 1:30 or 2:30 – subject to availability.
Sir Topham Hatt will be on the platform for some live entertainment and will also pose with you for a photo with Thomas!
Our guest attraction for January will be the ‘Somewhere’ layout by the Warrnambool Model Railway Club, operated using Digital Command Control. The model trains feature authentic sounds, lights, and other special effects. There will be a U-drive spiral track featuring Percy and other useful engines!
Plus, you can enjoy these activities between 10:00am and 4:00pm:
- Children can get creative using watercolour paints, crayons and stickers.
- Visit Henry’s Play Space for a game of mini golf and to find your way through the maze.
- Blow a steam locomotive whistle and climb up the stairs to look in the Drivers Cab.
- Visit Percy’s yard and take a Fire Truck ride.
- Children have stamps to collect to earn a poster and giveaway pack.
- There will be photo opportunities galore, so remember to pack your camera!
Where is the event held?
The event is held at the Bellarine Railway – Queenscliff Station
20 Symonds Street
Queenscliff VIC 3225
PLUS CODE: PMP6+7M Queenscliff, Victoria
When does the event start and end?
9:00am – The Ticket Exchange Marquee opens for ticket scanning
10:00am – The Main Entry Gate opens for Patrons
4:00pm – The event concludes
Will food be available?
STATION BUILDING & HALL
Visit the Kiosk and Gift Shop for a good range of cold drinks, snacks, and Streets ice-creams – look for the tall green banner.
Start or add to your Thomas and Friends collection.
The railway also has a range of souvenirs available.
*** To be advised
Are you interested in helping to feed our event Patrons?
Tell us what you would serve HERE
Event wristbands allow patrons to enter and exit as needed, giving Patrons the options below. Please be aware that leaving can restrict the time you will have to enjoy the activities.
WANT TO HAVE A PICNIC!
While lawn space inside the event may be limited, there are shaded areas nearby the event for families to enjoy a BYO picnic.
Families are welcome to explore more dining options, including bakeries, cafes, fish’n’chips shops, and hotels. Many of these eateries are a 5-minute walk away from the event.
Will the event still go ahead if it rains?
The event is predominately outdoors, has some undercover activities, and goes ahead rain, hail, or shine, so patrons should be prepared for changes in the weather (predicted/on the day), as shelter may be limited.
Due to the heritage nature of our carriages, open space can be limited and is reserved for accessibility needs.
A limited amount of open space is available on the Troublesome Truck rides with Thomas.
We provide a designated undercover parking bay on the platform where parents can park their prams/strollers before boarding the 45-minute train ride.
To accommodate all patron’s needs, we reserve the right to:
- Reseat patrons together to fill gaps in available seating.
- Request that prams be taken to the pram parking bay on the platform.
Toilets and Baby Change Facilities
Patrons will be given an event map at the ticket exchange marque showing the location of accessible toilets (x2), toilets, portaloos and baby change facilities.
It is recommended to plan a rest stop at a public toilet, shortly before arriving at the event, however, one portaloo will be provided next to the Ticket Exchange marquee at Queenscliff Station.
Accessible facilities are located inside the event area at Queenscliff Station:
- Activity hall
- Queenscliff platform.
Portaloos are located inside the event:
- Next to the Entry Gate
- At the east end of the platform at Lakers Siding – the halfway point of the 45-minute scenic trip.
Please note that there are no toilet facilities onboard our heritage carriages
Event Activities Access
The event is held at the Queenscliff Railway Station precinct, which has a mix of sealed roadways, concrete paths, crushed rock and grassed areas. While most of the precinct is level, there are some areas with gentle slopes or slightly uneven surfaces, including:
- Car parking area at the bottom of Learmonth Street
- Entry to the Troublesome Truck waiting area
- Entry/exit to Henry’s Play Space.
Parents are advised there is a gap between the carriage and the platform. Children need to be monitored when boarding and alighting from our carriages. Carriages are enclosed, with windows that can be opened/closed by parents. Seating configurations vary and ‘sets’ of seats range between 2, 4, 7 and 10, and you may need to share with fellow patrons.
Troublesome Truck rides
The ‘trucks’ are open wagons, with bench seating, with open space for wheelchair users. All patrons must be seated while the ride is in motion.
The Art Activity Zone, Model Railway and Merchandise Station
Entry by ramp or 2 steps.
Henry’s Drivers Cab
Flight stairs are required to reach the cab, however, patrons may blow Henry’s Whistle at ground level.
Fire Truck Rides
This ride is limited to children and has steps (x2 steps) up to the bench seats. The ride is low, making it possible for children to be lifted onto the bench seating.
When will ticket sales open?
The next event will be held on 5, 6 & 7 January 2024
Bookings will open on Friday 10 November at 9:00am.
Release dates for April and October events will be confirmed in late 2023
How can I book?
As this is a ticketed event, everyone wishing to attend is required to purchase a valid ticket.
Please make sure you have selected the correct date and train time before booking, as bookings are final. Requests for changes to bookings are at the discretion of The Bellarine Railway and will be addressed when possible.
Event tickets are only available for purchase on this website – click the red BOOK NOW button on this page and select the Day Out With Thomas event.
Patrons need to select one of the following times to reserve a place for the 45-minute train trip along Swan Bay: 10.30 – 11.30 – 12.30 – 1.30 – 2.30
Depending on demand, an additional 9:30am and 3:30pm train may be added – please check this website or social media closer to the event.
Patrons who book will receive emails relating to their booking, such as booking confirmation, important updates, or a request for feedback (optional) following your visit to help us improve.
Please ensure the card used to make the booking is available on the day of travel, should we need to verify your booking.
Do you accept Companion Cards?
The Bellarine Railway accepts Companion Cards for our Day Out With Thomas event.
Companions are able to attend the event free of charge when their client purchases a concession ticket online.
To arrange a free ticket, please forward the booking confirmation email, the companion’s name and mobile to email@example.com
Requests must be received no later than 12 noon on Friday leading into each event weekend, and we will be in touch to confirm.
Can I use my voucher?
To redeem a voucher, requests may be emailed HERE and include all the details outlined below.
- An image or scan of the voucher.
- Your name and mobile.
- The preferred event date and train time.
- The number and type of individual ticket(s) you would like. Small Ideas voucher offer excludes family tickets.
PLEASE NOTE: Voucher requests, will close 48 hours before the first day of the event.
Where can I stay for the weekend?
The Queenscliffe Visitor Information Centre can help you find local accommodation – call 03 5258 4843
Alternatively, link the link below to see the accommodation options available on the Bellarine or in Geelong
Terms and Conditions
All advertised events are held rain, hail or shine and tickets will not be refunded unless the operator cancels outright.
Patrons are asked to ensure they have selected the correct date and train time before purchasing tickets, as event bookings are final and non-refundable.
Bookings are not transferable beyond the event weekend. The ability to move a booking is subject to availability and closes 48 hours before the first event day, or earlier when the event is sold out. Any request for changes to bookings is at the discretion of The Bellarine Railway and will be considered when possible.
Timetables, calendars, motive power (steam/diesel), and fares may be altered with little or no advance notice.
We reserve the right to operate the scheduled service with a diesel locomotive due to – but not limited to:
- Regular maintenance requirements
- Unforeseen circumstances, such as engine breakdown or service requirements
- On days of the Total Fire Ban
- On days declared extreme the day’s service may be cancelled outright
Patrons are not entitled to a refund due to:
- Changes to motive power (steam/diesel);
- Weather conditions on the event day, either predicted or changes on the day;
- Nonattendance in part or in whole;
- Change of mind;
- If ticket holders miss their pre-booked train time;
- The inability to provide a particular character or activity.
Photography and Video
From time to time, The Bellarine Railway carries out photography and/or video recording which may feature visitors on its premises. By booking, you agree that The Bellarine Railway may use such images in perpetuity in any promotional, advertising or publicity material in any format whatsoever. You further agree that copyright in these materials rests with The Bellarine Railway. Photographer(s) will be wearing an orange hi-vis vest and Patrons can request not to be in the photos or video being captured.
Travelling To The Event
Recommended arrival times
We recommend planning to arrive at the event, at least 45 minutes prior to the pre-booked train departure time, as train cannot be held for late passengers.
Wristbands issued are required to be worn to gain entry to the event – Parents may wear their child’s wristband if the child does not wish to wear it
It is the responsibility of ticket holders to arrive at the event with enough time to:
- Present tickets (printed or shown on a mobile device) for scanning at the Ticket Exchange Marquee.
- Collect their session wristbands and printed material
Should an additional 9:30am and/or 3:30pm trip become available, patrons please note:
- The 9:30am train, will depart Queenscliff before the event has opened, with patrons will be able to check-in and be directed onto the platform from 9:00am. Please be aware that no other activities will be available until after the train has returned to Queenscliff at 10:15am
- The 3:30pm train, will return to Queenscliff after the event has closed, so patrons should allow at least 1.5 hours (or more) to enjoy all the other activities before the train departs.
Where can I park?
Free parking is available at the Queenscliff site (on a first come first served basis) and in nearby streets.
Accessible parking is at the north end of Learmonth Street – corner of Symonds Street. At the bottom of Learmonth St, cross over Symonds to enter the station precinct. There are 3 accessible parking spaces on the right of the road, with a further 3 on the left-hand side of the road.
View map HERE
I am running late - what should I do?
We understand that Patrons can experience travel delays and like to see family members arrive excited for the day, so please don’t rush.
Please note that telephone, emails, and social media are not guaranteed to be answered while the event is in progress.
Once you have arrived at Queenscliff, please see our Volunteers at the Ticket Exchange Marquee, and they will make sure you start enjoying the event ASAP!
Patrons who arrive 5 minutes or less, prior to their booked train departure time, may not be able to board their train, although:
- Your tickets include plenty of other rides and activities to enjoy, such as rides with Thomas in the Troublesome Trucks.
- Volunteers will endeavour to move you to a later train.
- Should all later trains be sold out, the purchaser will be emailed a voucher for the Swan Bay Express within 1 week.
- Each train has 360 seats across 8 carriages, and it may not be possible to seat you together in under 5 minutes.
- There are no toilets in the carriages and the train cannot be held for you to use the restroom.