Australia’s Heritage Festival

Australia’s Heritage Festival

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Our Hills townships in the Dandenong Ranges boast a rich heritage and Puffing Billy Railway, Emerald RSL, Emerald Museum and The Motorist Collection Museum in Gembrook have collaborated to celebrate this year’s festival theme ‘Having a Voice.’ Visitors will be able to enjoy a discounted fare on Puffing Billy from 5-7 May* and personalised tours of the ANZAC Walk and Emerald Heritage Walk. The Motorist Collection Museum will also provide personalised tours on every Wednesday and Thursday throughout the festival.
We encourage locals and visitors to the Eastern Dandenong Ranges to take the time to stop and listen to the stories about our region.

Emerald
What better way for visitors to arrive in Emerald than coming on Puffing Billy and stopping at the oldest town in the Dandenongs. Puffing Billy is Australia’s favourite train and one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world. The railway which commenced operation in the Dandenong Ranges in December 1900 is a genuine relic of our more leisurely days. Volunteer Conductors on Puffing Billy love providing passengers with the history of Puffing Billy as it makes it’s journey over trestle bridges through beautiful Mountain Ash forest taking in farmland, Port Phillip Bay and Westernport views. The discount applies to full and family fares on the 11.10am and 12.30pm train departing from Belgrave.
Whether you arrive on Puffing Billy or come as a tour group or self drive, the guided walks around the ANZAC Trail and Emerald Heritage Trail will leave Puffing Billy Emerald Station at approximately 12.10pm and 1.30pm to tie in with train arrivals.
There is plenty of time for visitors to leisurely enjoy all three experiences with trains departing Emerald regularly from 1.45pm through to 3.45pm on 5 May and 4.25pm on 6-7 May.

The Emerald ANZAC Walk is a compelling audio trail. Visitors will experience what life was like for 32 young local men who lost their lives in WW1. The walk takes approximately 50 minutes and you can listen to the audio via a smart phone and QR reader. Emerald RSL guides will provide escorted tours of the ANZAC Trail.
Local Emerald historian, Graeme Legge, will guide visitors on a picturesque walk around the Emerald township and hear first-hand some of the amazing stories that lie behind the 11 Emerald Heritage Walk buildings and local history.
Puffing Billy bookings must be made online quoting the promo code HERITAGE17. www.puffingbilly.com.au
Emerald ANZAC Walk and Emerald Heritage Walk tours are free. To book either tour, email ask@edra.org.au or telephone 0498 579 683.

Gembrook
If you are a motoring enthusiast or collector, a guided tour of the Motorist Collection Museum at Gembrook is sure to delight. This is an opportunity to see vintage vehicles before, during and after restoration. Learn the basics of assembling and maintaining a collection, mechanical operation and how to enjoy the ownership and use of older vehicles.
The Motorist Collection is committed to the acquisition, display, preservation and use of heritage vehicles as a pleasurable pursuit. Their collection has been gathered and changed over a period of 35 years. We provide a period heritage building as a destination in Gembrook where the collection may be viewed either at specified opening times or by appointment. The collections presents a range of vehicles before, during and after restoration along with smaller displays to depict the mechanical operation of cars generally and the various trades that go into assembly of the older vehicles.
David Peck, the Owner/Curator of the collection will provide visitors an overview of the vehicles on display at the time, some basic knowledge that may assist a novice to consider the old car movement as a worthy hobby, basic guidance in the acquisition of vehicles, their operation and maintenance and Q&A.
Guided tours are available every Wednesday and Thursday during the festival (18 Apr to 21 May) between 12pm and 1pm.
Bookings are essential and can be made by phoning 0411 465 098 or email info@vintagefun.com.au.
Costs are $5 for adults, $10 family,
$2 Child, $2.50 Concession and National Trust Members.

For more details and other heritage events in Victoria go to https://www.nationaltrust.org.au/ahf/vic/
Other Heritage Events on in our region;
Emerald Funfest is on Sunday 2 April. The Funfest event always includes a large heritage component to it. Visit www.pave.org.au https://www.facebook.com/EmeraldFunFest/
The Kurth Kiln Heritage Festival is on Sunday 9 April. The Annual Festival is at the Kurth Kiln Picnic Ground combining the natural beauty of the Australian Bush with lots of historic activities for a fun-filled family day.
http://www.friendsofkurthkiln.org.au/ 5967 4201
* See http://puffingbilly.com.au/en/events-and-dining/local-events/heritage-festival/ for their limited service timetable .