Santa Special frequently asked questions

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Santa Claus is coming to.... PUFFING BILLY!

Frequently Asked Questions

Santa Special Site Map
Tickets - have sold out!

Does everyone in my party need a ticket, even if they don’t want to go on the train?

Yes, everyone who enters the event site needs a ticket.

Do I need to bring my confirmation letter / ticket?

Yes, please print or have your confirmation letter available to view on your mobile phone.
Phone reception is sporadic at Gembrook, please screen shot your booking reference before you arrive.
Confirmation letters / tickets will be checked upon entry.
Upon arrival, all ticket holders will then receive a wristband to board the train.

What time should I arrive at the Gembrook Railway Station?
Arrive 45 minutes (or earlier) before your scheduled train departure!

Large groups are encouraged to arrive together - however where this is not possible, the remainder of the tickets in the booked group will be held at the information hub at the site entry.

For customers booked on the 1:30pm session, arrive 60 minutes prior to enjoy the activities before your train ride - as the site closes at 4:00pm.


How long is the train ride?
Departing Gembrook’s Heritage Platform, the Santa Special train ride will take approx. 60 minutes for the return journey.
Passengers will not be disembarking before the train returns to Gembrook.

When should we arrive on the Platform for our train ride on the Santa Special?
Please be on the Gembrook Heritage Platform (site map #6), 10-15 minutes before your train departs. This allows plenty of time to store your pram, board the train with family and friends and see Santa and the Elves wave you off.

Is there assigned seating on the train?
There is no seat allocation in the train carriages.
Seats are assigned by arrival time into the carriage. Guests must be together during boarding if they wish to sit together on the train. There are no guarantees’ large groups will be able to sit together.
Please note: each carriage seats approximately 30 passengers.

Are you limited to just one train ride?
Yes, the time booked upon ticket purchase is your allocated train.

Trains will book out so please ensure you arrive with plenty of time (approx. 20 minutes) to board your train.

Gembrook Station

Gembrook is located about 60km east of Melbourne's CBD.
The fastest route from the City is generally the Monash Freeway (M1) to Pakenham.
From Pakenham, Gembrook is approximately 20 minutes along (C411) Pakenham Rd.
Please take care on the roads coming into Gembrook.

Where is the best place to park in Gembrook?
Please note there is no on-site parking at Gembrook Station during the Santa Special event.

There is a 2 minute drop off zone on Main Road - at the event site entrance, available for disabled passengers and extremely late coming ticket holders to drop off only!

Free parking is available at the Gembrook Community Centre.
From there, it is an approximately 5 minute walk through town to the Gembrook Railway Station.
Please ensure you park your car at least 45 minutes prior to your train departure time.


When can my child enjoy the other activities?
Activities can be enjoyed at your leisure throughout the day.
We welcome you to enjoy them before and after your scheduled train ride.

The event site and activities* are available from 10am – 4:00pm.

* Please note that due to Occupational Health & Safety regulations, the Inflato Disco will not operate in wet and/or windy conditions.

When will my child receive their present from Santa?

  • Children will receive a gift from Santa in the Santa Cave after their scheduled train ride.
  • Upon arrival, adults will be notified of their child’s pre-arranged present receiving time, by obtaining a coloured sticker with their wristbands.
  • The times are arranged in 15minute windows.
  • Children’s gifts have already been coordinated into these groups; there is no swapping to another time on the day.
  • Please note we have tried to keep families and booked groups together in the same session with Santa

Is the event site accessible for reduced mobility customers?

Yes and our friendly staff can provide special attention to visitors with reduced mobility. We recommend that you let us know about your requirements before you travel. Telephone (03) 9757 0700.
Parking for disabled parking permit holders is available near the site – look out for signs. Drop off zone is next to the Site Entry (site map #1)
The pathway to Gembrook Station and around the event site is wheelchair accessible.
Our station platforms are not at the same height as our carriage doors, however ramps are available to provide wheelchair access into the carriages. Please see one of our friendly volunteers on the day of travel for assistance. The wheelchair ramp width is 75cm.
Toilets with wheelchair access are located at Gembrook Town Station.

Will there be food available?
Yes, there will a small variety of food and coffee available for purchase onsite.
The township of Gembrook also has on offer:

  • Cafes
  • Bakery
  • Independent Restaurant
  • Ranges Hotel
  • Pizza
  • IGA Supermarket
  • Or BYO picnic in the park

Are prams permitted?
Yes, around the event site only. Due to the heritage nature of the carriages, prams will not be allowed on the train. There is a designated undercover area for “pram parking” (site map #5) during the train ride.

Helpful hint: Larger sized pram wheels seem to cross the rail tracks easier than strollers do.

What if there is inclement weather?

Santa Specials events take place rain or shine. Although please note the Terms and Conditions.

Does the event go ahead on a Total Fire Ban day?

On declared days of TOTAL FIRE BAN in the Central Zone or the whole state of Victoria, ‘Santa Specials’  will be cancelled.

Should Puffing Billy Railway be unable to run this event we will endeavour to transfer your booking to another date in the current Santa Special event; however, if this is not possible, a full refund will be given.

In this instance, we will notify you of the cancellation by email and phone as soon as possible.

Are pets allowed?
No pets are allowed at Santa Specials.
Guide dogs are the only dogs permitted on the train or on the site.

And finally...Don't forget to collect your child's Puffing Billy flag before boarding – perhaps grab a ‘Bigger Elves Treat’ from one of our friendly volunteers too.

If we haven’t answered your question here – please contact us at

SANTA SPECIAL (2nd & 3rd DECEMBER) cancellation

We regretably advised that due to the predicted major weather event, Puffing Billy Railway cancelled the Santa Specials scheduled for Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd December 2017.

As we would not like your experience to be anything less than perfect we have provided the following options:

Transfer your Santa Special tickets to Saturday 16th December 2017
Receive a full refund.

Should you decide to transfer your Santa Special tickets to Saturday 16th December 2017, you must contact our Customer Service Centre by 5.00pm on Thursday 7th December 2017 and:

state your Booking Name
state your File Reference Number (it is listed on your confirmation email)
advise which time train (11.00am or 1.30pm) you wish to travel on.

Our Customer Service Centre can be contacted by email at, phone on 03 9757 0719 or fax on 03 9757 0705.

If we have not heard from you by 5.00pm on Thursday 7th December, we will assume that you require a refund and this will take place the week commencing 11th December 2017.

We apologise for any inconvenience and trust you understand our reasoning for taking this action.


Visitor photos from last year's Santa Special