Rail Paddle & Plate
Rail Paddle & Plate
5
Boat ToursRail Tours
This location was reported permanently closed
About
Experience quality dining and the charm of travel from a bygone era with Victoria’s spectacular Rail, Paddle and Plate tour! The excitement begins onboard a vintage train that will take you on a scenic rail journey Ballarat. Enjoy a delicious meal the paddle ferry Begonia Princess as you cruise on picturesque Lake Wendouree.
Geelong, Victoria, Australia

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5.0
34 reviews
Excellent
29
Very good
4
Average
1
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Terrible
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maj0rmitch
Wyndham Vale, Australia8 contributions
May 2017 • Couples
The best non steam hauled trip on broad gauge. Caught train at Werribee heading to Ballarat via Geelong for a meal on the lake and return. Thoroughly spoilt by the crew all trip. A memorable day well worth the trip. Trip was made in Feb 2017. Sorry for late review as original did not process and just noticed. Thanks to all the staff
Written 11 April 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Many thanks for your kind review, we worked extremely hard to create a marvelous experience for our passengers. Unfortunately this has now closed due to the rail gauge standardisation project that will prevent us operating between Geelong and Ballarat. Many thanks for your kind comments and hopefully we will see you on one of our other heritage tours. Regards Colin Kelly Secretary DERMPAV
Written 12 April 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lindsay B
5 contributions
Jan. 2018 • Family
DERMPAV ran a number of short trips out from Warrnambool station to the Westvic Sidings in conjunction with a visit to the local model railway exhibition. These proved very popular with locals and most trips were near capacity. The crew were friendly and all were made to feel very welcome. We hope they will consider doing the same next year. Thanks for the visit.
Written 24 January 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ii_enigma
Whittlesea, Australia65 contributions
Mar. 2017 • Couples
I booked this trip after seeing an advert on Facebook. Hubby likes trains, so I booked for our 29th wedding anniversary.
We boarded at Newport and from the moment we boarded to the moment we disembarked, the staff were brilliant, tea, coffee and snacks provided onboard the train. A staff member then stopped past each set of 4 seats and explained the history of the engine and the history of the carriage. It turns out I had travelled on this particular train when it was operation on the Lilydale line, from Healesville to Lilydale. The carriage was restored and the timber has lost none of its character.
I would advise this trip for rail enthusiasts and people interested in history. As we passed along the line, their were some wonderful buildings to be seen.
Once we got to Ballarat, we disembarked and after a short coach ride, we boarded the Paddleboat Begonia. The setting sun was beautiful as we did several laps of the lake, enjoying an exceptional meal, considering the lack of space. The history surrounding the lake is wonderful, the boat houses and buildings.
All in all highly recommended for service and value for money,
Written 26 April 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ron H
1 contribution
Mar. 2017 • Couples
This is such a great day out.
If you board the rail car at Newport then it is a 9 Hour return journey, so be prepared for that but you will have just the best time ever.

The DERMPAV volunteers have this tour sorted and it runs like clockwork, full credit to everyone.

This is a tour that everyone has to do, a real "bucket list" must do.
Written 16 March 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Ron H Many thanks for your kind words and the tine you have taken to review our event, these are appreciated. We find these are a great guide to other potential customers that might wish to come along to enjoy a great night out. Regards Colin Kelly Secretary DERMPAV
Written 18 March 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Rob C
Melbourne, Australia39 contributions
Mar. 2017 • Couples
Spot on all day. Well organised and run and particular thanks to all the staff involved - Ken, Colin, Frank and the lovely ladies who kept us supplied with drinks and eats. On time at Newport station and given a tray of sandwiches and pastries plus tea, coffee, cold drinks as we headed for Geelong. Turn around there and a delightful trip to Ballarat. Bus waiting for us and a short drive to Lake Wendouree. A pleasant trip on the paddle boat and a great meal served with drinks, local wines and beer. Bus back to Ballarat station then our trusty rail motor returned us to Geelong and on to Newport. Along the way served with Baileys, chocolates and tea/coffee and cold drinks by the tireless staff. Congratulations to all involved - a great day out and highly recommended.
Written 14 March 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Rob C Many thanks for your recommendation and review our event, I will pass on your thanks to our staff involved that make this a successful tour. These reviews offer a great guide to other potential customers that might wish to come along to enjoy an afternoon/evening out. Regards Colin Kelly Secretary DERMPAV
Written 18 March 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

paulbH2276EZ
Geelong, Australia16 contributions
Mar. 2017 • Couples
Absolutely fantastic experience all round. From the beginning all the staff on board the train were friendly and helpful serving drinks and finger food. Bus trip from the station to the lake was comfortable with a friendly driver. All the staff involved with the paddle boat were exceptional. Drinks were always topped up and the meal was delicious. The only thing I could fault was that it felt a little cramped at the table in the boat.
Written 11 March 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi paulbH2276EZ Many thanks for your review of our event, it is very much appreciated as these provide an excellent overview of our product to potential customers. The ferry only holds 36 passengers, and when we have a full tour it can feel cramped a little on the ferry, especially if you have the window seat. But on a whole it seems to work reasonably well as the tables are called up one at a time. On the March Tour we organised everyone's seating location and we try to mix everyone up to facilitate discussion. When they return to the rail motor we have found that they are all better acquainted and are sitting in different groups chatting to each other. Once again many thanks for your time to provide this review, it is greatly appreciated. Regards Colin Kelly Secretary DERMPAV
Written 18 March 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jennifer L
53 contributions
Feb. 2017 • Couples
We both thoroughly enjoyed our day with derprav. We were welcomed onboard from Newport at 2.20pm and embarked upon a great journey to Ballarat via Geelong. We had sandwichs and soft drinks on the way up. The staff were excellent and made everyone happy. On arrival at Ballarat we were on a short 10 min bus ride to the lake and got on a great boat for wine and dinner. The dinner was average and we enjoyed it. We returned back to the bus and then to the train home. All the staff were great in particularly Ken was very friendly and was great with all the customers. Thanks for our day onboard.
Written 12 February 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Jennifer L, Many thanks for taking the time to provide your review. We are glad your party enjoyed themselves on the Rail Paddle and Plate Dining Experience. We will have a chat to the caterers on the boat as the food generally receives much better reviews, thanks for your honest opinion. Our staff are all volunteers and are focused on providing the very best experience possible, I will pass on your kind comments to Ken and the other staff. Once again many thanks for this review.
Written 13 February 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Darren R
Melbourne, Australia19 contributions
Dec. 2016
Yesterday I enjoyed a rail tour to Lake Wendouree, at Ballarat, and it was full of surprises, splendid service and delightful food. This trip started off travelling in a 1930 Diesel Electric Rail Motor at Newport, better know as a Derm. A volunteer group, DERMPAV, organise this tour regularly, and I joined the train at the Newport Railway Station, and it was precisely on time. The Railcar proceeded through Sunshine, and Tarneit and travelled to Geelong where the large group of passengers boarded. On the way we enjoyed a wonderful morning tea with more delightful sandwiches and savouries, far than I would normally have for lunch. Other drinks were offered, but was happy to be served cups of first class tea. The tour travelled on the (sadly) now freight only line to Ballarat, and I noted all the development near Meredith and the pleasant country scenery. We were conveyed to the Lake from the Ballarat Station by bus. At Wendouree we boarded a delightful small paddle boat which was our venue for lunch. Wines and a top class turkey, and ham lunch was served with splendid roasted vegetables. Pavlova, my favourite, followed. The views of the Lake were superb and I have never seen it all so well during this two hour paddle by boat! The glass walls of this vessel provide an almost unrestricted views of this Lake and local gardens.

After lunch we returned to the Ballarat Station and boarded the Derm for the trip home. The energetic and enthusiastic crew then served drinks and port, and I enjoyed more tea. Chocolates were lavished on us, and after reaching Geelong, the very happy locals left the train and I enjoyed the views and service until reaching Newport.

The pleasant, relaxed and friendly crew, along with the faultless food combined to provide a varied, uncramped and comfortable day out. I could not fault this tour in any way and marvelled at how the venerable rail car was made into a most delightful venue for touring while the paddle boat proved to be a splendid dining place and viewing platform from which to see this now very beautiful Lake Wendouree. Highly recommended!
Written 17 December 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Darren R, Many thanks for you very comprehensive and glowing review of our Rail Paddle and Plate Dining Experience. We are glad that your experience was positive; in your review you have highlighted all the various aspects that have been put together to make this dining experience the positive experience that it is starting to become. Your recommendations for others to join this tour based on your detailed review are very much appreciated. We value these reviews as they provide an honest review of our operations for future potential customers, only through this feed back can we improve our product. We look forward to seeing you or your friends again on another of DERMPAV’s rail heritage adventures or on a future Rail Paddle and Plate. Regards Colin Kelly Secretary DERMPAV
Written 29 December 2016
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Joanna S
Drysdale, Victoria, Australia79 contributions
Dec. 2016 • Friends
What a great day out this was, from go to whoa with friendly staff who love a laugh, so much food you can barely move afterwards, and the bonus of travelling in a 1930 Diesel Electric Rail motor - a real cutie. This is followed by 2 hours and lunch on Lake Wendouree on a paddleboat, the Begonia Princess, again staffed by really great folk. I cannot recommend this highly enough - go on..... do it !!
Written 17 December 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Joanna S, We are extremely pleased that you enjoyed our Rail Paddle and Plate Dining Experience, we also thank your positive and encouraging words of review these are much appreciated. I will pass on your praise to our volunteer staff that man the rail motor. You described our activities well. We value these reviews as they provide an honest review of our operations for future potential customers, only through this feed back can we improve our product. We look forward to seeing you or your friends again on another of DERMPAV’s rail heritage adventures or on a future Rail Paddle and Plate Dining Experience. Regards Colin Kelly Secretary DERMPAV
Written 29 December 2016
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sharon W
Geelong, Australia118 contributions
Dec. 2016 • Couples
This is so relaxing to be able to both enjoy .The staff where so friendly and happy to have us on board . They looked after on the trip up and the trip back !! You must do this , we had a cuppa tea and sandwiches and little quiches on the way up . And on the paddle steamer it was so nicely laid out for us on board , and the food was Delirious, the staff where very caring , you could have red wine or white or orange juice . The desert was pavlova with whipped cream in it and a strawberry on top . The people we travel with where nice and chatty and on e nice lady is coming into my work to visit me !! Great day out !! please try it you will be very happy just like us , :) .
Written 17 December 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Sharon W, We are glad that the Rail Paddle and Plate Dining Experience provide an enjoyable outing as an early Christmas present to you both. We have tried to make it the best experience that we can given it is manned by volunteer labour. We are glad that you enjoyed the savories on the rail motor and the two course meal on Begonia Princess along with the wines from Wightwick’s vineyards. We say, Come as strangers but leave as friends, and we are glad when new acquaintances are made through these connections. We also thank your positive and encouraging words of review, advising everyone to jump on board and book a seat, these recommendations are much appreciated. We value these reviews as they provide an honest review of our operations for future potential customers, only through this feed back can we improve our product. We look forward to seeing you or your friends again on another of DERMPAV’s rail heritage adventures or on a future Rail Paddle and Plate Dining Experience. Regards Colin Kelly Secretary DERMPAV
Written 29 December 2016
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Rail Paddle & Plate: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)