Welcome to the Great Age of Steam… a time when life was simpler, and certainly slower. You’ve carefully packed a leather trunk, perhaps with some playing cards and homemade slice for the journey, snapped its brass clips shut, donned your Sunday best, and at Flinders Street Station, climbed aboard a steam train filled with a sense of excitement for new adventures that lie ahead.
Steam: Train Carriage is an incredibly unique accommodation offering, with a wonderful past that will appeal to train enthusiasts and history lovers alike. It was built in 1926 at the Newport Railway Workshop in Melbourne as First Class carriage 61 AW and transported travellers throughout regional Victoria. Between 1937 and 1980 it was converted a number of times between first and second class, operating between Melbourne & Sydney, or travel throughout Regional Victoria. In 1983 it was retired to a rail yard in Collingwood - soon afterwards it was sold, and put on a truck from Melbourne to Forrest, which is a small township in the Otway Ranges.
Hosts Mike & Fleur, spent over nine months restoring the carriage, including careful use of salvaged materials to create a completely original interior. Seeing the absolute delight of their guests experiencing Steam for the first time never tires, it truly is the perfect getaway for those looking for something extra special.
There are three bedrooms: A double compartment carriage with a queen bed serves as the master bedroom. Twin mahogany armchairs are the perfect spot for a nightcap, and open the sliding door to your own private outdoor bath with polished brass tapware, surrounded by lush greenery and climbing vines. For couples, this is as romantic as it gets!
The two smaller compartment carriages each make up a bedroom, one of which has a double bed and the other has two singles. The main bathroom has an art deco washstand, shower and luxury Grampian Goods Co. amenities. Whilst Steam can sleep up to six guests, it is a converted carriage and a cosy space, so we recommend a couple or a family of four (with optional, well behaved pets!) would be most comfortable.
You will feel as though you have stepped back in time, surrounded by features of the late Victorian period - with a touch of steampunk! Warm wooden antique furniture, ornate chandeliers, pressed metal and wood panelling; deep red velvet curtains, leather lounge, exposed piping and gloss black floors, all create an interior that evokes feelings of nostalgic travel to a faraway place.
The small but fully-functional kitchen with stove & oven is a delight to cook your evening meal or prepare your morning coffee in the Italian stove-top coffee maker or French press.
Our wood fire in the living room is sure to keep you cosy on cool evenings. There’s no TV, but WiFi is available, along with a bluetooth speaker and selection of books & board games.
Outside, it’s quiet and peaceful, with leafy trees, bird life, and garden with outdoor setting to relax in. Stay in this charming and truly unique carriage with its strong sense of a bygone era, and you may never want to depart.
Everything you need to know
· The master bedroom is two compartments long, with a queen bed
· The second bedroom is a small compartment, with a double bed
· The third bedroom is a single compartment with two thin single train beds (like a caravan bed)
· Steam can sleep six, but is ideal for a couple or family of four. The two small bedrooms were train seating compartments and only 2.1m square & not much larger than the bed. The rooms are close together, with very little insulation from sound.
We are often asked for more information on guest numbers, and our suggestions are that depending on the group, Steam could work for:
· A couple, and up to four children, with a child in each of the single beds, and two sharing the double
· Two couples, as long as they were good friends as it would be close & not much sound insulation
· Four adults, one in each bed
· Six adults could be possible, but only if you are planning to be out most of the day & for dinner, and Steam is purely a place to sleep
If you are looking for a getaway for a larger group, Otways Loft, our neighbouring accommodation is also available. Steam & Otways Loft combined can comfortably accommodate a group of 10 - 12, with 14 being max capacity.
Usually the properties are available for separate groups with a fence and locked gate in between, and enough distance to allow for complete privacy. If booked together, access to the gate would be available to allow the group to make the most of both properties. We recommend booking early to ensure availability of both properties.
· Free standing claw foot bath outside master bedroom
· Main bathroom
· Wood fired heater, with wood supply included
· Air conditioner/split system in living area
· Evaporative cooling in master bedroom
· Small but functional kitchen with oven, stove, microwave
· Italian style stovetop coffee maker and French press
· Basic provisions including olive oil, spices, tea, coffee, cling-wrap, dishwasher tablets etc
· Bluetooth speaker, books & board games, however intentionally no TV so you can truly switch off
· Undercover outdoor dining, lounge & BBQ
· Swing chairs on the verandah, outdoor lounge furniture on the terrace overlooking the back garden
· Outdoor hammock
· Note, we do not have a washer or dryer
Deciding which property is for you? Highlights and considerations for Steam Carriage, as shared by our most recent guests.
· Nestled in the main township of Forrest / Be mindful that whilst Steam Carriage is standalone, we do have neighbours and we are likely to have guests at Otways Loft just over the fence & we’re alongside a laneway that locals & visitors walk, cycle & horse ride along
· Walkable to the General Store, Brewery, Pub and Dar Teta restaurant / May prefer the remote feel of Liptrap Loft if looking for seclusion
· Ride in & out of town to access mountain bike trails
· 20min drive to beautiful Birregurra, easily access Lake Elizabeth, Stephenson Falls and Barwon River Reservoir
· Cosy unique space, accommodating couples or small family groups / Consider Otways Loft for larger groups or those mindful of privacy , or if a large kitchen is a priority
· Steam can sleep six but is ideal for a couple or a close knit family of four. The two small bedrooms were once train seating compartments at just 2.1m square & not much larger than the bed. The rooms are close together, with very little insulation from sound
· The kitchen suits one or two at a time, but many guests have shared experiences and photos of beautiful meals cooked together / in true slow living, we don’t have a dishwasher in our cosy kitchen
· Board games, books and Bluetooth speaker provided, and WIFI for you to bring your own tv or movie streaming devices
· Steam Carriage is understandably popular with children of all ages (our best critics!) who love our playful & unique design / The furnishings and crockery are delicate, we have a fireplace and the not overly soundproof space may not suit exhausted parents travelling with their little ones, however we do have a high chair available if required and the single level layout works well with children
· It truly is a train carriage and not well insulated for temperature or sound / we have air-conditioning in the living areas in summer and a wood burner with well stocked firewood and split system heater in winter
· Country living brings exciting sightings of wombats, koalas, wallabies, kangaroos and echidnas to name a few / we supply all you need to avoid mozzies and bugs, but keep in mind snake sightings are potential particularly in the warmer months
· We have a passionate team who are always on hand to assist at anytime, along with an Airguide App with 'how to' guides and compendium onsite to assist with smooth stays
· We have tried our best to provide everything a discerning guest may want or need for a comfortable getaway but please do note our properties are intentionally unconventional, so there are quirks to be found. We believe the quirks create the charm but please consider if you are suited to a property that is unique, rustic and different to a standard home.
Things To Do
Eating & Drinking
Good coffee is available at the General Store, lunch is sorted if you make it in time for their incredible house made pies and other delicious baked goods. They also stock all the supplies you need for an evening platter of local produce, along with the full range of Otways Distillery gin and other local wines.
Forrest Brewing offers a great menu from breakfast through to dinner, and the beer brewed on-site is a must try.
Platypi Chocolate is the perfect spot for those with a sweet tooth to enjoy an indulgent hot chocolate or casual lunch.
For pub fare, the Terminus Hotel doesn’t disappoint and is open most nights, always with a toasty fire in winter. The highlight? You can truly stay local, and walk to all of these fantastic options.
No doubt you have heard of the renowned Brae restaurant by Dan Hunter, which has been ranked in the top 50 restaurants in the world. Just 20 minutes from Steam and set on a hillside in Birregurra, Brae is a place to be immersed in nature and eat from the land and is truly worth a visit. It will be a memorable experience, but you must book well in advance.
Yield in Birregurra also offers a fabulous degustation menu that is rapidly becoming recognised across the country for their commitment to building a stronger community by linking arms with farmers, makers and producers.
After logging ceased, Forrest was reinvented as a centre for mountain biking and the world class Forrest mountain bike trails have become the region’s signature activity. With over 60 kilometres of sign-posted single track, you will need a few days to make the most of them all! The trails literally surround the town, so our guests have a genuine ride-in, ride-out experience from Steam. If you don’t have your own bikes, you can hire them on the way to Forrest in Anglesea or Geelong.
A beautiful way to explore the rainforest of the Otways is at Otway Fly, with tree top walks and ziplining. It is the longest and highest rainforest skywalk in the world, and is a fantastic experience for kids.
Walks & Waterfalls
Spend your time visiting our favourite waterfalls - Hopetoun, Triplet and Beauchamp Falls. Beech Forest and the Redwood Forest are a must see of the region.
Closer to Otways Loft are Stephenson’s Falls and Lake Elizabeth, where platypus are frequently sighted at dawn and dusk, and glow worms at night. Little Aire Falls, Triplet Falls and the West Barwon Reservoir are also all worth a visit.
We would love to welcome you to experience Otways Loft for your next getaway. As we so often hear from our returning guests, “you will leave truly relaxed, after your days nestled amongst the trees”. If you have any questions, would like to discuss a special occasion or any specific requirements, please do not hesitate to reach out.
The Finer Details
· Our rates are based on up to two guests, additional guests attract a rate of $50 per person, per night.
· Bed linen, towels and cleaning are included in our nightly rate. Beds made up for you on arrival as per your requirements, so please just let us know in advance if you have any preferences.
· Pets are welcome to join you for your stay at Steam, but we do ask that you keep them off the furniture. The yard is fenced but it is not dog proof.
· Please no smoking inside, or candles.
· Please familiarise yourself with our postponement & cancellation terms and conditions before booking.
Parking and facilities
Parking available, Parking Included , Private Garden
Credit cards accepted, Accessible 24/7, Children welcome, Pets welcome , Smoking not allowed
Deck chairs, Bicycles , Stereo system
Kitchen and dining
Gas BBQ, Cooking utensils, Kitchen stove, Microwave, Oven, Refrigerator, Toaster , Vacuum cleaner
Bathroom and laundry
Bed linen, Hair dryer, Iron & Board, Shower, Towel set , Washbasin
Heating and cooling
Central heating , Fireplace
Internet and office
Credit cards accepted
Smoking not allowed
Check in: 03:00 PM
Check out: 11:00 AM