I'm a freelance writer who lives on the Bellarine Peninsula. I enjoy finding new things to see and do in the beautiful area that I live in.
Thomas the Tank Engine is one of those children's classics that have stood the test of time. Not only has the series survived the introduction of the digital age, continuing for generation upon generation of new fans, but it is also one of the only shows left that has stayed (relatively) true to the original series that I remember watching as a child on ABC television. Unlike other shows such as Bananas in Pyjamas, which has undergone a drastic (and honestly scary-looking) change, Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends still chug along merrily in their quaint little town of Sodor Island, carrying passengers, delivering freight, and getting involved in all sorts of adventures.
Even though it has been nearly 70 years since the Reverend W Awdry first created the series, the fan-base for Thomas and his steam engine friends is as large as ever, with dedicated fans still eager to spend time revisiting their favourite little blue engine. The Bellarine Railway, a small tourist railway which runs between Drysdale and Queenscliff on the Bellarine Peninsula, has made it their mission to encourage this dedicated behaviour, and throughout the year, they hold 'Day Out With Thomas' events that are suitable for the whole family.
On April 6 and 7, the Queenscliff Station will once again be hosting this popular weekend event, giving people the chance to get up close and personal with Thomas and many of his friends, including Henry, Oliver, Douglas and Salty. While tickets will be available from the station on the day, it's best to pre-book online to avoid missing out. With the purchase of a ticket, you can have unlimited rides in the Troublesome Trucks (pulled behind Thomas) and meet Sir Topham Hatt (otherwise known as The Fat Controller). You also have the opportunity to go on a 40-minute return steam train ride which departs every hour, on the hour, from 10.30am to 2.30pm inclusive.
Although 'Day Out With Thomas' was created for fans of the series, this is essentially a family day, and therefore, all of the activities are child-friendly. There will be a jumping castle and slide set up over the weekend, as well as a colouring-in competition (to be judged by Sir Topham Hatt).
Children will receive a showbag, and there will also be plenty of giveaways for the kids, as well as photo opportunities for those who want them. With live re-enactments, a raffle, and unique merchandise available for purchase, 'Day Out With Thomas' is guaranteed to be a hit with the whole family.