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The Sorrento Steam Tram

Home > Melbourne > Day Trips
by Quill Pen (subscribe)
I run a Software Consulting firm where I create websites, mobile apps and ofcourse software. At all other times I could be spotted trekking around Melbourne. Visit me at
Published September 15th 2019
Get your dose of Sorrento history
Sorrento located on the Mornington Peninsula is always on the list of anyone who wishes to explore one of the most breathtaking views of Port Phillip Bay or take the ferry to Queenscliff. But alas most of us are enamoured by the beach and the shopping and dining precincts that we may walk right past an important historical site with relics from a bygone era.

You can literally travel back in time by following well-laid tracks which survive even today. That's right! I am of course referring to Sorrento's very own "Puffing Billy" - the steam tram which transported passengers alighting from the ferry across Sorrento and was operational from 1890 to 1921.
tram station
Signage at the station

The steam tram operated by the Sorrento Tram Company was an innovative concept at that time given life by George Coppin who is widely recognised as the pioneer who put Sorrento on Australia's tourism map.

The steel tracks laid over a hundred years ago can still be seen today and research revealed that the line was laid to a gauge of 3 ft 6 in and was powered by 2 Baldwin locomotives.

If you are feeling a bit adventurous and can still climb a few steps then you will be rewarded with the relics of the old tram tracks and the tram station.

Tram Tracks
Down memory tracks

A bonus would be a breath-taking view of the Sorrento foreshore and pier where the ferry docks to take its passengers.
Sorrento Foreshore
Breathtaking view

From that vantage point standing atop a low hill well shrouded in shrubs, you can also get to watch the teeming masses boarding the ferry quite oblivious to the eyes watching them from up above.

Watch the ferry from above

Reaching the spot could be a bit challenging if you haven't being running up and down stairs recently and unfortunately the site is not wheelchair accessible.
Stairway to the station

A good way to reach the derelict tram station would be to walk up to Hotel Sorrento and then walk past the Police Station and then follow the signs to the historic tram platform. An alternative way would be to reach Policeman's Point and then follow the signage to the tram platform.

Policeman's Point
Alternative route

The tram station site though maintained is easy to miss since it is well shrouded from the pier below and is not really a hot spot for the casual tourist.

However, if you are a history buff then this is something which will give you a vicarious thrill.

Happy trekking!
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Why? If you are a history buff
Where: Sorrento
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I love a good hostory walk. Welcome to the Weekendnotes community.
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