** PLEASE NOTE - WESTON PARK RAILWAY IS NOW KNOWN AS YARRALUMLA PLAY STATION WITH TRAIN RIDES, MINI GOLF, PETTING ANIMALS AND PARTIES. CLICK HERE FOR UPDATED ARTICLE.
Weston Park is a popular picnic spot for Canberrans with its open spaces, kangaroos, playground and the Miniature Train ride for the kids. Every weekend, in all seasons, the park is popular for birthday parties and family reunions with plenty of picnic tables and BBQ's. Only 6km from the CBD, this is a handy location for families from all parts of the city.
Weston Park Miniature Railway and Station Stop Café has been under new management since December 2014 - and it shows! With an updated Café and Mini Golf arriving in the next couple of weeks (mid to late June 2015), big changes are coming to Weston Park.
The train ride lasts for approximately 10 minutes and costs $4 for one passenger, $7 for two. It is an affordable, exciting adventure for your little one as it chugs around the simple track. The train goes through a tunnel and around the property - at this stage there isn't a lot to see but the kids don't mind as they are riding on a blue steam train - just like Thomas! The train driver also dropped some bread into the goldfish pond as we drove past, which entertained the kids on board. It is these little personal touches that make this experience an enjoyable one.
Buy your tickets inside the cafe and then wait at the station. The train leaves every half an hour, with enough seats for everyone....hopefully!
Their website is under construction, so their only information at this stage is through their facebook page. According to the train driver, the train is open Thursdays and Fridays (10am first ride) to 3pm (last ride), and 9am to 5pm on weekends. During school holidays they have been open 7 days a week - however it is advisable to check their facebook page before you go to avoid any disappointment for your little ones. (If this changes, please comment on this article to keep this article current).
The new owners have updated their café, whilst restoring 3 historic NSW train carriages from 1910 to use as function rooms and amenities block on the tracks. With new birthday rooms for kids, this business is opening up a lot of fun for the kids of Canberra.
The café serves a basic range at this stage, however this may change in the future. They sell coffees (takeaways available - handy for parents to take to the park nearby or picnic tables), gelatos, cakes, milkshakes, cold drinks and ice blocks . There is hot food made to order including angus beef burgers, hot chips, nuggets, fish and chips and wraps.
On weekends the Station Stop Cafe is open at 8am for breakfast, with the first train leaving at 9am.
Funky, comfy chairs and kids picnic tables inside the Station Stop Cafe.
The most exciting news for our golf loving family, is they are building a 36 hole "Canberra themed" Mini Golf Course on site. It will feature all of Canberra's famous landmarks including a 25m wide Lake Burley Griffin. This is expected to be open in only a couple of weeks (mid to late June) for the first 18 holes - exciting news for the staff and customers! They are building the course inside the train loop, so as you chug around on the train you can see the mini golf course taking shape. The day we went there, the artificial grass was getting laid, so it looked like the time frame was realistic.
A sneak peak at the new mini golf course under construction.
We have visited this Weston Park Miniature Railway a fews times last year when it was run by the previous owners. It has always been rundown, but the $7 (for us both) miniature train ride has always been a highlight of our visit to Weston Park. With new owners, it is obvious that it will all be improved and updated in time, but keeping the quaint simplicity, which is its charm. The staff are particularly welcoming and multi talented - the train driver also took our order at the Café and made the milkshakes.
We are one family that is excited about this new development, and judging by the amount of families walking over from the park, I can see we aren't alone.
Aso in terms of the mini golf....we will be first in line. Canberra needs a modern, fun, challenging mini golf course for kids - and judging from the unusual shapes getting constructed of Canberra's landmarks - this looks like a good one.
Why? Fun for the whole family at affordable prices.
When:Thursday - Friday 10am (first train) - last train 3pm. Weekends 9:00am - 5pm (running every half an hour).In Winter they may be delayed if there is moisture on the track.The train runs at these times, weather permitting.Check their facebook/website.
Phone:(02) 6282 2714
Where:9 Pescott Lane, Yarralumla, Canberra
Cost:$4 per child / $7 for both child and adult together.