With heaps of brewery stalls, a main stage headlined by You Am I and loads of entertainment for people of all ages, there's enticement aplenty to head to the 2016 Ballarat Beer Festival.
But if you wanted to make the day extra special – and avoid any debate over who's going to be the designated driver – then you can travel to and from the festival via vintage train.
Vintage Rail Travel is running its third annual heritage train to Ballarat via Geelong from Melbourne for the event.
Vintage Rail Travel / 707 Operations is an all volunteer run mainline heritage group that restores and maintains a fleet of 1940s and 1950s steam and diesel locomotives and carriages for operation on Victoria’s rail network.
The Vintage Rail Travel diesel train for the trip to Ballarat and beyond will depart Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station at 9.30 am on January 16, also stopping at Footscray, Werribee and Lara North Shore (Geelong) stations before arriving in Ballarat at 12.40pm.
Passengers can then transfer to the free shuttle bus for the Ballarat Beer Festival. The train departs Ballarat at 5.10pm to return to Melbourne via North Geelong and is due to arrive at Southern Cross Station at 8.15 pm.
There are multiple ticket options, with standard adult return from Melbourne to Ballarat costing $70pp.
NB: There are other travel options too that offer alternatives to the beer festival should you plan to travel with people who aren't keen on beer. Passengers can choose to explore Ballarat for the day or hop on an afternoon tour to Maryborough via vintage train, departing Ballarat at 1pm then stopping at Creswick, Clunes and Talbot to pick up passengers to arrive in Maryborough at 2.10pm. The train departs to return to Ballarat and Melbourne at 3.30pm, stopping all station to arrive in Ballarat at 4.50pm.
For booking information or train information visit www.707operations.com.au or call 0403 883 424.