All Aboard the 1929 Tram

When we booked in to stay here, we didn’t really know what to expect. We knew we were staying in a ‘1929 vintage Melbourne Tram’, but having been born in the 1990s and not the 1890s, we didn’t really know what that might entail.

We knew that we’d been promised “romance of a bygone era”, and we knew that the Brindabella Ranges would sit in the distance. Still, a tram that first ran in 1929...? 1929 was 91 years ago – my grandfather was born in 1929!

After leaving Canberra on a Friday afternoon, we arrived in Wallaroo just as the sun was starting to set. The drive from where we live in Canberra was only 30 minutes – plenty of time to finish work, head to the supermarket for some cheese and wine, and arrive at the property before dark.

Once there, we were welcomed by hosts Jenny and David, with warm smiles, a quick chat and a roaring fire already lit for us to cook our dinner on and warm up.

Jenny and David have been running this Bed and Breakfast for nearly 30 years, they told us. The entire property has a personal touch; the property is tastefully littered with train and tram paraphernalia such as track signs and train platform benches.

Inside, the walls of both the train and tram carriages and the breakfast room, are adorned with vintage record covers and movie posters that span almost half a century. The rooms are curated with 20th-century antiques and pop culture items.

Tram 590, the carriage we stayed in, sits right next to an old tennis court (rackets and balls provided), and next to that – a chicken coop. The guineafowl wandering around were also curious creatures and a lovely little touch to the country-setting.

At sunrise, we wandered the property; sheep grazed harmoniously with the kangaroos, and cows were mooing in the distance. The magpies warbled as we sipped our teas and took some photos.

Included in the booking was breakfast (an actual BnB!), so as soon as we’d had our fill of the frosty morning (we couldn’t feel our fingers anymore), we retreated to Jenny and David’s breakfast room.

The breakfast room faces the Murrumbidgee River and the Brindabellas – so watching the sun dance across the hills, whilst filling our bellies with eggs and bacon, and a cup of coffee (freshly prepared by Jenny and David) was a great way to start the day.

This old tram accommodation is the perfect mini-getaway for busy and stressed Canberrans. In less than 30 minutes drive, you can immerse yourself in both the rolling ‘Canberra wine hills’, and at the same time step back in time, and enjoy a little slice of history in the 1929 Melbourne tram.
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Things We Did

  • Food & Drink
  • Hike
Wine tasting at Surveyors Hill Vineyards
Surveyors Hill Vineyards is within easy walking distance from the Vintage Tram No. 590. They offer wine tasting and sales, as well as weekend lunches. During our tasting, we discovered that the bulbous hill sitting beside the rows of vines behind us was the namesake of the vineyard. The owners were kind enough to let us take the ‘scenic route’ to our next destination; through the rows of gnarly, off-season grapevines - I'd recommend asking if you can do the same!...
Wine tasting at Pankhurst Wines
Pankhurst Wines is a family-owned vineyard that was established in the eighties. Their friendly pup greeted us for our wine tasting, and then owner Christine had us sample a selection of their finest. My favourite? The tempranillo. They also offer cheese platters to accompany a tasting, if you book in advance....
Wine tasting and lunch at Brindabella Hills Winery
Brindabella Hills Winery and Vineyards overlooks the Murrumbidgee River, and out towards the mighty Brindabella mountain range. With an in-house cafe and the most amazing view, this is the perfect place to book in for lunch and a glass of wine. Of all the wineries in the region, this is the pick of the litter for an epic view while you sip your vino....
One Tree Hill hike, along the Canberra Centenary Trail
One Tree Hill hike is an easy-to-access, short hike - a great way to stretch those legs after checking out all the fantastic wineries and cafes in the area. It should take you less than two hours to hike the return trail. The track is well-maintained but is also fairly heavily trafficked - the easy access and great views make this walk a Canberra favourite!...
Great coffee and cake at Daughters at Hall Cafe
Daughters at Hall is a quaint cafe located on the main street of the historic town of Hall, on the outskirts of Canberra. Originally the town's general story, Daughters at Hall is set in a 126-year-old building and is a local watering hole for post-mountain bike coffees. I'd recommend trying the carrot cake - the serving was enormous and it tasted divine....
Try some local craft beer at Hops & Vine
Hops & Vine is a hub for beer and wine enthusiasts. The wall is covered with specialty drops, and there's a huge fridge full of craft beers to try. We tried out one of Capital Brewing's lagers, and a gluten-free IPA by Wild Polly Brewing Co., another local Canberra brewery. Hops & Vine is set in a 116-year-old heritage building which used to be a wheelwright’s shop, then a dance hall, a picture theatre and an antique shop....

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