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Vintage tram stays: a fun new way to visit the Yarra Valley

Recycled train and tram carriages make me happy so when I heard about the BIG4 Yarra Valley Park Lane Holiday Park’s latest way to stay I couldn’t wait to take a look inside. 

The park has given two vintage tram carriages a new lease on life by turning them into great ways to stay in the Yarra Valley. Originally built in the 1930s the W Class trams carried people along those Melbourne tracks up until the mid 1990s when they were sent into retirement.

Now they’re ready to make travellers happy in a whole new way and after being paired with ‘tram stops’ they can now sleep up to eight people in three bedrooms, each with their own ensuite.

Both trams have outdoor areas with hot tubs, BBQs and outdoor furniture, as well as washing machines and dryers, and while Tram 912 is close to the children’s playground and tennis courts, Tram 833 overlooks bushland.

BIG4 Yarra Valley Park Lane Holiday Park tram accommodation

As soon as I stepped through the doors of my first BIG4 Yarra Valley Park Lane Holiday Park vintage tram I knew I wanted to come back with a group of friends for a fun stay. And as Tram 912 is close to luxury family cabins, and Tram 833 is close to caravan and tent sites, you can easily travel with a larger group of friends and family too.

Staying in the vintage tram   

While the vintage tram and tram stop are two halves of one unique way to stay they both have their own feel. So this will help you call dibs on your room when you book that trip.

The tram side of the accommodation has a full size kitchen with an oven, cooktop, fridge freezer and dishwasher, with bedrooms on either side.

Vintage tram kitchen BIG4 Yarra Valley Park Lane Holiday Park

The bedroom at the front of the tram has a double bed and behind the original driver’s exit door with its ‘please keep clear’ sign there’s a small bathroom with a shower and a toilet.

At the back of the tram two bunk beds can sleep up to four, though do keep in mind that the top beds have a limited weight capacity so are best for children aged ten and under.

Vintage tram bedroom BIG4 Yarra Valley
BIG4 Vintage Tram accommodation bunk beds

Sleeping in the tram stop

You may not be falling asleep in an old tram but the main bedroom is actually in the tram stop and thanks to its king bed and rain shower bathroom it’s a pretty sweet place to be.

The vintage style light fittings, mirror and bathroom tiles make it feel like you’ve still stepped back in time, well, until you go into the large lounge area where you’ll find a 75” flat screen TV.

Tram stop bedroom BIG4 Yarra Valley
Tram stop ensuite BIG4 Yarra Valley

There’s more room to move and storage space in the tram stop, with robes and slippers hanging in the cupboard. Of course with the lounge room in the tram stop section and the kitchen and access to the deck and hot tub in the vintage train it’s all really one big space, with three bedrooms to choose from.

Personally I’d find it hard to choose between the tram stop and the double bed in the tram. And with the right friends I’d be happy to sleep up in one of the bunk beds too.

Tram stop lounge room BIG4 Yarra Valley

Other ways to stay 

While I was able to take a look around inside, when I visited the BIG4 Yarra Valley Park Lane Holiday Park I wasn’t able to sleep in the tram. But luckily they have a lot of other great ways to stay.

There’s everything from powered and unpowered camping sites to superior cabins that sleep up to eight people with a mix of king, queen and bunk beds with huge living areas and interconnecting outdoor decks.

Read: The most amazing themed hotel rooms in the world

On this trip I stayed in one of the glamping pods with ensuites where I could look out and see trees and the white water of Badger Creek from my bed.

Glamping pods BIG4 Yarra Valley Park Lane Holiday Park

The cosy pods have their own bathroom, mini fridge, microwave and kettle for those all important cups of tea (or coffee if that’s more your thing). The park also has slightly smaller glamping pods with shared bathrooms in another corner of the park.

Park facilities 

No matter how you’re staying in the park, the BIG4 Yarra Valley Park Lane Holiday Park camp kitchen is one of the best places to be.

The words ‘camp kitchen’ are a little bit misleading. This is more of a multiple kitchen, lounge room and games room situation where there are ovens as well as cooktops, full size fridges and dishwashers, leather lounges, a fireplace, big screen TV, pool table, ping pong table and more.

And if it’s a busy time of year and you were too slow to grab an oven or cook top, the park has a separate undercover BBQ area with seating.

There’s also a swimming pool, a pump track for bikes and scooters, tennis courts, walking trails, a giant jumping pad, and a rec room with another pool and ping pong table along with more games to play.

Wine and gin tasting in a Healesville holiday park

The Yarra Valley has some great cellar doors to visit, but at the BIG4 Yarra Valley you don’t have to worry about the designated driver when they bring wine and gin tastings to you.

During our stay Elton from Four Pillars Gin Distillery and Jade from Rochford Wines set up tastings for us in the camp kitchen. While we were a relatively small group Elton told us he’s held tastings for up to 60 people at a time in the park and I can only imagine how busy he was (and how much fun they had).

I may have enjoyed some Four Pillars gins before but this was the first time I’d tried the new Yuzu gin and their RTDs. I’ll admit G&T in a can wasn’t high on my To Drink list before but that’s all changed now that I know how good those gins taste with Four Pillars own tonic. And their non alcoholic Bandwagon range was a surprise winner too.

As for Rochford, while I may only have come home with one bottle from that night it wasn’t too long before I was online and having a box delivered to my door.

While it would be quite easy to simply spend a weekend in the holiday park and not go anywhere, thanks to its position in Healesville this BIG4 is also an excellent base to explore the Yarra Valley. I’ve covered some of the best things to do in the area in this story in Australian Traveller so when you book your stay you can be as active, or relaxed, as you like.

Amanda Woods travelled as a guest of BIG4 Yarra Valley Park Lane Holiday Park but as usual all opinions remain her own.

Vintage tram accommodation BIG4 Yarra Valley


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