A former steam train that’s been converted into a charming three-bedroom abode has just been named the most unique stay in Australia for 2023 in Airbnb’s annual Host Awards.
Originally built in 1926, the train did many trips on the railway lines between Melbourne and Sydney from the 1930s to 1980s. It eventually came into the hands of hosts Mike and Fleur who have turned it into the unique and dreamy place it is now. They’ve restored and renovated it with an elegant 1920s feel as a romantic homage to its origins.
Steam: Renovated 1920s Carriage
The whole idea of Steam is to offer a taste of the slower-paced, simpler times it originated in. Although it’s been modernised with all of the comforts you’d expect in today’s luxury accommodation (wi-fi included), so many of the carriage’s features from a bygone era have been retained.
The living area is full of old world charm with warm wooden antique furniture, pressed metal and wood panelling, leather lounges and black wooden floors. During the renovation the owners sourced fittings and furnishings that are true to the era of the steam train’s past and repurposed them for future enjoyment of the carriage. It has a fully-functioning timeless kitchen with an oven and Italian stove-top coffee maker. There’s no TV but it’s stocked with books and board games for some good old-fashioned fun.
The main bedroom is a double compartment carriage and has a queen bed with twin mahogany armchairs. A sliding door leads to a private outdoor bath with polished brass tapware. It’s a romantic place to stay for two, but there are two other bedrooms if you want to bring the family or friends along for the nostalgic ride.
The other two bedrooms are slightly smaller, one with a double bed and the other bedroom with two singles. Each is made up with divine bed linen, and daily fresh towels and cleaning are included. You’ll awake to birdsong as Steam is cocooned in the heart of the historic timber town of Forrest, surrounded by Eucalypts.
The main bathroom in Steam is as gloriously refined as the rest of the restored carriage, including the ‘No Smoking’ sign which remains on the wall as it was back in the day. The bathroom features a shower and art deco washstand.
This peaceful retreat is surrounded by lush greenery. The main bedroom’s outdoor ensuite is in the perfect spot to enjoy the serenity.
An outdoor setting is a great place to tuck into a meal cooked on the barbecue, followed by a kip in the hammock. Take in the beauty of the natural surrounds from here or get out and explore. Well-behaved pets are welcome too.