When it comes to taking holidays, sometimes getting overseas just isn’t practical. It can be hard to find enough time in your annual leave and fit your vacation around commitments. But never fear, Victoria is here!
For a holiday that feels like a trip to the Canadian Rockies, for a fraction of the price and much closer to home, look no further than Marysville.
If the name of this charming town sounds familiar, it’s because it was ravaged by the Black Sunday fires in 2009. But this catastrophic event isn’t what defines this town or its people. Instead, it’s the warm, welcoming nature and sense of community and pride that stands out. They are a close-knit group of incredibly strong people who have overcome an unimaginable situation.
Getting there is easy, especially if you can nab yourself some sale airfares from Brisbane to Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport on a budget airline. Collect a hire car and GPS at the airport, then take the 2 hour drive through the Yarra Valley, breathtaking Black Spur, with its hauntingly beautiful eucalyptus trees towering above, and onto Marysville.
The main street is only a few hundred metres long, making it easy to navigate on foot. Just be prepared to receive lots of friendly smiles from locals as you explore the area. Make a bee-line for Bruno’s Sculpture Garden on Falls Road and meet friendly Belgian artist and musician, Bruno. He’ll gladly you talk to you about his artwork and take you through the sculpture garden, with a child-like smile that’s contagious.
For sweet treats, visit Ashraf and Christine at Marysville Patisserie. Sink your teeth into fresh, home-made cakes, profiteroles and delicious pecan pie followed by a cup of coffee. Further around the corner, on the main street, you’ll find Fraga’s Cafe. Run by owner James, who uses local produce to serve up tasty lunches, including a cracking pumpkin soup, and a selection of home-made cakes that will not disappoint.
Take a short drive up to the Keppel Lookout and you’re treated to amazing panoramic views of the area, including Marysville. It’s the best spot for photographs, just be sure to rug up as it’s quite chilly. You can also drive a few short minutes to Steavenson Falls which, at 84 metres, is one of the highest waterfalls in Victoria.
Other fun activities in the area include a trip out to Buxton Ridge Winery for a wine tasting and cheese platter. Hint: the Pinot Noir is a must-try. Afterward, visit the Buxton Trout and Salmon Farm to meet owner Mitch and try your hand at fishing. You can cook what you catch on the barbecues on-site or stock up on delicious trout that has been smoked on-site.
For dinner, the best place to eat is Radius Bar & Grill. Head Chef Leigh Colville, formerly of The Press Club and Southside Diner, draws inspiration from the local area. Sourcing all ingredients within a 100km radius of the restaurant. The result is out-of-this-world food bursting with flavour.
A trip to Marysville will stay with you and have you counting down to your next trip. The town and surrounding areas are absolutely stunning, the food and wine are top-notch and the locals are warm and welcoming beyond belief. It is the perfect escape from the big city, to a country town with a very big heart.