By Agnes and Nick Hellwig
We think that there is no such thing as bad weather - only the wrong clothes so despite a bleak forecast with strong winds and rain predicted we headed for Marysville in the foothills of Victoria's Great Dividing Range.
We made a Friday afternoon start for a weekend away and although it was overcast the rain held off and we had a pleasant drive along the Maroondah Highway.
We passed many wineries in the Yarra Valley at Coldstream and along the route to Healesville. From Healesville the scenic highway heads up the Black Spur with its breathtaking forest views, huge mountain ash and fern trees through Narbethong to Marysville.
We found our accommodation, the Marysville Caravan Park was just around the corner from the main street. Our cabin was warm and comfortable, right next to the barbecue area.
Peaceful cabin for two Marysville Caravan Park
Hosts Larry and Margaret Richmond were very helpful and friendly. The park is much larger than appeared at first sight, with a river running through the landscaped gardens. Overnight cabins are located right at the front of the caravan park within walking distance to all the shops and attractions.
Marysville is just a short drive from Lake Mountain and is a popular place to stay for skiers, with a number of Ski hire shops during the winter months.
One of these converts to a fabulous Christmas Shop in October and has the most marvellous collection of tree ornaments and decorations you can imagine!
Lake Mountain is 20 kms from Marysville, one of the world's best cross country skiing locations. Tobogganing is extremely popular, especially with children.
Everything you need can be hired in the village, including warm clothing. Cambarville in Cumberland Memorial Scenic Reserve - 6.5 km past the Lake Mountain turn off, (10km out of Marysville) contains Cumberland Falls, Cora Lynn Falls and the Big Tree.
The Big Tree is amongst a stand of old growth Mountain ash, one of the tallest tree species in the world, second only to the Californian Redwood.
Sunlight dabbles the Black Spur road
Cathedral Range State Park is with half an hours drive between Taggerty and Buxton. Access is via Cathedral Lane off the Maroondah Highway or via Mount Margaret Road off the Buxton Marysville Road. The park is ideal for bushwalking, rock climbing, fishing and camping.
We spent the weekend browsing through the many unusual shops. The Country Touch gallery specialises in country clothing and gifts for both men and women, including akubra hats, bird feeders and gift cards.
The trees and bushes outside the shop attract King Parrots which are tame and are used to posing for photos by the tourists.
The Post Shop has a superb range of unique jewellery, ornaments and gifts, and the Carmyle Farm Boutique has gorgeous alpaca garments and accessories.
The LIT and Beyond shop has not only a huge selection of colourful candles and accessories, but also jewellery, handbags and purses, books and scarves.
King parrot, Marysville
There are a number of other gift and craft stores, as well as the new Hugo and Friends teddy bear shop!
Marysville is also a mecca for food lovers, with a many restaurants and fine food outlets. One of these is Crossways Historic Country Inn, which promises entertainment on Saturday nights, and also has BB accommodation. It is just across the road from the Caravan Park.
Fragas Caf includes sidewalk dining and offers baguettes, cakes and other local produce.
In Neutral is an American style restaurant offering a variety of dishes including steaks, Mexican dishes etc. You are really spoilt for choice with a huge range of fine food and wine.
Nick and I considered all the options and then decided on creating our own smorgasbord with several selections from the Marysville Country Bakery (they have the most beautiful beefsteak pies and breads and the Marysville Patisserie and Fudge Factory where you can choose from quiches, a yummy range continental cakes and pastries, scones and or course home made fudge.
The Belgian Hot Chocolate has to be tasted to be believed!
For lovers of sweets there is also the Old Fashioned Lolly Shop. We did not go in due to fears of lack of self control!
Steavensons Falls is within walking distance of the Marysville Caravan Park. It is a must see when in Marysville, especially at night when the falls are floodlit. Steavenson Falls is about 3.5kms from Marysville town centre.
Authentic Post Shop with bullnosed verandah
The floodlighting is from power generated from the river itself, the falls are some 82 metres high and easily accessible. Many people walk to the falls from the town centre or take a short drive along Falls Road.
Steavenson Falls are the largest and most accessible falls near Marysville, but there are many more close by.
There are rewarding walks in and around the town. They include Marysville's famous Beeches loop Walk and the well-graded Keppel Falls track.
The picturesque Lady Talbot Drive follows the Taggerty River through the Marysville State Forest and the Yarra Ranges National Park.
Travelling time from Melbourne's eastern suburbs is about 50 minutes, but from the CBD or Melbourne Airport allow up to 2 hours - depending upon the route and traffic conditions.
Marysville Caravan Park is just 100 metres or so across the river from the village centre.
Travel through town until you cross the river, then turn left at the roundabout - the Marysville Caravan Park is immediately on your left. There is a fresh, clean, well equipped laundry complete with powerful industrial dryers and modern washing machines.
Modern, safe play equipment equipment is located on both sides of the river, including Bucking Bronk and climbing rings.The main toilet has recently been renovated and there is a new, second toilet block on the far side of the river, near the group accommodation and camping area.
As well as the playground equipment, volley ball court, camp kitchen and barbecue shelters, there is a central area of open space for all park visitors to enjoy.
Marysville Caravan Park is a Family Parks member
The Camp Kitchenincludes free electric barbecue, gas stove/oven, microwave, fridge and hot and cold water at the Camp Kitchen sink.
We intended to visit Brunos Art and Sculpture Garden as well, but ran out of time in the end. Bruno's Art and Sculpture Garden, at 51 Falls Road,attracts art and garden lovers. Guided tours are available for groups.
The Gallery and Garden are open Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 5pm. The Garden is open everyday from 10am to 5pm.
Every second Sunday of the month there is a market in the main street, so we stopped on the way home to wander through the stalls of native plants, home made jams and chutneys, jewellery, toys, socks and other crafts.
Then we went back to the Patisserie to enjoy a last cup of coffee, and purchased some fudge and delicious cake to take home to the family.
On the way home through Healesville we stopped in at the new Beechworth Bakery for a delicious quiche to take home for dinner with friends.
I just flew in for a quick read
Marysville was established in 1863 as a stop for prospectors en route to the nearby Woods Point gold diggings. Today the town has a more restful ambience. Marysville is famous for its tree lined streetscapes.
There is plenty of wildlife, including King Parrots, kookaburras, lyrebirds and wallabies.
The Wirreanda festival happens in February each year. The dates for next year are 22nd, 23rd and 24th of February 2008.
Editor's Note: Also See -
Come in signs at Maryville
Well grassed site Marysville Caravan Park