The Marysville Area
The Marysville area is one of the most charming areas in the entire state. Marysville is most well known in Melbourne as being a ski town due to it’s close proximity to the Lake Mountain Alpine Resort. However, during the warmer months this cozy town is also a great place to do some hiking and camping trips from due to it’s quantity of trails and campgrounds stretching out from the city to the surrounding forest.
Lake Mountain can be seen in the background.
Marysville is located about an hour and half east of Melbourne in the slopes of the Victorian Alps. When driving from Melbourne you need to cross one of the major wine producing areas of the country, the Yarra Valley to reach Marysville, which if you are into wine may be a great opportunity to have some lunch and try some of the best wines in Australia. There is also plenty of sheep ranches as well in the foothills leading to the Victorian Alps.
However once you reach the actual Alps the terrain becomes very steep and heavily forested. The Cathredral Range near Marysville:is a great example of how steep the Victorian Alps can become:
These pictures on the other hand should give you an idea of how thick the vegetation surrounding the mountains can get:
The gum trees are absolutely massive and the underbrush is thick with many small plants and ferns. If it wasn’t for the trails you would need a machete to cut through the thick underbrush. In the early days of Marysville, loggers harvested the large gum trees and today near the visitor center in Marysville you can see one of the large trees cut down during the town’s early logging days:
These gigantic logs were transported out of the Victorian Alps and to lumber mills with small steam engines that moved on narrow guage track:
The town itself is quite small but definitely has plenty of charm to it:
In total Marysville only has a population of 600 people. These 600 people live along a beautiful creek that runs through the middle of town that is lined with a variety of parks and walking trails where you can spot the variety of birds that frequent the area:
Near the creek there are a variety of restaurants and bed and breakfast hotels. Further in town there are some larger hotels and various commercial businesses. Marysville has a little bit of everything so anyone visiting the town is sure to find something of interest to them.
Steavenson Falls Walk
Besides the skiing on Lake Mountain, Marysville is also quite popular with bushwalkers. The most popular hike and attraction just outside of Marysville is Steavenson Falls, which is the largest waterfall in all of Victoria:
Before I even got to the waterfall there was this small waterfall at the start of the trail:
The waterfalls are quite beautiful and are lighted at night because of a hydroelectric generator located near the falls that power the lights. You can hike to the falls from Marysville in about an hour or you can drive near the falls and park and then hike a short 15 minutes to see the falls. Either way it is a great place to see.
Here is something I wasn’t expecting to see:
I nearly stepped on this snake and was only able to snap this picture before it slithered off into the bushes. Using this picture I looked up this snake in one of my books that lists Australia’s most dangerous animals and the snake this thing most closely resembled was a eastern brown snake. The book said this snake is the world’s 2nd most poisonous and to seek medical attention if bit. So not quite a near death experience, but close enough for me.
From the falls you also have the option of hiking up the mountain to the top of the falls. I recommend this because the view from the top is quite good:
Somewhere down in that forest is the trail we hiked into this valley on from Marysville. This picture is what the creek looks like from the top of the hill before it crashes down the rock face:
Here is the view from the top of the falls as it crashes down the side of the mountain:
This area is just extremely beautiful.
Lady Talbot Drive
Besides Steavenson Falls another good tour to take in the area is Lady Talbot Drive. Lady Talbot Drive is easy to find because it begins of course from Marysville. This is a 4×4 road that the beginning portions of the road should pose no problems for cars as well. There are a number of campsites and pinic areas all along this road. Here is a picture of the creek we stopped to eat our lunch at:
As you can see the forest floor along the rivers and creeks are lush with ferns:
Along with the camping and picnicking areas the road also provides access to a number of hiking trails which will take you to a variety of lookouts, rain forest walks, and other waterfalls:
The trails are all well maintained and the rivers even have high quality bridges across them:
As the above picture shows these mountains are heavily forested. Here is a close up of one of these fern trees growing:
For those who like fishing, Marysville has a number of lakes outside of town and with all the recent rain fall we had in Victoria over the winter, the water levels of the lakes aren’t to bad as you can see:
Overall Marysville is a must see area for those visiting the Melbourne area and wanting to get a taste of what the Victorian Alps has to offer. Before you set off to do anything make sure to stop by the visitor center. You can’t miss it, because it is in the dead center of town. The visitor staff is very helpful and has maps of all the trails and 4×4 roads in the area, not to mention local weather and road conditions. Weather conditions in the Victorian Alps can change quickly so it is best to get the latest conditions. If the weather is good it is tough to find a better place to take a day trip to from Melbourne than Marysville.