Staying at Woodlands Rainforest Retreat, Narbethong, gave us quick access to the surrounding areas of Marysville Victoria and Healesville, as it’s around halfway between both towns. The towns are linked by The Black Spur Road and could easily be argued as one of Victoria’s, if not Australia’s best drives, as it winds through a beautiful rainforest displaying tall, straight trees and ferns.
We hired a car in Melbourne so we could see all that Marysville and Healesville had to offer and we weren’t disappointed.
With check in completed and tummies rumbling, we headed for Marysville for a bite to eat. Marysville had been completely wiped out in severe bushfires on 7th February 2009, now known as Black Saturday. The tiny population of 500 were 45 less when the fire ended, with only a few homes and businesses spared. Pale white trees dot the landscape, unable to recover and serve as a reminder of the devastation and carnage the fire left in its wake. You can see them as the backdrop in the image below.
Just as you can’t keep a good man or woman down, not can’t you keep a community down and Marysville is well on its way to reviving and regenerating. Part of the revival process has been new buildings and it’s in one of them where we enjoyed a light snack, a cold cider, and glass of wine.
We dined at the Radius Bar & Grill, part of the Vibe Hotel that had recently opened. Some of the food we enjoyed and other parts of our meal was a little ho-hum.
On our way back to Woodlands, we decided we’d call into Marysville Trout & Salmon Farms to try our hand at catching our dinner. I’d have gladly supplied you the details and written a review, however, with the reception we received from what we thought to be the owner (and this was later confirmed he was) we turned and walked out!
Suffice to say being asked “Who the hell do we think we are?” and “Where do we think we were going?” as we attempted to walk through the small area that may have been a shop or reception, wasn’t the type of reception that is worthy of our tourism dollars. I actually heard myself apologizing and offering an explanation until we were told that “He was the owner and would decide who was welcome” and probably other comments that we didn’t hear, as we’d left!
An easy hour’s drive from Narbethong and you will have reached Lake Eildon. The lake, dammed at the commencement of the 1950’s, is surrounded by national parks and is a great destination to leave the city life behind, to relax and explore.
Apart from the obvious water sports of skiing and fishing, Lake Eildon is also a haven for houseboats, with its 530 km’s (330 miles) of shoreline, it could be deemed the houseboat capital of Australia with the 700+ houseboats that live there, I don’t think I’ve seen so many houseboats in one area!
Camping, bush hiking, and swimming can be enjoyed at Lake Eildon too, or simply doing nothing other than drinking in the beautiful scenery.
Buxton Trout and Salmon Farm
Not to be put off by the previous day’s experience, we pulled up in the car park of the Buxton Trout and Salmon Farm determined to catch dinner! The contrast couldn’t have been more different and we were welcomed, helped, given heaps of tips and hints to catch a salmon or trout.
My excitement waned fairly quickly as sometimes I can have the attention span of a fly, I quickly handed my rod over to Kevin after 10 minutes, with him then telling me to “stand aside” and he would catch my dinner. 🙂
…of course he did and I did think I’d caught it all on video, well you can guess the story, I didn’t! I hadn’t pressed the button to record properly, pressing it to what I thought was to finish the video only captured some very boring shots of the grass, which I won’t bore you with!
It get’s worse, as I thought I’d captured the great catch on video, I didn’t take a photo until it was cooked and then that didn’t look very appealing so apart from the shot below, you’ll just have to trust my story…at least, I didn’t say it was HUGE and then got away!
Have you been to Marysville Victoria, what did you do and see?