The areas around Marysville and the Yarra Ranges National Park contain many bushwalking tracks and lookouts. A number of the tracks follow the paths of the early timber tramways that were built to transport mighty Mountain Ash logs to the timber mills.
In 2009, the Black Saturday bushfires raced across much of Victoria but some of the worst firestorms were located in the Yarra Valley, up through the Kinglake area and across the ranges to the east, engulfing the towns of Yarra Glen, Marysville and more. Entire forests were burned to the ground leaving almost nothing alive.
In less than a decade the sheer volume and lushness of the re-growth is simply amazing. With no canopy in the forests, the young saplings, undergrowth and wildflowers are flourishing. So while the views along the roads and bush tracks may have changed, they are still magnificent.
Lady Talbot Drive
This scenic drive is just a few minutes out of Marysville off Woods Point Road. Lady Talbot was the wife of the Governor of Victoria from 1903 to 1908, Sir Reginald Talbot. There are several popular attractions along this drive.
Phantom Falls and Keppels Falls are on the Taggerty River. In the spring the river flows swiftly with melting snow from the ridges above. Keppel Falls Lookout offers a lovely view over the Taggerty River Valley. Further up the road you will find The Beeches Rainforest Walk where you can spend an hour or so following the 4km circuit though an area of ancient rainforest. Beyond this point, the road is only accessible for 2WD vehicles in warmer weather.
Marysville State Forest
The forest comes right to the edges of the Marysville in several places. Just north of the town along the Buxton Road you will find the Trestle Track and the Michaeldene Track. These walks intersect with other tracks so you can create your own route. Take in the views from Red Hill, discover the site of a former trestle bridge and tramway and make a wish at the ‘Wishing Well’ natural spring.
Head east of town along Paradise Plains Road then drive up to the Mopoke View Lookout and Keppel Lookout for views over Marysville and the valley beyond.
Steavenson Falls Reserve
Take Falls Road out of Marysville and drive for 3km to the Steavenson Falls carpark. You can also walk here by following the Tree Fern Gully Trail.
From the carpark an easy 700 m walk brings you to one of the state’s highest waterfalls. The Steavenson River plunges straight down an 84 m drop and then cascades over rocks on its way down to the valley. These falls were one of the earliest tourist attractions in the area when in the 1920’s couples from Melbourne would come to Marysville for their honeymoon.
Cambarville Historic Township
This long-gone settlement is now remembered at a clearing near the Cambarville picnic area off the Marysville-Woods Point Road. The town was established around a saw mill and signs of the industry can still be seen in the stumps of felled trees and the relics of houses nearby.
From the picnic ground you can wander through the trails to see the historic trees and regenerating forest. The Big Culvert is an intricate granite arch that was built beneath the Woods Point Road where thousands of men walked along the ‘Yarra Track’ to seek their fortunes at the goldfields.
There are countless other walks, picnic spots and camping grounds within easy access from Marysville. You could stretch your legs on a 6 hr circuit walk from Dom Dom Saddle to the peak of Mount Dom Dom and back.
North of Marysville in the Goulburn Valley you can pick any part of the Great Victorian Rail Trail and follow the path of the old stream railway.
You can also explore the Toolangi State Forest, the Maroondah Reservoir, Donnelly’s Weir, Lake Mountain Alpine Reserve and the Upper Yarra Reservoir.
Note that in the winter months, some of these roads and tracks may be closed. For more information visit the Marysville Tourist Information Centre or Parks Victoria websites. If you have a smartphone you can download the FREE Visit Marysville App for updates and maps of the region.