There many easy days trips around Melbourne that you can build into your Australia itinerary. On my last trip, I have explored more of Victoria and was truly impressed with this region. One of the places I liked most is Marysville. Located 130 km northeast of Melbourne, it’s a key stopping point when exploring the Yarra Ranges National Park.
A few facts about Marysville in Victoria
Marysville was one of the unlucky towns in the Yarra Ranges that was hit by the devastating bushfire in 2009, what Australians sadly recall as the “Black Saturday Bushfire“, a terrible bushfire that destroyed the region where 173 people died, of which 45 in Marysville. Over the years, the hard-working and passionate community rebuilt the town and its surrounding area to recover this place’s splendour. I heard about this touching story from my friends who showed me this place.
How to get from Melbourne to Marysville
It’s a 2-hour-drive from Melbourne. The best way to get there is to hire a car in Melbourne. Ideally, I would plan a road trip to visit the Dandenong Ranges, explore the Yarra Valley, stop at Healesville and from there drive 40 minutes to Marysville along the Black Spur, a beautiful scenic drive that winds through the forest with dense vegetation and beautiful fern trees.
I went to Marysville on a day trip, but it’s also a great weekend getaway from Melbourne or a stopover when going from Melbourne to Sydney on the coastal drive.
Best Things to do in Marysville
Marysville is a popular holiday destination among families with kids, well-known for the Steavenson Falls and the variety of outdoor attractions. The whole Yarra Valley region nearby is a paradise for nature lovers offering many walking and biking tracks with terrific panorama views from lookouts. In winter, Melbourne is the nearest place to go skiing. The popular Lake Mountain offers over 30 km of amazing cross-country ski trails, toboggan slopes, and more winter attraction.
Here are my picks for a summer day trip in Marysville from Melbourne.
1. Steavenson Waterfalls
The main reason tourists visit Marysville is Steavenson Falls, which is the no. 1 attraction. We drove to the car park (parking is 3 dollars) and walked the 700 meters trail to the viewing platform and then to falls base, where you can take photos and shoot videos.
If you prefer, you can walk from town for 40 minutes to the falls, stop at the falls and then continue your walk up to the Keppel Lookout. It’s a long, and at times steep trail, but the summit’s panoramic view is superb.
You can also drive to the lookout. I didn’t go because it was cloudy, but it’s a must-do thing on a clear day. The waterfalls are illuminated until 11 pm, so a late-night visit is also worth it. Beware that it’s a pretty busy place over weekends, among the locals too, so if you want to have a relaxed and more peaceful experience, plan a trip to the Steavenson Falls on weekdays.
2. Bruno’s Art and the Sculpture Garden
I didn’t know about Bruno’s Art and his amazing Sculpture Garden. I love arts, so it was a lovely surprise and possibly no. 1 attraction of this town. Bruno is a great artist with a witty personality, very passionate about art. And his garden is simply amazing, dotted with hundreds of beautiful life-sized terracotta sculptures.
From witches, wizards, elves, goddesses, goblins and many more fairy tales, characters and people inspired Bruno on his journey worldwide. This sculpture garden’s story is also impressive; most of the artworks were damaged by the Black Saturday bushfire in 2009. Bruno was lucky to survive the fire and chose to stay in Marysville to rebuild his beautiful sculpture garden. A few years ago, he reopened it to the public.
There is a small entry fee of 10 dollars on weekends and 5 dollars on weekdays. I highly recommend visiting this place, as it is a unique experience not to miss. The house inside is also filled with artworks and memorabilia. Bruno is often there to greet visitors, and it was a pleasure to meet him.
3. Gallipoli Park
At the town centre’s end, Gallipoli park lies just next to the Marysville Visitor’s Centre. I took a walk around the oval lake, which offers a shaded pathway and relaxing spots to sit and relax. There is also a beautiful playground for kids near the river, with swings, flying fox and more attractions. I also had a flying fox ride, so much fun. Gallipoli is a well-kept park; you can also grab some food to eat at the nearby picnic and BBQ area. There are also fishing spots along the river.
4. Cafe Strip
Marysville has got some lovely cafes with terraces lining up in Murchison Street. I had a gelato in one place right in front of the Visitor Centre. Take your time to stroll through outdoor shops where you can hire any gear and unique shops to browse through.
If you plan to stop over in Marysville, there is a range of accommodation from guest houses, cottages, caravan parks, camping spots and the vibe hotel.
Here are my pics for the best things to in Marysville on a day trip.
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How to organize your day trip from Melbourne to Marysville
If you plan to travel from Melbourne to Marysville, here is a list of travel resources I use to organise all my trips around Australia.
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First published in 2018, last updated in Jan 2021
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