There are many easy day trips around Melbourne that you can build into your Australia itinerary. On my last trip, I explored more of Victoria and was impressed with Marysville. Located 130 km north Easst of Melbourne, it’s a must-see when exploring the Yarra Ranges National Park.
How to get from Melbourne to Marysville
It’s a 2-hour drive, which you can do on a day trip from Melbourne. I would combine it with a trip to the Dandenong Ranges, explore the Yarra Valley, stop at Healesville and 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 from Melbourne to Sydney on the coastal drive.
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Facts about Marysville 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 Victoria. Over the years, the hard-working and passionate community rebuilt the town and its surrounding area to recover this place’s splendour.
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 around Marysville. The 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 famous Lake Mountain offers over 30 km of fantastic cross-country ski trails, toboggan slopes, and more winter attractions.
Here are our picks for the things to do on a day trip to Marysville from Melbourne.
1. Steavenson Waterfalls
The main reason tourists visit Marysville is Steavenson Falls, the top attraction. We drove to the car park (parking is 3 dollars) and walked the 700 meters trail to the viewing platform and then to the 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 a relaxed and more peaceful experience, plan a weekday trip to Steavenson Falls.
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 the no. 1 attraction in this town. Bruno is a great artist with a witty personality and is 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; the Black Saturday bushfire damaged most artworks 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 artwork and memorabilia. Bruno often greets visitors, and it was a pleasure to meet him.
3. Gallipoli Park
At the town centre’s end, Gallipoli park lies next to the Marysville Visitor’s Centre. I walked 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 foxes 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 at the nearby picnic and BBQ. There are also fishing spots along the river.
4. Cafe Strip
Marysville has got some lovely cafes with terraces lining up on 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 accommodations from guest houses, cottages, caravan parks, camping spots and the vibe hotel.
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How to plan a day trip from Melbourne to Marysville
If you plan to travel from Melbourne to Marysville, here is a list of travel resources we recommend using.
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First published in 2018, last updated in Jan 2023