Before the Fires, This Small Town in Australia Was a Honeymooner’s Paradise
By Anthony Galasso
Established as a stopping point on Australia’s Yarra Track in the late 1800s, Marysville, Victoria grew into a thriving tourist destination by the 1920s. The small town promoted fern gullies, amazing views and walking trails to Steavenson Falls.
Filled with lush nature and sweet serenity, Marysville’s quickly became a hotspot for honeymooners escaping to do what lovers do best. When these newlyweds weren’t busy celebrating their nuptials at any of the twelve guesthouses in town, they enjoyed “visiting mills, going horse-riding and walking to the numerous beauty spots,” according to MarysvilleTourism.com.
As the years went by, Marysville was threatened by a series of bushfires.
In 1939, the Black Friday bushfires swept through the town, crossing from Mt. Gorden to Mount Margeret. Fortunately for the townsfolk of Marysville, only one house could be claimed a casualty.
In 1983, Marysville was threatened once again as the Ash Wednesday bushfires burnt around the town. The town saw great fortune once again, as the fire failed to cause any damage to the town.
That said, as they say, everything happens in threes.
It wouldn’t be until February 7, 2009 that the town’s luck would go up in flames.
The Black Saturday bushfires – and yes, there seems to be a theme to all of these names – destroyed most of Marysville, including the school and police station, as well as all twelve of the aforementioned guesthouses where things heated up between honeymooners.
According to ABC.net.au, this fire was the result of a “break in an electrical conductor on a power pole near the Murrindindi Saw Mill.” As a result, the entire town was considered a crime scene, leading to a $300 million settlement for the victims.
Today, Marysville has rebuilt itself to resemble its former self, containing cafes, art galleries, shops and restaurants. It’s near Australia’s Lake Mountain ski resort, allowing the town to double or even triple in population during the ski season.
Throughout the summer months, Marysville continues to enjoy tourists who visit simply for the lush nature and sweet serenity its surroundings provide. However, nestled between the Black Spur and the Reefton Spur, two of Victoria’s best motorcycling roads, Marysville is also frequented by avid motorcyclists passing through.