Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
There is an incredible amount of beauty hidden behind the gravel road called the Lady Talbot Drive that includes several waterfalls, rain forests, and Myrtle Beech forest. I was blown away by the sheer purity of this natural wonderland that seems untouched and underutilised by tourists visiting Marysville.
We visited on a Sunday, a day that should be the most popular with day visitors and we only encountered 2 couples. I'm not sure if people don't venture out of the town because they are on a tight schedule to complete the Yarra Valley or they are unaware of the treasures to be found just outside of town.
Marysville has been slowly rebuilding after the devastating bushfires in 2009 that burnt out most of the town. Many locals were unable to evacuate due to the speed at which the fire descended on the town. The 'fortunate' people made it to the oval where they were surrounded by the flames. The people of Marysville are a strong and resilient people, with most of the survivors wanting to rebuild, stand strong and forget about that tragic day that took their town, their houses and their friends. Unfortunately, permits to rebuild in a bushfire prone area are shrouded in red tape and bureaucracy, this process has been the hardest of all for most.
Each time we visit Marysville we expect to see more progress and it's slowly coming along but the time it's taking seems painstakingly slow for residents.
The great thing about Marysville is that it will survive and people will continue to visit. There is so much to love about this town, that it's no wonder people are prepared to rebuild and regrow like the trees.
The Lady Talbot Drive is one of those great things about Marysville, the walks along the drive include Phantom Falls, Keppel Falls, Taggerty Cascades and The Beeches, along with many picnic spots beside the river. Although many of the mountains along this road have been burnt out, the infrastructure on the walks are first class and the surrounds as you can see by the pictures are breathtaking.
First up for us was the Phantom Falls, a short steep walk at 1.6 km return with two bridges across the river that offer great views. The track is well marked, a little overgrown in sections and a few obstacles to get over in the form of a fallen tree, but it just adds to the excitement for the children.
Up the hill a little further we came the Keppel Falls Track, which we decided to do on the way back but ran out of time, we did get this photo though at the Keppel Falls Lookout at the roadside. The Keppel Falls walk is 2km and is listed as short and steep.
We drove further along and came to an obstacle in the road that we were lucky enough to be able to squeeze through.
We decided to go to the very top walk at The Beeches so then we could work our way back to the other walking trails. The Beeches car park is the only one with toilet facilities, but all have good parking bays that are well sign posted. The Beeches walk is a 4km loop that can be started at the Taggerty Cascades car park or at The Beeches car park and it incorporates both walks in the one circuit.
Starting from the top car park and going towards Taggerty river on the east side was overgrown and not particularly scenic and had big fallen trees to navigate over, The track is visible but fairly unused, mostly uphill and a little slippery in the constant drizzle.
When you start to descend into the gully and cross a floating platform the scenery changes instantly from Mountain Ash forest into what is a temperate rain forest of Myrtle Beech and beautiful and lush tree ferns with babbling water increasing in sound the deeper you walk in. In an instant I was struck by the beauty of the roaring river and the moss covered rocks under a canopy of lush ferns and Beech trees, this part of the track is completely perfect and well looked after. Around each corner the scenery just kept getting better, I'm sure there must be fairies and pixies that come out when no one is watching, it has that fairy tale feel.
If you're short on time I would recommend parking at the Cascades and and doing a short walk on either side of the road, this is where all the scenery is located and great walking tracks. Just don't forget to take a camera.