Revisiting Marysville

Years ago, I drove up to Marysville, situated in the Yarra Valley, two hours north-east of Melbourne. It was a very pretty place then, but was caught up in the devastating bush fires of February 2009. Forty-per-cent of the Murrindindi Shire, of which Marysville is part, was burned, with the loss of 101 lives, and the destruction of  homes, properties, animals and wildlife. The day the fire started, 7th February, is now known as Black Saturday.

I hadn’t been able to face going back but a month ago, it being ten years since then, I decided to see how the town was fairing now.

The main street of Marysville, green again.

The Steavenson River runs through the town

A memorial has been created as a space to reflect on all the ways the community and landscape were affected. Three pathways lead to a central gathering space.

A curved inscription wall has words and images that tell the story of the February 2009 events.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 1000 Hands Project was designed for residents of the district, holiday-home owners, family and friends. They were invited to make an impression of their hands in clay. The tiles formed an installation, symbolising everyone working together to rebuild their towns. 

It’s a lovely space – very moving. I wandered around for awhile, then headed up to Steavenson Falls.

The walk from the car park to Steavenson Falls.
Steavenson Falls

I loved this sign. I’d never given thought (science not being my best subject at school) to the fact that between earth and earth’s atmosphere, the amount of water remains constant. There is never a drop more, never a drop less. This is a story of circular infinity, of a planet birthing itself.

I wasn’t so sure about this sign. I was comfortable enough with the ‘Gentle hills’ on the way down, but coming back up nearly killed me.

It was a beautiful walk, though, through forests of Mountain Ash and along the Steavenson River.

I wasn’t keen on doing the long drive home that late in the day, so I stayed overnight at the Black Spur Inn at Narbethong, not far from Marysville.

I should have opted to stay in the hotel rather than the seemingly forgotten-about cabins miles away down the back yard, but you don’t know these things until it’s too late. Still, it was nice to be surrounded the huge trees and plenty of warbling magpies.

A glass of red in the sunshine finished the day.

23 thoughts on “Revisiting Marysville

  1. Beautiful to see communities coming together in times of trouble. I know it was both heart-wrenching and inspiring to see how our nearby town of Tathra rallied together after the recent bushfires there.

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  2. Looks like a lovely day out. The falls are splendid. We visited Yellowstone Park a few years after the big fires and it was refreshing to see how things were renewing themselves.

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  3. What a lovely day you had. Marysville is beautiful again (we were up there only recently) but I don’t think anyone will ever forget those bushfires. Have a great weekend.

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  4. janesmudgeegarden

    Such a pretty town: it’s easy to understand why people want to live there. I think the memorials are very touching in their simplicity and message. Thanks for the tour of a place I know about, but have only ever seen in disastrous photos.

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  5. So inspiring to read about the regeneration in the Marysville area Coral – I remember seeing the terrible devastation from the bush fires on the news coverage. A poignant tribute. Steavenson Falls looks a beautiful area. Amazing how green it is again 🙂

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  6. Suzanne Byrne

    I’ve resolved once again to get to Marysville and surrounds ( this year!) Your photos evoke serenity, sadness, interest and awe; what a beautiful place!

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