Day 5, Sunday 10th Nov 2013 Whitfield – Marysville
We had a cold night which was quite a contrast to the warm nights at the start of this trip. At breakfast, it is six degrees but bright and sunny. The King River babbles along beside us. Our neighbours show us their brand new Jayco Destiny and we swap a few travelling tips.
Back down in Mansfield the town is busy again this time with folks having Sunday brunch. We have a good coffee and cakes at the Mansfield Produce store. These guys do it well and are just about to take over the Delatite Hotel across the street. That’ll be well worth a visit next time.
The Cathedral Range behind Buxton is completely burnt out from the 2009 fires, it is so scarred that at first, we don’t even recognise what was once such a familiar sight. The drive into Marysville is even eerier as we witness yet more destruction from those fires. The town however has a positive vibe and there is much re-building going on. There are hundreds of vacant blocks with remnant gardens growing back without the houses, resorts, and lodges that once were there. Without the trees, it is now easy to see the topography of the town, how it sits neatly inside a very close ring of high hills and how impossible it must have been to escape the fires. The hills now bear little but the toothpick-like trunks of charred eucalypts.
We check into the Marysville Caravan Park and then walk across the little footbridge. Only the tiny Steavenson River separates us from the town marketplace. It is a lovely sunny afternoon, and the place is busy with day-trippers. The parks and gardens have been newly landscaped and water trickles and gurgles around the flower beds, frogs croak. The civic buildings have been replaced with modern new ones. The town looks bright and shiny, but one cannot help but feel a heavy sadness remembering the horror that occurred here.
As the day-trippers leave, we settle down to read in the sun, there is a slight breeze but we find a sheltered spot behind the van. There are families of ducks quacking about the grassy lawns and English daisies blooming. We count fourteen ducklings in one group. We’re craving a roast and being without an oven we roast two racks of lamb and a few spuds in our large heavy-based roasting pot. We’re so pleased with the results that we name the pot The Bambino. Who needs a Weber Baby Q anyway!
Towing Kms: 172 Kms
2022 Note: Those 2009 bushfires devastated this region and especially Marysville which sits in a cul de sac surrounded by ranges. A location that made the town feel so magical being tucked into the hills was its downfall when the fires came. There was little chance of escape.
That Bambino pot is still in use even though we now have the luxury of an oven. It is perfect for slow-cooked casseroles and bolognaise.