Emu Expedition Marysville Victoria

06 Dec

We left Wombat cottage to continue our journey, todays destination was the Township of Marysville and the noted Steavenson falls. I specifically wanted to revisit Marysville, a beautiful small township nestled at the base of the Victorian Alpine region, primarily as it was the centre of a great part of my younger days. I would camp out for days and wade the crystal clear mountain streams searching for the hideout of the beautiful yet elusive rainbow trout, wearing waders with pipe in mouth I would wade those streams for hours. My aim was to catch trout, but as my wisdom grew I soon learnt to appreciate the beauty that surrounded my solitude in those high mountains. The sight of a platypus swimming from its nest in the bank and cavorting beneath my legs in those mountain streams, a solitary deer drinking water at the edge combined with the beautiful sounds of the leaves rustling in the winds to the accompaniment of the beautiful birds. Ahh the memories of my younger days came rushing back in nostalgic reverie. The second reason I wanted to revisit Marysville was to see how the township had recovered from the 2009 bushfires that destroyed 90% of the town and claimed 45 lives. I was saddened driving into Marysville as it bore no resemblance to what I remembered in my younger days. After three years, new homes and buildings are still undergoing rebuilding, the town is alive with workmen but the rebuilding reinforced the sentiments of the residents after the fires in that they stated, Marysville will be built, a great testimony to the stamina of those high mountain people. I decided not to take any pics of the town but to keep its memory in a young boys mind as I remembered it, so we headed off out of Marysville to visit the Steavenson waterfalls. Steavenson Falls are one of the tallest in Victoria, with 5 cascades, a total descent of 122 metres, the last having a clear drop of more than 21 metres.

The Steavenson Falls are definitely Marysville’s main claim to tourism fame and have been since European arrival in Marysville.

Residents cut a track to the falls in 1866. Since then the natural environs of the Falls and their approach have not altered dramatically.

The falls and the river were named after John Steavenson who first visited the site of what is now Marysville in 1862. He was carrying out a survey of the area to try to find a new alignment for the road to the gold fields at Woods Point.

The 190ha. Steavenson Falls Scenic Reserve was proclaimed in 1959 to protect the falls and their surroundings.

Steavenson Falls is 350 meters from the car park and is flood lit from dusk until 11.00pm.

The Reserve is jointly administered by the Department of Primary Industry and a Voluntary Committee of Management, who continue to develop and maintain the reserve.

Walks commencing at the falls reserve are – Keppel Walking track – De la Rue lookout, a 1 km walk – Oxlee lookout a 1.5 km walk and Keppel lookout a 4.00 km walk. To the top of the falls return, which is steep takes 40 minutes.

A turbine driven by water drawn from the weir at the base of the falls generates power for the floodlights and the lights along the paths. Funding for these works was obtained by the local Tourist Association from the old Tourism Victoria. The floodlighting was formally turned on by the then Minister for Tourism – The Honourable Murray Byrne MLC. on 3 November 1972.

The water that is drunk in Marysville is drawn from below the falls and is gravity fed to a large Reservoir, (Aub Cuzens Reservoir) which can be seen alongside the road to Keppels Lookout.

Eucalyptus – Dense forest covers the entire Steavenson Falls Reserve in the steep-sided valley of the Steavenson Reserve.

Pure stands of Mountain Ash which regenerated after the disastrous 1939 bushfires grow in sheltered places.

Elsewhere the forest contains a mixture of eucalyptus species, notably Mountain Grey Gum, Messmate and Narrow-leafed Peppermint. Other trees growing in association with the eucalyptus include Myrtle Beech which has small, shiny, dark green leaves and is restricted to areas of high rainfall such as the central highland, Blackwood, one of the wattles, a tall tree with masses of pale yellow flowers, and Silver Wattle.

The sheltered river margins are the ideal environment for Soft and Rough Tree-ferns, their height bearing testimony to their considerable age.

Lyrebirds are often seen in the morning and after rain searching for insects and worms. It’s easy to see where they have been by the prominent scratch marks in the leaves and twigs on the ground.

The Lyrebird is an outstanding mimic and can imitate the calls of many other birds, they can also imitate an axe. or chainsaw. Named for the lyre shape of the males outer tail feathers, they are quite common throughout the Mountain forests of the Central Highlands.

Steavenson Falls is now a major tourist attraction with some 180,000 visitors a year.

The bushfire passed through the area on 7 February 2009, destroying almost all of the man made infrastructure and causing extensive damage to the forest in the area.

Cheers till next time my friends

Aussie Emu


Posted by on December 6, 2012 in Uncategorized


24 responses to “Emu Expedition Marysville Victoria

  1. wonkywizard

    December 14, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    In my student days, I worked in the cotton fields at Wee Waa, but the heat was never above 40C.
    Rustic beauty, if survive the heat.

    • The Emu

      December 15, 2012 at 2:33 am

      Greetings my friend, if you worked in your earlier days in the cotton fields of Wee Waa you certainly have a great background , it was interesting to read your background, are you retired or semiretired from the medical proffession ? Your training and courses plus exams indicate you have a lot of expertise and knowledge to offer, thank you for taking the time to visit my writings and comment.
      I wish you a great and happy Christmas.
      Ian aka Emu

      • wonkywizard

        December 15, 2012 at 7:11 am

        I am still working full time, but taking more frequent holidays. My daughter, a consultant Radiologist, hope I could retire fully in 2014, before her first children enters primary 1.

        • The Emu

          December 15, 2012 at 7:54 am

          You certainly have an interesting background my friend, a family that is medically orientated.
          Tried to see where you are in your profile but cant find your location in Australia.
          Are you anywhere near Mildura Victoria, we are on the border of three states here.
          Wishing you well.

  2. natswans

    December 14, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Sad tale Emu and with so many lives lost to. The Waterfalls are truly beautiful and Lovely place , for peace and quiet. Your memories must be very precious

    Enjoy your Summer

    Sheila 🙂

    Rain here Today after a bitter cold spell.

    • The Emu

      December 15, 2012 at 2:50 am

      Hi Sheila, Saturday arvo here and warm and muggy weather, glad you appreciated my story of my trip down south, was a great trip and look forward to returning next year, have one other blog to post on my trip but at the moment with the weather I am not much motivated to write, just the weather I think, hope you are going to have a great Christmas with family and friends, I wish you much love and happiness, you are a special person.
      Aussie Emu

  3. Androgoth

    December 8, 2012 at 9:15 am

    You must be having a really nice time in that sun Ian,
    here it is brass monkey weather, oh yes and bloody
    freezing brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr but hey it is winter so
    we shouldn’t complain 🙂 This is a great posting with
    a fine array of photographs too, I have enjoyed this 🙂

    I never get updates
    so I am sorry for my late visit 😦


    • The Emu

      December 8, 2012 at 10:58 am

      40 degrees here today mate and its not into summer quite yet, sometimes it gets into the 47, 48 range.
      Glad you enjoyed that blog Androgoth and the pics, my photography skills still need fine tuning.
      Keep the fire burning Androgoth as it sounds like its a bloody cold winter you are having.

  4. Red

    December 7, 2012 at 1:56 am

    Beautiful shots of the falls. What is the aerial picture?

    • The Emu

      December 7, 2012 at 2:14 am

      Hi Red , the aerial shot is of the burnt out town after the bushfires.

      • Red

        December 7, 2012 at 2:17 am

        Not much left.

        • The Emu

          December 8, 2012 at 8:09 am

          Definitely not much of the old town remains Red, but heartwarming to see the enthusiasm of the locals in rebuilding their beautiful Alpine town
          Wishing you well my friend.

  5. appletonavenue

    December 6, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Sorry your return trip to Marysville was somewhat disappointing. Are they nearly done rebuilding the town after 3 years?

    • The Emu

      December 8, 2012 at 10:49 am

      Disappointing in one respect but was great to see and feel the enthusiasm of the residents in rebuilding their town
      Thanks for the visit and wish you well my friend.

  6. cat

    December 6, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    I love the pics … nature can be cruel, but also so very beautiful … lucky you … it’s summer in Australia right now … we had it desperately cold today and ++ snow … there’s some dandy ice fishing on the lake though …

    • The Emu

      December 8, 2012 at 9:51 am

      Hi Cat, great to hear from you, that ice fishing sounds fantastic, would love to try it.
      Do you cut a whole in the ice ? or how is it done, maybe a blowtorch.
      40 degrees here today and bloody hot and summer hasn;t really arrived yet.
      Keep smiling girl.

  7. Sue Dreamwalker

    December 6, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Emu, its been wonderful to trace your steps with you…. A wise choice not to take photos of the town and remember it as it was…. Love the waterfall…. and was very interested in how the water generated the flood lights and how the water was pumped back to the reservoir….. Catching up again with your travels my friend… working my way back down your track.. 🙂

    • The Emu

      December 8, 2012 at 9:45 am

      Always a pleasure to find you in my space Sue and you always appreciate and leave lovely comments on my space.
      I love writing of my experiences and memories from the past, started out as a small diary for my kids but think that now its grown a bit.
      Its a hotch potch of past, present and maybe a bit of hopes and dreams in my twilight years.
      Keep smiling girl.

  8. prenin

    December 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Beautiful pictures Ian.

    So sad that so much was lost and so many lives with it.

    God Bless my friend.


    • The Emu

      December 8, 2012 at 6:53 am

      Thanks Prenin, glad you appreciate my efforts in photography.
      Hot bloody day here, bloody hot , temperature 40 degrees and its not into the hot season yet.
      Cheers mate

  9. Colline

    December 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Good to hear that the area has been rebuilt after the destruction of the fire. It is sad, though, that years of history and memories have been destroyed as well.
    The falls look beautiful – and looks like a place to visit when you want some quiet 🙂

    • The Emu

      December 8, 2012 at 6:50 am

      The falls were a relaxing place Colline, a serene setting to contemplate the damage that occured there a few years ago, yet a place to witness the rebirth of the forests and the township.
      Hot summer day here with the temperature 40 degrees, and we are not really into the hot season.
      Wishing you well my friend.

      • Colline

        December 8, 2012 at 11:55 am

        I do not envy you that heat! Take care.

        • The Emu

          December 10, 2012 at 9:24 pm

          Good morning Colline, thank you for your visit, we get used to our hot summers here, what we have to be aware of is bushfires, as this time of the year is when our dry country becomes most vulnerable.


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