Tag Archives: Marysville

Fernshaw to Dom Dom Saddle return walk

For a great day walk with ups and downs to stretch the legs, about an hour out of Melbourne, the walk from Fernshaw to Dom Dom Saddle and back in the Yarra Ranges is well worth a look.

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Starting at the Fernshaw picnic ground beside the Watts River just outside Healesville on the way to Marysville, the track is well trodden and easy to follow. Although in some places large trees have come down across it after what must have been a massive blow so there’s a bit of scrambling required to get over them and through tangles of smashed limbs and branches.

The first part of the walk is pretty flat and winds through tree ferns and tall, straight mountain ash. You can hear the river somewhere amongst the trees. You then climb up and down a couple of steep, forested ridges to reach Dom Dom Saddle, another nice picnic area on the way to Marysville.

At about 20km long, the walk is a decent one for some huffing and puffing exercise and time out among the trees.

And we made it back to the car in time to stop off at Tarra Warra winery for some wine tasting on the way home. That’s one of the best bits about walking in the Yarra Ranges, the cellar doors to visit in the Yarra Valley on the way home.

Up and down Lake Mountain

I like climbing. All kinds – rock climbing, hiking up mountains and while riding road and mountain bikes.

With rock climbing it’s as much the mental challenge as physical one of getting to the top of a wall using the right holds and moves.

With hiking it’s the slow, methodical plodding of putting one foot in front of the other with a pack on. That and the desire to see what’s on the other side.

With riding, it’s the rhythmic grind of keeping the pedals turning.

Lately I’ve been on the road bike doing a few climbs out of Melbourne.

Mt Donna Buang is a favourite, as is Lake Mountain.

A friend and I recently did Lake Mountain, on the outskirts of Marysville, a town that was almost completely wiped out by bushfires in 2009.

While the town has been rebuilt, the landscape around it still bears the scars of the fire. The forest is slowly regenerating but the dead, charred trunks of trees stand like tall matchsticks across the hillsides. It’s a sad sight because the forest pre fires must have been spectacular.

It’s nice ride to the top of Lake Mountain, where there’s a café and other facilities for winter when it snows. The road is a steep climb out of Marysville before it levels off to a relatively gentle gradient.

The fun part is going down and hitting some pretty impressive, probably stupid, speeds, as this screen grab from my activity app shows – 79.8km/h.IMG_1541

Anyway, here’s to hill climbs, and the way back down.

A beech walk in the hills

It wasn’t a sandy beach walk for us when we went up to explore some trails around Marysville, a country town around two hours drive east of Melbourne.

Instead, it was a beech walk of the tree variety that drew us out into the crisp, clean mountain air.

The Beeches is a nice, easy rainforest circuit walk that takes you along the swiftly flowing Taggerty River and its roaring waterfalls and cascades.

Cascades on the Taggerty River

Cascades on the Taggerty River

It was a sunny day the day we went but we still ended up getting pretty damp as overgrown sections of the track were still wet from rain the day before.

It’s amazing how quickly your pants become soaked when pushing through high grass that looks as if it’s got just a few droplets of water on it. All those droplets add up.

Overgrown section of the trail

Overgrown section of the trail

Ah well, first world problems.

Bushfires went through the area five years ago and the bush is still regrowing. Dead tree trunks loom over the regrowth, a sad reminder of what was once there.

Thankfully the rainforest around the river was obviously too damp for the fires to take hold there and the trees and ferns around it were spared.

The town of Marysville was almost wiped out by the fires but the community is steadily rebuilding.

The bakery is a reliable place for lunch and there are cafes in town too.