Weekend Gateway Melbourne, Victoria
The year 2020 has been a desolate year for travellers. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, travelling seemed a distant dream. However, towards the end of 2020, Australia had managed to control the virus to a suitable extent and travel within the state of Victoria was allowed. As soon as this news was issued, everyone started planning day trips or weekend trips to various towns within Victoria and I was no exception. December is a summer month in this part of the world and considering the weather, we finalised a place called Buxton, 104 km North-East of Melbourne. We were four of us, my cousin’s family and I. In no time, we packed our bags and were all set for a nice 2 hrs drive from Melbourne city to Buxton for a weekend gateway.
We started our drive after breakfast and soon left the city roads behind and saw the hills at the horizon and drove through curvy roads. The holiday feeling was slowly creeping into us! After an hour and a bit, we reached Healesville. It is a beautiful town on the way to Buxton where we decided to break for lunch. After having a nice Asian lunch, we explored the surrounding boutique shops, cafes and markets. We did our grocery here so that we can reach Buxton and relax for the rest of the day. We had plans to cook in our Airbnb homestay in Buxton.
The journey from Healesville to Buxton was picturesque, serene and through winding roads up the hill. The drive was beautiful with tall ferns and eucalyptus trees on both sides and mountains over the horizon. We crossed a beautiful lake while exiting Healesville and soon were amidst the rain forests. The roads turned through the hills and it started to drizzle. The wind, the rain, the roads and the sky together felt no less than an experience we have been craving all through the year. Someone as if had painted a scenery and we were driving through it! It was a blissful experience!
It took us little less than an hour to reach Buxton from Healesville. Buxton is a small countryside town with stretches of farmland and grazing animals, hills, cute little houses and narrow pathways across lush greenery. We left the main road and drove through a narrow pathway to reach our destination. It was a beautiful quaint house by the Steavenson river called “Rivers Edge”.
The hosts for our stay were beautiful cockatoos and colourful parrots. They greeted us with their loud and funny screams and didn’t hesitate to share a cuppa with us! The thin stream of the Steavenson river behind our stay and the sound of flowing water felt peaceful. There was a gated bridge as well on the river stream, it looked very picturesque. The house was cosy and soon we all took a nap to rejuvenate us for the evening.
Evenings fall sooner in the hills and it was dark really quick for a Summer day. We were cooking lamb curry for dinner and having philosophical conversations over a drink. The best part of holidays is the relaxation of the mind and the body so that it can self-heal. It’s very necessary to let our mind and body relax, so that when we are back to the grind, we can pick up the pace again. It’s imperative to slow down, breathe and let things be.
After a sumptuous dinner, we took a brisk stroll in our backyard and heard the river stream flow in its own rhythm…almost making its own music. It was surreal. The night was quiet, beautiful and the stars seemed to have formed a celestial net above us. The silence everywhere was intimidating for city dwellers like us, but at the same time it felt magical!
Mornings are so beautiful in the countryside. After our morning cuppa with our beautiful host birds, we got ready and headed off to the Stevenson Falls in Marysville, which was a 20 mins scenic drive from Buxton. The tall fern trees and the stretches of farmland on both side of the road, made us all sit in the car silently as we were absorbed in the mystic creation of Nature. A blissful moment of joy!
Soon we reached the Steavenson falls. The falls is really whopping and picturesque. After we parked our car, it was a small hike up to the waterfalls and we could hear the gushing sound of water as we walked up. Whenever I visit any waterfall, I make sure I touch the water, even if it freezes my fingers and this one was no exception. The water was ice cold even in summer but was crystal clear and soothing. We clicked lot of pictures and even video-called our family back in India so that they can virtually share our experience and happiness!
It was lunch time, so we drove down to Marysville from the waterfalls and had fish and chips in the beautiful Marysville town. The Steavenson falls is just a 10mins drive from the Marysville town. The town had boutique shops and amazing cafes with the most delicious pies. There was a quaint little shop that attracted me. As I walked inside that shop, I realised it was actually a post office! The old lady at the counter was really nice and told us that the Steavenson falls is the tallest waterfalls in Victoria. She also mentioned how the Winter months in Marysville get really cold and often experience snow. We bought a beautiful scarf from the post office and bid adieu. I have always experienced very warm hospitality from the locals in the countryside. They are so graceful in their manners and welcoming in their spirits. There is nothing more engaging than knowing about a place from a local, no google can every tell you such stories!
My First Fishing Experience
What’s travel without food! From Marysville, we went to the Buxton Trout and Salmon firm. It was a fishing farm with different sized fishponds full of Trouts and Salmons. The fishing gears are provided by the farm and whatever fish you catch, you can purchase that. The farm staff will clean and cut the fish for you and pack it nicely.
Considering this was my first fishing experience in Australia, I was very excited! The fishponds we full of fishes and every time I threw some fish food, all the fishes jumped up to grab them! I took some shots with my camera and then it was my turn to fish! After a few failed attempts, I did catch a trout and managed to get the jumping trout into a bucket. Within seconds, the trout started bleeding and the bucket was full of blood =( I wasn’t sure if this was my idea of fun and hence gave up on further attempts and resorted to my camera instead. My cousin and my nephew caught a big Salmon and we got it home for dinner. While I had fun capturing moments with my camera, I wasn’t sure if capturing an innocent fish with a sharp hook was fun…but either way, we had an exciting day and soon headed back to our holiday home. It started raining.
A Relaxing Evening
After a refreshing day of hike, listening to the gushing water from the falls, feeling the chill of the cold water and the thrill of fishing, we were back to our cosy abode with the birds! It had started raining and the nature looked more beautiful and greener than ever. I have heard people complaining about the rains when they are on a holiday, but I feel that the rain adds that extra bit of beauty. When it rains, it’s as if you can see the place in a different canvas, in a new form and also experience a flavour of the season. The bridge behind our stay looked more beautiful in the rain as we enjoyed our evening cuppa watching the rain.
We all had sneaked in a power nap and now were all excited to grill the Salmon which we so efficiently caught! Surprisingly, my young nephew turned out to be an expert chef and guided us with the cooking. We listened to some good music, heard the rains outside and enjoyed a family time while the Salmon looked delicious. We also grilled some veggies as side to compliment the pan-fried Salmon. We all sat together and had a very satiating dinner to treat the epicurean inside us. We kept reminiscing the beautiful moments and memories of the trip and felt happy and peaceful at heart. It is important that wherever you go, you should travel with all your heart! The trip then becomes memorable for a lifetime. We didn’t want the night to be over, however, we all were sleepy and hit the bed.
The next day, after breakfast we bid a fond goodbye to our quaint little abode in Buxton and of course our lovely hosts, the birds! The drive back home was quiet, we all were probably cherishing the moments and thinking of the next holiday destination!
It had been a year since we were experiencing the pandemic and this gateway was much needed. The quietness and serenity of Buxton made our minds calm and gave us the hope that this too shall pass! Sometimes when we are far away from the city’s commotion and take a break from our daily regime, we have clearer thoughts and can experience the calmness within. Buxton was a perfect spot where nature had embraced us with its simplicity and charm!
Marysville on the other hand was quaint and picturesque which made us appreciate the things we have and the bonds we share. Personally, I love waterfalls, it makes me calm even though the water gushes down from the hills to the earth with so much pace, it teaches me to keep moving and not let anything stop me. Also, the warmth of the locals in Buxton and Marysville made our trip comforting and fuller. A simple smile can create wonders!
Thank you, Buxton and Marysville, for giving us hope and positivity and a heart full of memories to cherish, until next time!