Winding through the rainforest, past tall trees and ferns, with the car windows down; this is Victoria’s best drive, perhaps Australia’s best drive. This is the Black Spur, 30 kilometres of road between Healesville and Marysville.
Follow the Maroondah Highway out of Healesville and embark on your drive through the world famous Black Spur. Dipping and curving around each corner, the drive will take you deeper into the lush rainforests. Even on the brightest summer’s day the light is muted from the towering canopy 100 metres overhead, the air is warm and damp, and huge ferns line the roadside. I can imagine Jurassic Park dinosaurs wandering around the depths of the forest, hiding behind the foliage.
The drive isn’t the only famous encounter you’ll have that day. You’ll be passing the world’s tallest flowering trees – the eucalyptus regnans – standing tall, proud and on guard protecting the rest of the forest.
If you want to savour your Black Spur experience, consider spending the night in Narbethong’s Black Spur Inn. Having recently refurbished the rooms, the Inn offers high quality accommodation, many with views over the gardens and river at the back of the property. The Black Spur Inn also offers great food, both traditional and non-traditional pub dishes, influenced by the seasonal produce available. Speak with your waiter about pairing your meal with a local beer or wine.
Come the summer months or long weekends the road is populated with motorbike riders, the sweeping corners offering an idyllic ride for them, so it’s important to be extra vigilant.
What to see in Healesville
Healesville’s growing foodie scene, as well as being located at the foot of the Yarra Valley, sees the town’s popularity continuing to grow; and with plenty to do it’s a great day trip for both children and adults alike.
Meet some of Australia’s most popular animals at Healesville Sanctuary Wildlife Park and see Tasmanian devils, lyrebirds, wombats, koalas and even hand feed kangaroos! You can even watch a performance of ‘Spirits of the Sky’ and see Australia’s majestic birds of prey and colourful parrots perform.
If you can tear yourself away from Healesville Sanctuary, the historic Yarra Valley Railway offers 40 minute journeys through the Yarra Valley aboard a heritage train. It’s also a great chance to see kangaroos in the wild!
No trip to Healesville would be complete without tasting the local produce – food AND wine!
In the heart of Healesville’s food and wine precinct, Innocent Bystander’s Cellar Door produces some of the best local food. Try their woodfire pizzas accompanied by a sweet wine, though enjoying a drop of their delicious Moscato is also thoroughly encouraged.
For those nursing a sweet tooth, be sure to stop at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery or, for those looking for consistently good food, the cosy atmosphere at The Healesville Hotel is a top choice.
What to see in Marysville
The quaint town of Marysville is reviving and thriving after the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires that claimed much of the town.
Marysville is a town perfect for travellers on any budget with Tower Motel offering boutique budget friendly accommodation, Vibe Hotels opening a property in late 2014, and Marysville Garden Cottages offering luxury accommodation. Best of all, all of these properties are on the cities main street, a short walk away from cafes and stores.
Road trips to Marysville can be done at any time of year with bushwalking and mountain bike trails available. Come winter you’re in for a treat as Lake Mountain Alpine Resort, a 10 minute drive from the town, is the closest town to Melbourne where you’ll find snow beginning each year on the June long weekend!
While in Marysville be sure to visit Bruno’s Art & Sculpture Garden, visit Steavenson Falls, and make a stop at the Old-style Lolly Shop!
30 minutes. That’s all you need to drive Victoria’s best drive, perhaps Australia’s best drive, but why not make a trip of it? There’s plenty to see in Marysville, Healesville and if you LoVe Drives, perhaps the Black Spur drive is the perfect day trip or weekend getaway for you.
Now it’s over to you:
Where is the best drive you’ve taken?
This post was created with the support of Shell Australia.
All thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own.
Photo’s courtesy of Tourism Victoria (koala photo) and Lake Mountain Alpine Resort (snow play photo).
All other photos are taken and owned by Nicole Smith.