Have you ever stayed in a luxury hotel with your kids and your pet dog? We hadn’t, but now that we have, there is no going back.

We loaded Henry, our golden retriever, into the family wagon with our newborn and 4 year old, and set off to Marysville, Victoria, for our family getaway. Despite the heavy breathing coming from Henry in the back seat, the 1.5hour trip from Melbourne, was surprisingly a breeze.

Nestled in the foothills of Victoria’s Great Dividing Range, Marysville has long been a favourite getaway destination of ours, thanks to its tranquil riverside location, culinary delights, amazing scenery and outdoor adventures.

Whatever the season, you’re sure to be spellbound by the breathtaking drive along the Black Spur with the towering mountain ash, dense rainforest and lush green tree ferns lining the winding roads. The Black Spur is considered to be one of the best scenic drives in Victoria.

Upon arrival at our hotel – Vibe Marysville, we were surprised to hear we could walk our rather large golden retriever through the main foyer of this luxury hotel into an elevator and right into our hotel room! Stifling giggles and all pretending we had done this many a time before, we closed the door to our room and fell in a heap of laughter!

Here we were in a 4 star hotel lapping it up (no pun intended). Henry was pleased to see he was given dog treats, a plush dog bed, food and water bowls and a toy!

After settling in, we set off for dinner at the Vibe Hotel’s Radius Bar & Grill. This lively and stylish venue had a cozy fire-pit with beanbags outside and is perfect for a family dinner with absolutely superb menu choices including the kids’ meatball & penne pasta which was a huge hit! We spoiled ourselves with a well deserved pinot noir from the nearby Yarra Valley.

The next day we were up early all eager to explore Marysville. The historic town of Marysville dates back to 1863, and, in 2009, the town was hit by the devastating Black Saturday bushfires. Whilst most of the town was destroyed in the fires, this resilient community has since re-built and are back on their feet, open for visitors!

It is the perfect family getaway and a great base for nature walks and hikes, bike riding, trout and salmon fishing or simply relaxing; or during the winter months you can enjoy skiing, tobogganing and snow play at nearby Lake Mountain.

We spent the day exploring the town and playing in the autumn leaves, which lit up the town with their vibrant orange and red hues.

We visited the spectacular Steavenson Falls – one of Victoria’s highest waterfalls, plummeting 84 metres! A great place to walk with the kids and easy enough to do with the pram, too.

If you are a caffeine lover like us, then you can’t go past the local café – By the Falls and then treat yourself to a sweet treat and pop in to the famous Marysville Lolly Shop, which is like stepping back in time as you find all your old time favourites like lemon sherbert, humbugs, redskins and Choo Choo bars!

At night, we found a cozy wood fire at the local pub – The Duck Inn. The owners were so friendly they even let our 4 year old, Daisy, pretend to be a waitress and pour us a beer! Not your average pub grub, this place serves up some delicious meals and judging by the full tables, the locals agree, too!

At the end of each day, there was nothing better than heading back to our hotel and lapping up the luxury of our king size beds, fresh sheets and movie channels! With floor to ceiling glass windows overlooking the mountains, you really feel at one with nature and it really is the perfect place to connect and re-connect as a family.

After a few days in this picturesque town, you’ll want to come back. There is so much to explore that we only just scratched the surface.

If you are looking for a weekend escape or the perfect mid week retreat with your family, then Marysville is the place to be. Oh, and be sure to BYO dog!


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