We find one of the great benefits of road-tripping with the dogs, is that it makes you stop and discover places you would have otherwise missed. This was how we discovered Lake Marma, a picturesque Victorian waterway in the Wimmera wheatbelt region.
We’ve passed through the rural Victorian town of Murtoa many times on our way to South Australia. However the need to give the dogs a good run around before a long stretch of the drive led us to discover the beautiful lake and wetlands we had previously missed.
What to see in Murtoa
The small town in the Wimmera wheatbelt region is an historic grain receival centre. The “stick shed”, built during WWII is a grain store constructed from 560 massive unmilled tree trunks, which is on the state heritage register. A real testament to Aussie ingenuity!
The Water Tower museum was built in 1886 and is home to a large taxidermy display of over 500 Australian species. Stuffed animals didn’t really appeal to us, but the museum is open on request if taxidermy is your thing.
Driving along the main street you will find many lizard statues along the roadway. The name Murtoa means “home of the lizards” in the local aboriginal tongue.
Driving through the town’s memorial gates, we discovered Lake Marma. How had we driven past this so often and missed it? Most probably the shady Kurrajong trees which line the park and do screen the lake from view.
The 20 hectare lake was originally the main water source for settlers. It now provides a pleasant two kilometre walk around the lake, which is abundant with birdlife
Take a two kilometre stroll around Lake Marma
Strolling around the lake, there are plenty of seats to stop and enjoy the views. We enjoyed a stroll out along the jetty, taking in the views across the lake. Lake Marma is a popular fishing and kayaking spot, however power boats are limited, due to the small size of the lake.
The lake is a tranquil oasis in the centre of the town, with beautiful shady trees, picnic areas and kids playgrounds. Signs around the lake warn of algal blooms, so probably not the best place for a swim. However it provides an easy, picturesque walking trail, which was a perfect break from our drive.
Historic rotunda in foreshore park
Jetty on Lake Marma, Murtoa
Rabl Park Murtoa
At one end of the lake is a small wetland in Rabl park. Here there is a shorter, one kilometre walk through the wetlands,which we explored on our return trip. The stairs and platform across the pond have been recycled from the old railway station. The park was redeveloped over many years by community service groups into a great recreational area. The area is teeming with birdlife, so definitely not an off-leash area if you are travelling with dogs, but we found walking the trails on-leash they were well away from temptation.
What we thought was going to be a quick stop to water the dogs and give them a “wee walk” turned into a very pleasant hour long stroll around picturesque Lake Marma.