If you stray from the path most travelled – and have a full day to do so – head through Healesville and Marysville on your way up to Mount Buller for a winter getaway. There are heaps of stops to make along the way which are certainly worthwhile.
About an hour out of Melbourne’s CBD is the first potential stop – Healesville. Here, you will find the Innocent Bystander which is perfect for lunchtime. They specialise in wine and food to share – a dream combo really. All the food is good, but the pizzas are really tasty and as for the wine, if you like it a little sweeter their Moscato is one of the best in Australia – there’s also a Moscato sorbet on their dessert list which you can’t go past.
If you’re heading up (or back) on the right day, Marysville has a community market on the second and fourth Sunday of every month. The community market is run by the locals with their own handmade produce – so it’s worth a walk around if you can make it. There’s also a lolly shop right next to the markets, which is always open. Along with the old-fashioned lollies, you can nab some local produce to try.
So, this stop is not actually in Buxton, but if you want to grab lunch (or an early dinner) on the road, this is the place to go. Igloo Roadhouse’s burger was voted Melbourne’s best burger before the craze hit and we were overrun with brioche buns. It’s like the really good fish and chip shop burger you crave – no bells and whistles, just damn good. There are three traditional burgers: The Lot, The Buxton – a double lot with pineapple – and, if you’re up for it, The Cathedral – a triple lot with pineapple.
Mansfield Coffee Merchant is a gorgeous café with Melbourne-style food and their own specialty roasted coffee. Is it cheap? Well, no, but it’s similar pricing to Melbourne cafes – slightly cheaper than the bougie ones but just as good. Their specials are always worth a shot, and you can stay in Mansfield and catch the bus up to Buller – which might be cheaper than staying on the mountain – and gives you a chance to try their several menu options.