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Marion Bay

The Australian country town that will steal your heart

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Driving, It took us four hours to get to Marion Bay from Adelaide. Initially, I thought the drive would be long and drawn-out. However, during the trip, my parents blasted old music that they grew up on, or songs that they liked and then reminisced about their life up until now. It’s always nice to see your dad shouting song lyrics at the top of his lungs while hitting 110km on a highway.

First impressions

To be honest, Marion Bay didn’t impress me at first. I’m from the city; I’m used to bustling streets, heaps of cars and Wi-Fi, but there was none of that here. The house we stayed at was affordable, modest, and only a stone’s throw away from the beach. It was small but had everything we needed with five beds, two bedrooms, a kitchen and even pay TV. The purpose of our family trip to Marion Bay was for a wedding, and we would spend two days in the country town.

Marion Bay - Australia, image credit to Simon BillsImage credit to Simon Bills

Walking the streets, there were other beach houses right next to ours, and a caravan park close-by. It seemed like people went to Marion Bay to get away from the business of their everyday life, and the scarcity of human life and technology made it easy. After scoping out our surroundings, it only took us five minutes to walk to our cousin’s house.

The house we arrived at was a throwback to a different era. All wood-panelled, it had a fireplace, an outdoor deck, a backyard with a tyre swing on it, and bushland on either side. I kinda liked it; it was different. We all greeted each other and sat down at the table outside to enjoy each other’s company into the late hours of the night.

The big day

The next day was the day of the wedding, and my dad took me to the local café for breakfast. We were greeted by the friendly owner and his wife, who made us a big breakfast and a coffee. Inside the store were pictures of waves, people surfing, and things people would buy when looking for a beach holiday in a country town.

What really stood out was that the café had character. Not the kind of manufactured character you would see in tacky commercials or in the mainstream, big-city establishments, but the kind of laid-back character synonymous with a country town.

Everyone here is super friendly, and their personalities reflect their life by the ocean: easygoing, friendly, and great to chat with. After being unable to finish the gargantuan meal in front of me, we walked back home and were greeted with a couple ‘hey, how are yas?’ from the locals.

For the ceremony, we all drove our cars to the highest point in Marion Bay: The Marion Bay lighthouse. The ceremony was held atop a cliff overlooking the mighty blue ocean on either side, with the lighthouse directly in front.

Marion-Bay- Australia

Normal Greek weddings are in churches, so I welcomed being out and together with nature on this momentous day. The rock atop which the bride and groom were married on was significant because it was where they first announced their love for each other, and where the groom asked the bride to marry him. With a view as good as this, I can’t blame him for picking this specific location – very romantic.

Contemplating life in Marion Bay

The next day, we had to pack up all of our stuff and leave, as we had to get home because it was a Sunday and we had work the next day. Upon leaving, I was sad. I had come to love our cosy home close to the water, the bush and wildlife surrounding us.

Leaving Marion Bay made me yearn for a simpler life, and made me consider living out my days in the country, where I could earn a hard, but good living, and be amongst a close-knit community who always look out and care for each other. It isn’t the fact that there isn’t much to do there, rather, it’s the people and the company you bring with you and meet along the journey which makes it worth it.

Marion Bay, like all places, is just a base for the experiences people can enjoy in their lives. This city kid got a lot out of his experience in that country town, and he hopes that someday he can go back and do it all again.