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Mallacoota and Croajingalong NP


  • Mallacoota is a small coastal town in far east Gippsland in Victoria of population 1,000 situated on an estuary and the eastern part of the remote wilderness of the 87,500ha Croajingalong National Park which not only consists of 100km of undeveloped remote coastline but cool temperate rainforests, tall shifting sand dunes, estuaries, land-locked fresh water lakes and a lot of wildlife including goannas (monitor lizards), snakes, kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, lyrebirds and 305 other species of birds
  • it has a “Mediterranean climate”

Croajingalong National Park

  • a spectacular coastal rainforest running from the Sydenham Inlet to Cape Howe
  • listed since 1977 as a World Biosphere Reserve.
  • best of the park:
    • Tamboon Inlet of the Cann River - boating, swimming, camping, bird-watching
    • Thurra River:
      • Dunes Walk - 2nd highest sand dunes in southern hemisphere rising 150m
      • Mt Everard Lookout
      • Thurra River camping ground
      • Point Hicks Lighthouse - 50min from Cann River; remote lighthouse & camping ground, accommodation ph: 51584268
    • Wingan Inlet:
      • best suits campers with small estuary boats
      • lots of skinks, large goannas in the camp sites, and as for most places, be on the lookout for snakes when walking
      • Lake Elusive Walk - tranquil spot with orchids & dazzling wild flowers in spring & summer
      • Wingan Rapids Walk - a delightfully cool spot on a hot summer's day
      • Wingan Nature Walk - easy walk includes boardwalks through changing vegetation & birdlife as you approach the sea to Fly Cove (yes there are March flies in summer) and beach walk along to smooth granite boulders on the headlands and viws to the boulder rocks that make up The Skerries - home to a colony of fur seals
    • Genoa Peak:
      • 490m above sea level


  • 22km south from Genoa & sited at the ocean outlet of the Genoa River
  • approx. 6-7hr drive from Melbourne excluding breaks in off-peak periods.
  • surrounded by the Croajingalong National Park
  • not far from Cape Howe, the most easterly part of Victoria and Gabo Island
  • Easter: Festival of the Southern Ocean and Iron Man event
  • a major destination for the hoards of Grey Nomads off-season from Feb onwards and should be high on the list for tourists in off peak season
  • has a very rich bird life including lyrebirds on Karbeethong Rd
  • surf and lake fishing / lake boating / golf
  • Mallacoota Inlet
    • a great spot for those with boats for estuary boating and fishing or families to enjoy the beach
    • does not appear to be troubled by March flies in summer
    • the inlet beach is accessible from Bastion Point
  • Bastion Tip Beach
    • a popular spot for surfers but small car park
  • Betka Beach
    • one of Australia's nicest beaches with estuary swimming for the kids, interesting rock formations along a long stretch of beach
    • does not appear to be troubled by March flies in summer and has good picnic and toilet facilities
  • Quarry Beach
    • not for swimming, reknown for bronze whaler sharks, but has a unique multicoloured layered mudstone rock formation
  • Secret Beach
    • said to be a good spot to fish for gummy sharks at high tide on a full moon at night
    • at low tide you may be able to enter a sea cave at the northern end
  • Shipwreck beach:
    • gravel road from Mallacoota
    • remote sandy beaches amongst interesting rock formations, heathlands and inland, cool eucalypt forests
    • March flies in summer - wear clothes covering arms and legs!
  • nearby attractions

Gabo Island

  • 154ha island 14km from Mallacoota, accessible by air or charter boat
  • significant sea bird colonies including the largest known breeding colony of Little Penguins
  • accommodation available at lighthouse keeper's residence
  • swimming and snorkeling in Santa Barbara Bay


  • camping and caravans
    • A'Wangralea Caravan Park - cabins; ph: 5158 0222
    • Shady Gully Caravan Park - cabins, pool; ph: 5158 0362
    • Mallacoota Foreshore Holiday Park - massive park on 70 acres; onsite vans; 600 camp sites; mooring sites; 250m to town; access to estuary and ocean beaches (you will need to wade through water to get to it) ph: 5158 0300
    • no free camping in Mallacoota or the east end of the NP apart from walk in coastal camps east of Mallacoota at Lake Barracoota and Lake Wau Wauka, and then into the Nadgee Wilderness in NSW at Cape Howe
  • Banksia Mudbrick holiday flats ph: 5158 0044
  • Adobe mudbrick flats 1-3BR, 78acres rainforest; panoramic views lake, ocean, mountains; wood fire; birds
  • Melaleuca Grove 2BR units ph: 5158 0407
  • Mallacoota houseboats 6 berth; ph: 5158 0775 9am-6pm M-F
  • Blue Waters 4x1BR cottages; lake views; private deck; bbq; ph: 5158 0261
  • Karbeethong Lodge - 11BR historic guest house on waterfront with spectacular views. ph: 5158 0411
  • Mallacoota Hotel Motel - 20 units; ph: 5158 0455
  • Mallacoota Motor Inn - ph: 5158 0544
  • Grevillea Grove Apartments - 1-2BR; ph: 5158 0223
  • Gipsy Point inland from Mallacoota on the Genoa River before it becomes estuary lakes:

a brief history

  • Captain John Stevenson, a whaler was granted a grazing license in 1841
  • other early pastoralists took up most of the prime land by the 1850's
  • 1858-1862, the 47m high Gabo Island lighthouse constructed with its distinct pink granite
  • Mallacoota began on the eastern side of the inlet when John Augustus Dorron selected land a built a home, farm and Lakeview Hotel buildings in 1882 when it became popular with tourists arriving by sea
  • a modest gold rush started in 1890s but the only successful mine was the Spotted Dog Mine on the eastern side of the inlet
  • in the early 1900's, Edwin James Brady established a writers camp at Captain Stevenson's Point and Henry Lawson was one of the writers to attend
  • in 1921 a road trafficable by motor vehicles was established from Gipsy Point to Mallacoota West (the current site of “Mallacoota”)
  • the RAAF set up an underground bunker coastal surveillance system at Mallacoota during WWII


  • Bastion Point has Ordovician rocks from 500mya well before Antarctica broke away from Victoria, these layers of sedimentary rocks have become folded which is well demonstrated at Geology point and nearby Quarry Beach
  • in the late Silurian period (400mya), a base formed of granites and graniodorites - the Bega Batholith which extends from Quarry Beach to Bombala in the north, Gabo Island in the east, and the Snowy River to the west
  • above this granite base lies Devonian period sediments (350mya) with variable mineralisation ranging from younger hard red granite of the Howe Range and Gabo Island, and the soft coarse grey granites of the coast from Sand Patch west to Wingan Beach
  • Genoa Gorge reveals Eden volcanics and late non-marine freshwater lake Devonian sediments with fossils including early tetrapod footprints discovered in 1972.
  • Mt Victoria and Mt Carlyle on the Victorian-NSW border have caps of later marine sediments which have been uplifted.
  • the narrow coastal plains are covered in Tertiary sediments (10-70mya)
  • the massive sand dunes of Cape Howe, Sandpatch Pt and Pt Hicks are quaternary deposits
  • Mallacoota Inlet itself is a submerged river valley with sedimentary filling over the last 3000-6000 yrs following the end of the last Ice Age which resulted in the formation of Bass Strait and flooding of these coastal valleys to form a tidal estuary which at times gets blocked off from the sea due to the high rates of deposition of sand in the region aided by refraction of the waves around Bastion Point which result in lower energy beach forming waves in contrast to the destructive waves on the lee side of the point which cause shoreline cliffing and then a low energy longshore flow parallel with the beach

Mallacoota Inlet (when the estuary is not blocked)

Betka Beach, Mallacoota

Gabo Island lighthouse as seen from Mallacoota

Quarry beach and its geologic forms

Secret Beach



Hooded Plover

Sooty Oyster Catcher


australia/vic/mallacoota.txt · Last modified: 2019/03/10 18:52 by gary1

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