Reviewed: January 2009
Author: Al McGlashan
On the south east coast of Australia between Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra lies town famous for its fishing. A real day tripper delight for boaters – don’t forget your 4WD.
Tucked away in far eastern Victoria. Roughly halfway between Melbourne and Sydney, Mallacoota is just three hours from Canberra. Follow the Princes Highway and turn off at Genoa for a short drive through coastal bushland to the township.
Two large estuarine lakes linked by the aptly named Narrows dominate Mallacoota. Surrounded by natural bushland and fed by two major rivers, the area is very scenic.
Mallacoota is famous for its fishing, especially its dusky flathead, which are renowned as some of the biggest in the country and can grow to 10kg.
There is also some sensational bream spinning, and further upstream you can find estuary perch.
There is a boat ramp for access to the prolific offshore grounds at Bastion Point, but it is subject to surges and definitely 4WD only. If you can launch here, then the offshore potential in the area is huge, with gummy sharks, snapper and flathead all in abundance close to the ramp. With deep water close by, Mallacoota is one of the few places where you can catch marlin in Victoria.
For those who want to explore a bit further, there is Gabo Island, which is 13km to the east and features a lighthouse built in 1862. It is even possible to stay in the lighthouse keeper’s quarters.
Mallacoota itself is a very small town, with just more than 1000 locals. Farming, commercial abalone diving and tourism are its main industries. Though it’s a year-round holiday proposition, spring, summer and autumn are the best times to visit this quiet coastal community.
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