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Mallacoota, Victoria

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Tucked away on a beautiful inlet in far-east Gippsland is Mallacoota, a popular year-round coastal destination that enjoys Victoria's warmest winter temperatures and cool ocean breezes in summer, with the bonus of its proximity to the magnificent Croajingolong National Park. A sunset over Mallacoota's pristine coastline needs to be witnessed at least once in a lifetime, as do the diverse landscapes in the Croajingolong National Park - from pure white sandy beaches to granite peaks and heathland. Visit Gabo Island Lightstation Reserve, home to a host of seabirds and one of the world's largest colonies of Little Penguins. Access is possible by boat or air and you can even stay overnight in the lighthouse keeper's cottage. This pretty coastal town is a complete escape. The best ways to explore the Top Lake, Bottom Lake, inlets, cliffs and beaches are by water. Take a cruise and see Mallacoota Inlet with a local expert or paddle a canoe up the Genoa or Wallagaraugh rivers to Gipsy Point, a beautiful peninsula jutting into the top lake of the Mallacoota Inlet and home to a large mob of kangaroos. You can even hire a boat and spend a day fishing for bream in the Inlet, a popular local pastime. Discover the coast from the popular and patrolled Betka Beach and the rugged Quarry Beach where you can snorkel among the rocks, to the peaceful Secret Beach. Take the Genoa Peak Walk to the top of Genoa Peak to enjoy superb views over the Croajingolong wilderness coastline, Gabo Island and the Mallacoota Lakes. Mallacoota's unspoilt coast is more than 500 kilometres east of Melbourne, or close to six hours on the Princes Highway.

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