Mallacoota Coastal Walk
The Mallacoota Coastal Walk opened in February 2013. This easy walk will take you on a fantastic journey of exploration through Mallacoota’s scenic coastline.
From Mallacoota, the track leads through tall forest and rainforest gullies, along the banks of the tranquil Davis Creek, through stunning coastal heathlandwoodland to eventually reach the quiet waters of the Betka River.
From the Betka Beach car park, the track hugs the top of the coastal escarpment to Quarry Beach, Secret Beach and eventually into Croajingolong National Park. A beautiful short loop track along the banks of Betka River is also available. Lookouts along the way provide fantastic vistas of the coastline, taking in vast sweeping beaches, Cape Howe and Gabo Island. The total walk is approximately 9km one way, however it may be tackled in sections, There are a number of car parking areas along the route to permit this (see map). The sections include the Casuarina Walk (1.8km one way), The Heathland Walk (0.8km one way), Davis Creek to Betka Beach Picnic Ground (1.2km one way), and Betka Beach to Pebbly Beach 5.5km one way).
Note: If the Betka River Mouth is closed, access to the Pebbly Beach section is via the beach section. However, if the Betka River Mouth is open, it is recommended that walkers drive to the Betka Beach Picnic Ground to access the southern section of the walk as the Betka River Bridge is for vehicle traffic.
The Loop track mentioned above is approximately 1.8km in length offering magnificent coastal vistas, heathland communities and enchanting river views as the path wanders through a riparian open forest community with its well defined upper stratum of ancient angophoras, white stringy barks and bloodwoods, a middle stratum of pittosporum, wattles and mellaleuca, a lower stratum of cassinia and Goodenia ovata with a variety of ground covering species. This environment provides a range of protected habitats for many birds, the chorus of their calls adding further pleasure to this section.
The new track joins the Old Coast Walking track to Shipwreck Beach (see Shipwreck Creek Walks below). There are 9 new viewing platforms each offering magnificent seascapes revealing the true beauty of Australia’s Coastal Wilderness.
Excellent access points to Davis Creek Beach, Quarry Beach and Pebbly Beach have been provided and are suitable entry points to sections of the Mallacoota Coastal Walk. Many of our walking tracks are also navigable by bike. Bike hire is available from various outlets around town.
The Mallacoota Walking Tracks:
A set of six separate walks covering a total distance of approximately 8 km.
Shady Gully Walk
This walk was recently upgraded with funds from the Department of Sustainability and Environment in its ‘Go For Your Life’ programme. The walk passes through a dry schlerophyl forest of Mountain Grey Gum, Angophora and Stringy Bark and a remnant rainforest. Interpretive boards outline fauna and flora species of the area. A picnic table offers the opportunity for solitude.
The start of this walk is opposite the Miva Miva Centre which is on the Mallacoota-Genoa Road. The path goes through a Casuarina littoralis community (seed capsules of this Casuarina provide food for the Glossy Black Cockatoo). Other trees include White Stringy Bark, Red Bloodwood, Angophora, Mountain Grey Gum (a typical gum tree in that it sheds its bark in long strips leaving smooth trunks) and Cherry Ballart (a very green tree with a weeping habit). The ground plants include orchids, native daisies, goodenia, ferns and mosses. For the bird observers Wrens, Robins, Finches, Lorikeets, Fantails, Tree Creepers and Wattle Birds may be seen. A small bridge crosses a fern gully where a number of small birds are active in the early morning and in the evening. The track leads to Betka Road.
This walk starts opposite the end of the Casuarina Walk on Betka Road just past the Davis Creek Bridge. One feature of this walk is the
vegetation change from forest to heathland. Typical heathland plants which may be seen include heaths, orchids, scrub casuarina, banksias, acacias, daisies, hakeas, grass trees etc. Birds which have been observed include Whistling Kites, Ground Parrots, Emu Wrens, and Swallows. The walk ends at the Davis Beach access car park.
Mallacoota Beach Walk
This walk is accessed by a set of steps leading down through a coastal plant community from the car park serving Davis Beach or by turning right on the beach below the Bastion Point Lookout and proceeding around the point.
At the Davis Beach end, there is a rock formation you may have to climb over if the tide is high (take care). On the Bastion Point side of this rock formation is a sand dune blowout. Sand dune colonising plants have not been able to become established here because of the shifting sand, due, in part, to people pressure.
Sea Rocket (a colonising plant with mauve flowers), dune binding grasses (Hairy Spinifex and Marram Grass), Coast Tea Tree and Coast Banksias are common plants on the dune side of the walk. Whales, dolphins may be seen on the surf side. Rock pools are at Bastion Point.
This walk can be accessed from Bastion Point car park. The walk provides excellent views of islands, sand flats of the tidal delta (the largest in Victoria), Gabo Island and the Howe Range. The endemic Pittosporum thrives in the moist gullies. Some access and departure points of the gullies are moderately steep. Mistletoe Birds, Scarlet Honey eaters, Firetails, Lyrebirds and Whip Birds may be seen or heard. A commemorative plaque is a reminder of the indigenous heritage of the area.
A brochure is available for this walk at the Visitor Information Shed . It will introduce you to some of the cultural and natural features of Mallacoota including the rare Mallacoota Gum (a hybrid of Mountain Grey Gum and Blue Gum). There are approximately 40 specimens. Evidence of aboriginal occupation, early European settlement and a range of plant species will be seen.
Self Guided Historical and Points of Interest Walk
Approximately 60 min. A pamphlet is available at the Visitor Information Shed Map1 – G7
Lakeside Shared Pathway
This new pathway reveals true beauty of the Bottom Lake with scenic views along the whole length. The path provides access to the fishing platforms and bird viewing areas. Coull’s Inlet is frequented by a number of waders and other aquatic birds. Pelicans and swans are often near the shore offering photo opportunities. The path wanders through a remnant riparian vegetation community which is being re-established to cater for scrub loving birds. Boardwalks have been installed across sensitive habitats. Across the lake, the Goodwin Sands and the foreshore of the National Park have the backdrop of the Howe Range. The walk ends at the start of the very scenic Narrows Walk.
The Narrows Walk
A pleasant walk alongside The Narrows (a waterway connecting the Bottom and Top Lakes). The Track commences just beyond Buckland’s Jetty. The recently restored shed just past Buckland’s Jetty was originally used as a boat shed for boat repairs. Parts of the track are rocky. Walking to the end of The Narrows will reveal the beauty of the two lake system. Continue on to Captain Creek Jetty picnic area for a much longer walk. (See Walk “L” below)
Buckland’s Jetty to Captain Creek Jetty
This walk is accessed from the parking area just past Buckland’s Jetty and follows the shore line for a considerable part of the distance. It has relatively easy grades although the track surface is relatively rough in places. Wear good footwear. Good water views, birdlife and wild flowers (in season) are features of this walk. (See Walk “K1” above)
Captain Creek Jetty to Genoa Road
This relatively gentle walk is through relatively open dry sclerophyll forest. In Spring, wildflowers are evident.
Genoa Rd to Buckland’s Jetty via Karbeethong Rd and Schnapper Pt Drive
This walk follows the listed roads to Lakeside Drive. Turn left to Buckland’s Jetty. The grades are gentle. Pleasant vistas open up as the descent to Lakeside Drive is completed.
Double Creek Nature Walk
Access is from Double Creek picnic ground approximately 8km from Mallacoota on the Find Koalas on the Double Creek Nature Walk
Genoa Road. The loop track follows Double Creek for a short distance through a rainforest gully. Ferns, mosses, liverworts, fungi and temperate rainforest trees and shrubs are found in this area. The path then leads up a gentle slope through a dry sclerophyll forest. Here the observant will see small terrestrial and epiphytic orchids in season. The track then leads downhill back to the start. Koalas and Lyrebirds inhabit this area. Other birds may be heard or observed while at the picnic ground. Look up and down the creek – large mullet frequent this waterway.
Double Creek Arm
This walk starts opposite the picnic area at Double Creek with access via a set of steps. It is an easy walk and follows the creek. It passes through stands of melaleuca trees which have distinctive paper like bark. Azure kingfishers are often seen working the creek. At the end of the walk, water birds are often seen. Koalas often frequent the large gums at the start of the walk.
Walks off Sandy Point Track
Approximately 2km along this road a walking track leads to Campshot Point (2km one way), and Quamby Point (4km one way). Both walks have moderate grades. Bird life and wildflowers (in season) are features of these walks.
Captain Creek Jetty to Double Creek
Short sections of this walk are steep and parts may be muddy after rain. This walk and Walk N can form a round trip returning along the Genoa Road to Karbeethong Road and hence back to Buckland’s Jetty (total 20km).
Cape Horn Bay
This walk starts from a small intersection and clearing on left hand side of the Genoa Fire Trail (approx 12km from town). The turn off is approximately 1km after Coolwater Creek and is near a relatively blind corner so take care!
Three Beaches Walk
A walk to be enjoyed at low tide. From the mouth of the Betka River, turn right and follow the beach to a small rocky headland. Cross over the neck onto a second beach. Walk along this beach and enjoy the magnificent rock formations until you reach the end, where you once again cross over a small rocky headland onto the third beach where you will find stunning pink ‘cathedral-like’ cliffs. To return, retrace your steps.
Shipwreck Creek Heathland Walk
Follow the sign from the Shipwreck Creek Day Visitor Area. The walk passes through heathland and has good views. Spring and early summer, produce a good display of wild flowers. Approximately 1km from the start, there is a track on your left; this leads back to the camping ground (use this path to return). Continue past this point until a small gully is reached. A wooden bridge in this gully can be slippery at times, take care. Approximately 10 metres past the bridge is a narrow track, on the right, leading down to a secluded bay which, although very rocky, has excellent rock pools. Return via the same route except take the return path (mentioned earlier).
Shipwreck Creek to Seal Creek Walk
The track has recently been upgraded. It is accessed from the south western side of Shipwreck Creek Beach. The track leads to the secluded Seal Creek Beach where there are impressive rock pools to explore. Approximately three quarters of the way along a sign indicates a path parallel to the creek down to the beach. Return by the same route.
Those wishing to explore some of the Mallacoota Coastal Walk, at a less leisurely pace than usual, may be tempted to join the Mallacoota Fun Run held annually on the Labour Day weekend.