Set sail and explore the two lakes that make up the core of the Mallacoota Inlet, and slide down the estuary of the Genoa and Wallagaraugh Rivers. Hop on in, your great escape awaits!
The Genoa River joins the Wallagraugh River just above Gipsy Point, where it finds its course into the Mallacoota Inlet. A perennial river of 95 km long, the Genoa starts at the bottom of NSW. Tucked within untamed National Parks, one of the striking sights along the river is the Genoa Gorge, accessible only to bushwalkers. Cutting through valleys, waterfalls, and the sediments of an ancient lake, the river is also home to primitive plants and 400-million-year-old tetrapod footprints. Tetrapods were one of the first animals that evolved from aquatic to terrestrial, so their footprints have earned Genoa fame as a prehistoric historical site. Travellers heading to Genoa town can visit a life-size sculpture at the playground, along with an informative plaque.
Find Lake Barracoota, the largest freshwater coastal lake in Victoria, hidden just a kilometre inland behind giant sand dunes. This permanent lake, tucked completely within the Croajingolong National Park, reaches a surface area of 240 hectares when full. Lake Barracoota is only accessible by foot and a frequent stop for both hikers heading north into the Nadgee Nature Reserve, and day-trippers. When the entrance at Mallacoota is closed, hikers can walk the entire way along Big Beach before ducking over the dunes near Tullaburga Island. Alternatively, it’s also possible to organise a boat transfer across Mallacoota’s Bottom Lake through to the historic hotel site and begin the walk from there.
The Mallacoota Inlet is one of the worlds most beautiful estuarine systems, consisting of two lakes. Its solitude and expansive views of rivers, capes, and never-ending shores make it a top outdoor adventure for kayaking, canoeing and boating enthusiasts. The Bottom Lake flows into the sea on its southern end, and to the Top Lake from its north through The Narrows, a 1 km long waterway. North of the Bottom Lake is the Top Lake, which is fed by the Genoa and Wallagaraugh Rivers. With several arms connecting the minor waterways, the inlet is easily navigated from Mallacoota to Gipsy Point, about 1 km downstream from the confluence of the Wallagaraugh and the Genoa Rivers
Starting just below Mt Poole, about 100 km northwest of Mallacoota, the Wallagaraugh River courses from NSW into East Gippsland wild coast. Traversing the Mallacoota Inlet all the way till it reaches the open sea, this river is one of the estuary’s brightest stars, with nearly 10 creeks and rivers flowing into it. For a wonderful and unique experience, start or finish your trip at the Wallagaraugh River Retreat Campground on the banks of the river. Join the crew of fishermen and families enjoying this remote patch of wilderness!
The Betka River originates south of Genoa and descends 130 metres over its 32 km course. In Mallacoota, where the river meets the ocean, the mouth opens and closes based on rainfall.
Easy to access, and dotted with shallow waters when flowing into the sea, the Betka River is a great swimming location for families and children.
There are BBQs, toilets and picnic tables at the grassy area by the mouth. Visitors will also find a small gravel boat ramp on the opposite side of the road.