Mallacoota is entirely surrounded by the Croajingolong National Park. The park is, together with the Nadgee Nature Reserve, part of a 101,000-hectare Unesco Biosphere Reserve which aims to preserve the diverse ecosystems, right in the heart of the wilderness coast.
The abundant forests and sparkling waters around Mallacoota host an incredible diversity of flora and fauna.
From koalas, goannas and mobs of kangaroos to whales, and dolphins; visitors get to surround themselves with the cuteness of seals, penguins, native little birds and grand displays of wildflowers and orchids.
From May to November, visitors in Mallacoota can witness first-hand the migration of the Humpback Whale -with prime viewings between September and October. Migrating Humpback Whales can be easily seen from Mallacoota’s most popular beaches. Visitors fancying a closer encounter with this massive beauties should consider staying at Gabo Island for a few nights. The island also hosts a large colony of Australian and New Zealand Fur Seals. Watch these expert idlers relax, leap in and out of the ocean, and enjoy the delights of a sun-kissed rocky shoreline.
Dolphins can also be spotted rambling rips at Bastion Point. If you go about catching some waves, keep your eyes open as you may share a breaker with these acrobatic oceanic-stars! When chilling at Bastion Point, Betka and Quarry Beaches, peek inside the rock pools and find a slew of little friends. Tidal ecosystems populate the pools, so take the time and observe tiny crabs, snails, colourful fish and anemones. These Nemo-like habitats are surefire ways to keep both kiddies and adults entertained!
You don’t even need to leave town to get a sense of the bustling wildlife in Mallacoota! Find wallabies and kangaroos in and around town -mostly during dusk and dawn hours. A vast crowd of kangaroos inhabits the Mallacoota Golf Club -which presents a great opportunity to see these jumping folk closely. Be especially careful if you are driving during their most active hours as they can leap into the front of your car in a snap.
For a koala face-to-face meetup, head to Mallacoota’s main street, the Foreshore Caravan Park or just any backyard around town. Koalas can be noisy at night time, so fear not if you hear them grunt and growl, this is simply their nocturnal habit. Koalas are also easy to sight at the Double Creek Rainforest Loop, so head there to watch them doze on a tree branch.
Wombats can be harder to see, but they usually go for night-snacks near the picnic area by Betka Beach. Goannas are sometimes mingling around the lakes’ picnic areas. Although these are stunning creatures, they bite hard, so give them space and don’t try to approach them. Long-nosed Bandicoots, Brush-tailed Possums, Yellow-Bellied Glider, can be seen -and heard- outside town.
If birdwatching is your jam, come in and enjoy world-class sightings! Rosellas, King Parrots, Blue Wrens, Red-browed Finches, and Rainbow Lorikeets are easy to view as they’d happily stand on any balcony rail in town. Follow the singing calls of the elegant Superb Lyrebirds around the Karbeethong area, and, when taking a stroll around the main wharf, check out the curious crowds of Pelicans.
Scarlet Honeyeaters, Glossy Black Cockatoos and Topknot Pigeon are also some of the fascinating species inhabiting the Croajingolong National Park. Find Azure Kingfishers upstream by rivers and creeks and White-bellied Sea Eagles stretching their long winds as they take flight. Check out our twitching page for more insights.
For never-ending displays of wildflowers and orchids, visit Mallacoota and the Croajingolong National Park during the spring and summer months. The first two weeks of October are the prime time for orchid blossomings -find them under powerlines or on the heathlands. For in-depth knowledge on the subject, get Joy Greig’s book, called Wildflowers of the Wilderness Coast: A Field Guide.
Night Sky Observations
The night sky in Mallacoota is one of the most spectacular sights to behold. The absence of city lights and big developments means you get a pure vantage point of the stars and planets above. An avid photographer will enjoy playing with time lapse as Martin Ascher has here in these AMAZING shots. A family camping under the stars can pick planets and find the “saucepan” and a couple will love being rugged up on a sandy beach taking it all in.