Interstate travel in Australia is still a gamble, so we explored a new corner of Victoria instead, this small holiday and fishing town near the border with New South Wales.
It’s a nearly six-hour car ride from Melbourne to Mallacoota, so we thought we’d best break up the trip with an overnight stay on the way. East Gippsland had suffered horribly in the devastation of the 2019-20 Victorian bushfires, and I’ll always remember the road to Mallacoota for the eerie, endless sight of blackened trees with dead branches and brand new green growth.
Our accommodation was a house in Gypsy Point, a tiny spot on the peaceful and picturesque bank of Mallacoota Inlet with non-existent mobile phone reception, which you could take as either a good or bad thing. It does make you feel uncomfortably aware of just how dependent you are on your phone. It’s also been a while since I found myself in a car driving through the sheer pitch black of the countryside, where the only thing you see is literally whatever your car lights happen to illuminate. In the light of day, the lodge restaurant we went out to for dinner was ridiculously close; not so on the moonless night with zero street lights!
On the first evening in town, we got caught in the kind of ferocious biblical rain that drenches you through in a matter of five seconds. The dramatic sky right before and after was a sight though.
If you’re completely uninterested in camping, nature, hikes, fishing or water activities, there’s not much else to do in Mallacoota, but if you’re enthusiastic about some of these – especially fishing – it’s a fantastic destination. We had a great time doing beach and coastal walks, and getting out on the water in kayaks for a couple of hours.
And… for the first time in twenty-five years in Australia, I finally spotted the elusive lyrebird! We got a nice view of its magnificent tail before it disappeared into the bush.