Croajingalong National Park
& Nadgee Nature Reserve

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Introduction

Known as 'The Wilderness Coast' this quiet section of coastline provides some excellent extended walks. There are a variety of trips that can be undertaken and the classic trip continues into the Nadgee Reserve in New South Wales. The coast is a mixture of long sandy beaches, rocky headlands, huge sand dunes and extensive coastal heathlands. Most of the beaches are linked by tracks or old closed roads. Being a coastal traverse there are a number of streams that need crossing and some can be deep wades so expect to get wet. Fresh water is not common and on most days the only supply is at the campsite.

This walk can be readily broken into shorter sections. Examples are Lake Tyers to Corringle, 3 days. Cape Conran to Thurra River, 4 days. Thurra River to Wingan, 2 days, this is very popular and by using an inland track can be made into a three day circuit. Wingan to Mallacoota, 2 days. Mallacoota to Wonboyn 7 days. Wonbyn to Eden (most of this section follows the Light to Light Walk) 4 days. Several sections can also be combined togethter

History

 The coast and its hinterland was a popular hunting ground for aborigines.wholived here for many thousands of years. After europeans arrived, the area was one of the last regions of the state to be developed as it was only accessible by sea. There was some mining, logging and farming but overall the area was left much as it was. Gradually roads were built (and in some cases abandoned) and logging increased. As there were no natural deep water ports, the coastline ws basically left lone apart from the lighthouses which were necessary to try to protect shipping. Even with numerous lighthouses, shipwrecks were still acommon event and some remains can be seen. In 1954 the Nadgee Wilderness Area in NSW was created and as environmental awareness increased so did interest in preserving this relatively untouched section of neighbouring Victorian coastline. In 1977 Croajingalong National Park was declared completing protection of almost the entire coastline.

Location

This is the most eastern part of Victoria.

Access

From Melbourne follow the Princes Highway eastward for 320km to Lakes Entrnce. The highway continues further east for 133km to Cann  River and a further 73km leads to Mallacoota. Buses regularly run from Melbourne along the highway to Mallacoota and they also continue north through Eden to wards Sydney. As most walks along the coast are one-way, this requires a long car shuffle. For groups with only one vehicle, there are local transport operators that can be chartered to complete the loop back to transport.

Maps and Track Notes

 The guide book is Walking The Wilderness Coast by Peter Cook and Chris Dowd, third edition published in 2004. Its very hard to find. It describes all facets of the coast but for bushwalkers the main interest is the brief description of the 18 traverse of the coast from Lakes Entrance in Victoria to Eden in New South Wales. Maps a are a combination of VICMAP and CMA topographic maps. To walk the entire coast you need VICMAP 1:50,000 Hartrland, Bemm, Everard, Mallacoota and CMA 1:25,000 Narrabarba, Nadgee, Kiah and Eden. Note that these maps are not regularly updated and a number of tracks are missing from them. Also note that when using a GPS with the Kiah and Eden maps, these maps span into the next grid zone but the grid has not been redrawn so readings from a GPS cannot be directly related to a location on the maps. In practice it does nto matter as that section follows the Light to Light Walk, a well marked and well defined track.

Permits

Permits are required for the section from Mallacoota to Wonboyn. This section crosses the state border but is managed as a single wilderness area and permits need to be obtained one month in advance from the national park office in Eden. A quota applies on the number allowed at any one time into this area and at holiday periods it is often booked out months in advance. No permits are required for the rest of the coast.

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Photographs and text are copyright © 2003-2015 John Chapman.
 Last updated : December 8th 2015