Camp under the stars and get back to nature in Victoria's wild and remote Croajingolong National Park.
By Jennifer Ennion
With white sandy beaches, thriving rainforests and towering eucalypts, Croajingolong National Park is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Hike around rocky headlands, mountain bike across rambling heathland and fish from secluded beaches in this World Biosphere Reserve in south-east Victoria, near the border with New South Wales. Stretching along the coastline for 100 kilometres (60 miles), Croajingolong is one of Victoria's largest parks and home to more than 300 bird species.
- Sleep under the stars at a beach campsite
- Admire amazing views from the Wilderness Coast Walk
- Watch whales from a remote lighthouse
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Top things to do in Croajingolong National Park
Pitch a tent
Soak up the serenity of the park by pitching a tent in one of a handful of secluded seaside campsites. One of the best spots for camping is on the shore of Wingan Inlet, where you will be surrounded by bush. Go swimming and fishing, or learn about Australia's native koalas, wombats and wallabies on an Echidna Walkabout tour.
Lace up your hiking boots
If you love hiking you won't want to miss the seven day Croajingolong National Park Tour with Gippsland High Country Tours. Alternatively, go bird watching and learn about wildflowers on a gentle eco tour, or sign up for a tour with moderate grade walks. You can also tackle a section (or more) of the epic 100 kilometre (60 mile) Wilderness Coast Walk, which goes from Sydenham Inlet to Wonboyn, in New South Wales. The Thurra River to Shipwreck Creek section takes between three and four days and features rocky headlands, open beaches and small coves.
Go whale watching
There is no place like a ruggedly remote lighthouse post from which to spot passing whales, and visitors to Croajingolong have two prime locations. Point Hicks Lighthouse is an hour drive along a mostly unsealed road from the Princes Highway. Gabo Island Lighthouse can be accessed via a boat transfer from Mallacoota with Wilderness Coast Charters, or by air transfer with Merimbula Air Services. You can also sign up for tours of both lighthouses and stay overnight in the keepers' cottages.
Unwind in Mallacoota
Relax in the pretty coastal town of Mallacoota, set on Mallacoota Inlet and surrounded by Croajingolong National Park. Get up close to a mob of kangaroos at Gipsy Point and go for a swim at popular Betka Beach. Hire a boat, canoe or kayak from Gipsy Point Lodge, where you can spend the night in a room overlooking the Genoa River.
Go gourmet in Gippsland
Dine on barbecue beef tartare and tuna sashimi at one of Gippsland's most acclaimed restaurants, Neilsons Kitchen, in Traralgon. Or sign up for an entire day of indulgence with Gippsland Food Adventures. Its small group tours focus on introducing travellers to the region's farmers and their fine produce, including olive oil and cool climate wines.
How to get there
Croajingolong National Park is a seven hour drive from Melbourne. There are numerous entry points to the park from the Princes Highway.