Next on our local getaways agenda is the beautiful town of Mallacoota in the East Gippsland region of Victoria. Mallacoota is surrounded by water, including long stretches of pristine beaches, creeks, rivers and waterfalls as well as plenty of wildlife thanks to the Croajingolong National Park.
Our Mallacoota Community Branch gave us plenty of tips on where to go, what to eat and who to meet. So on their advice, we paid a visit to local couple Marika and Martin, who run the Mallacoota Fundraising Group. They’ve had a very busy and impactful past 12 months, leading fundraising efforts to support the town’s bushfire recovery. Speaking of Mallacoota’s recent hardships, Marika praised the communities’ high spirits, ‘the community is very close and very emotional. Very supportive. We couldn’t live in another place… it’s the most beautiful place in Australia, in our opinion!’
The couple sell Mallacoota calendars, full of gorgeous photography with all proceeds being directed straight back into the community. In the past 12 months, they have worked tirelessly to ensure the fundraising money would be spent exactly as needed for the community, which resulted in defibrillators placed in key areas around the town, automated CPR machines and brand new 4WD vehicles and trailers for the local fire brigade and water supply.
Marika and Martin spoke of how their calendars not only support the community but also showcase the beauty of the area, ‘trees, lots of wildlife, beaches… no pollution, no crime. It’s the place to come!’
Next up, we paid a visit to the Mallacoota and District Business and Tourism Association, where Jodie gave us a rundown on everything you can do in Mallacoota! ‘It is the perfect holiday spot for families to retirees, and everyone in between! Whilst the bushfires showed us how fragile everything is, the global pandemic also showed us exactly how lucky we are (to live in Mallacoota), thanks to our abundance of water of every kind, from creeks and rivers that flow into the ocean, from waterfalls and beaches, picnic areas to boats, to kayaks.’
Water is a pivotal part of Mallacoota, but there is also plenty of places to eat and drink, as well as businesses to support.
The Mallacoota Arts Space is a collective, community run gallery which gives locals and artists a chance to showcase their work. One of the artists and volunteers Melinda explains the gallery is a ‘constantly evolving exhibition and is a great reflection of the diverse creative work created in Mallacoota.’
Much of the art is directly inspired by the local environment which is evident in bushfire style work displayed below. The art space is the perfect place to visit to be inspired and maybe even purchase a piece to take home.
Just down the street, we also paid a visit to Sundayss, a café with a menu full of smoothie bowls, wild rye ciabatta toast, juices and ice cream. The inner-city vibe of this café has made it a hit among locals and visitors alike. We asked Amy why Sundayss is a Mallacoota go to and she explained, ‘Ice cream and hot summers, fresh juice and beach days, coffee and morning walks – they all go hand in hand!’ Plus their acai bowls taste as good as they look!
Our final stop in Mallacoota is Origami Coffee, a small kiosk by owner Takeshi who explained to us his mission is to ‘make the world a better place, one cup of coffee at time with care and a smile’. And he does just that, sharing with us his experience with last years bushfires where he slept in his shop for 40 nights while roads were blocked and power was out to be able to keep the people of Mallacoota, firefighters and police caffeinated. Takeshi recounted, ‘I even often made coffee in my pyjamas at midnight! Something to remember. I was overwhelmed by the amount of help and wanted everyone to feel appreciated and experience something normal like a cup of coffee during an abnormal experience’.
If you pay a visit to Mallacoota, be sure to use the hashtag #BBlocalgetaway on your socials so we can share your pics and help support the community.