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Genoa Peak Walk, East Gippsland

Updated: Oct 8, 2023

Just 30 minutes outside of Mallacoota, or a more significant 6 hours from Melbourne, Genoa Peak Walk is conveniently located just off the Princes Highway in the Croajingalong National Park. A 2WD could *probably* handle the 8km corrugated dirt/gravel road into the tiny car park, but you'll be better prepared in a 4WD – especially if a kangaroo decides to faceplant your vehicle like one did on our way home...

But back to the walk itself. This one is a cute Grade 3 walk with epic views for relatively little effort. The grading is mostly a result of the rock scrambling required at the very end as well as the steep extremely exposed ladders to the lookout (admittedly, they are pretty intense). At only 3.4km return – told you it was cute! – it should only take you about 90 minutes or so for the out-and-back trip.

The walk begins innocently enough with a slight uphill slope through densely packed trees, overflowing with wildflowers, and mushrooms bursting out of tree trunks.

This continues for a while and you'll convince yourself that the end must be just around the corner when suddenly you get your first glimpse of the peak in the distance.... and it's extremely demotivating! How is it still SO FAR AWAY?! This was is supposed to be cute and short!

Just trust me when I say that it's worth it. Although 1.7km has literally never felt this long on any hike previously. Ever. Maybe it's because the whole thing is on a slight incline so you're getting more tired than it looks like you should be. I don't know. Sneaky trail this.

Eventually, you'll arrive at the lower lookout and you'll probably be grateful for the short break at this point – we certainly were. It gives you expansive views of the area and makes you realise just how extensive the damage from the 2019/20 bushfires was as bare dead tree tops stretch ahead of you. Despite the devastation, it's still quite beautiful and the signage useful if you're the kind of person who likes knowing the names of all the mountains in the distance.

You're almost at the top now – just some fun rock scrambling to go, including a super narrow ladder squeezed between two giant house-sized boulders. Instagrammers will love this spot. If you're afraid of heights, you'll want to put your head down and focus on your feet for this bit - particularly the narrow ladder up to the peak itself.

The summit is tiny with just enough space for two or three people to enjoy the views comfortably. This has never been a particularly popular walk so I doubt you'll be inundated by throngs of people, but on the off chance you run into someone and they are up the top already, highly advise waiting until they are done before heading up... unless you fancy snuggling a similarly sweaty stranger.

Even on the 100% overcast, cloudy day that we ended up doing this walk - the view from the top was special. You can look inland to the mountains or towards Mallacoota and the coast, and everything in between.

View towards the mountains

I can only imagine how incredible this spot would be at sunrise and sunset. There's no camping allowed at the car park and tiny picnic area but there's a campground in Genoa if you'd like to stick around to see how special this place looks at dawn and/or dusk. Based on how incredible it looked in the crappy conditions we saw it in, I reckon it would be well worth coming back for.

View towards the coast

After spending some time gallivanting around the rocks just below the peak and enjoying all manner of views from every possible angle... we headed back to the car.

This is a great little hike to get you moving if you're on a road trip from NSW to Victoria (or vice versa, obviously). It's also a good one if you've got non-hiking friends. These views are pretty epic for the relatively minimal effort required to get in there. Take it slow and you'll have zero complaints.

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