Before the break wall was built at Mallacoota a trip to Gabo Island was only for those who could make the journey via sea or the air. For those making the journey from the mainland via boat it would take navigation of their boat across the bar in perfect timing with the sets that would roll in. Gabo Island is located off the Eastern tip of Victoria, it is separated from the mainland by a shallow channel that is approximately 1km wide. The island is home to significant flora and fauna, notably it is home to the worlds largest colony of little penguins. On one of my first journeys to the island via boat we came across a raft of penguins, they looked beautiful swimming in the sea. We stopped to observe them in awe of their beauty.
Upon arrival to the island you are welcomed by the pristine ‘Santa Barbara Bay’, the water is crystal clear and has wonderful visibility for snorkelling. We shared the waters with Port Jackson sharks , floating above them and marvelling at the patterned bands on their bodies. The remoteness of the island and its crystal clear aquamarine waters make it one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited, what a treat to have been able to experience the bay all to ourselves. Gabo Island is almost the last accessible area of waters along the coastline between Victoria and NSW as just beyond the island is the Cape Howe Marine National Park, the coastline only accessible by foot.
The Gabo Island lighthouse was completed in 1862 and built from pink granite quarried from the island itself. The lighthouse is still in operation to this day, and the island and lighthouse are tended to by a dedicated caretaker who has looked after the island for many years. The remoteness of the island makes it so special, upon each visit it is hard not to gaze out from the rocky edge on the eastern boundary to the horizon across the unpredictable Tasman Sea and to wonder what lies below the depth of the glistening waters.
Gabo Island sees the sun rise slightly before the rest of us in Victoria, and watches over the ocean in quiet solitude.
Parks Victoria, Gabo Island Lighthouse Reserve, Parks Victoria, viewed 12 September 2020, <https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/places-to-see/parks/gabo-island-lighthouse-reserve>