Situated just three hours from Melbourne in the beautiful holiday region of East Gippsland, the Marlo Ocean Views Caravan and Camping Park is the ideal place to use as a base or for a family holiday to explore everything this area has to offer.
Marlo is probably better known as the place where the once mighty (recently rejuvenated) Snowy River meets the ocean.
After you have taken the Orbost turnoff from the Pacific Highway, you drive along a road that follows the Snowy for much of the way, before branching off and leading you into the tranquil seaside village of Marlo.
The small commercial centre has a general store, café/tackle shop and the historic Marlo Hotel. To reach the Marlo Ocean Views Caravan and Camping Park you need to continue about a 1km further along Marine Parade (bypassing the town) and it is on your left hand side.
First impressions for me have always been important. There have been times in the past when I have arrived somewhere and what I have found was not what I expected. That certainly wasn’t the case here.
The view of the mouth of the Snowy River through the trees from the deck of the office almost instantly had me won. I was jumping out of my skin, ready to enjoy the park and what Marlo had to offer.
The park is set on 13 acres of land. It has 250 sites, ranging from cabins with en suites, on-site vans (four with en suites) to powered and unpowered sites. To complement these, there are two large amenities areas, two undercover BBQ areas, a kitchen, kiosk and coffee shop. Add to that a large oval and playground and you have a place that you and the family can relax and enjoy. The park is also pet friendly (conditions apply), so your beloved four legged friend can enjoy it with you as well.
I don’t think there is any type of fishing I know that you can’t do in Marlo. In fact I would think most forms of fishing could/would lead to a feed of fish.
On our visit we were land-based and the big surprise was the quality and variety of fishing available to the shore-based angler.
A short drive into town and the Marlo boat ramp offers the option of fishing from the jetty or foreshore. Plenty of bream, silver trevally and other bread and butter species are consistently caught.
A short drive in the opposite direction was the option we took and I was simply blown away. French Narrow is where I am talking about. A boardwalk leading from a small car park crosses a coastal reserve and where this ends, you are met by a lagoon, which is an offshoot of the main Snowy River. It looked like a perfect spot to get started, and I wasn’t disappointed.
My first cast of a 1/4oz jighead with a Strike Tiger 4” curl grub was nabbed by a small flathead. Not five casts later a much larger version decided my plastic would also make a good meal. No net, light leader and a big fish was the recipe for 4-5 minutes of great fun chasing this fish up and down the shoreline before I was finally able to grab the leader and pull it up the bank. A 71cm flathead put a pretty big smile on my face, and this was only the start!
The next day had us fishing the same area with small suspending Cranka hardbody lures, catching bream over 30cm sight casting in the shallows – wow!
If beach fishing is your preference, there is a magnificent beach a short walk beyond the lagoon we fished. We had a brief look and there were plenty of signs that the fishing would be good.
The Snowy estuary system really lends itself to small craft fishing. A tinny, or even better a kayak, would be an ideal way to explore the maze of channels and lakes of the system. We were given a tour and there were plenty of fishy looking snags. Estuary perch, luderick, bream and silver trevally are only a few of the species you can catch.
If you own a larger vessel there are even more options for you. The Snowy River bar is relatively safe (care should always be taken crossing any river bar) and once you have negotiated it, there are a number of local reefs that fish well.
Shark, kingfish and snapper are regular catches and there are also some good flathead grounds close to the mouth of the river. If you are a diver, abalone and crayfish diving are regular pastimes of many locals.
After a fantastic day on the water, we sat down to have a coffee with Kathy and Les, the owners of the park, and Kathy (a keen fisho herself) showed us a photo of a very large flathead caught from the foreshore only a short walk from the park. Why drive anywhere when you can walk?
The park and Marlo is a great base to explore the East Gippsland area. Within an hour you can visit Mallacoota to the north or Metung, Lake Entrance or Paynesville to the south. Or you can simply have a swim, a surf or just relax.
The general store in town offers the basic necessities to keep you going, as well as fuel.
If you’re anything like me, a good cup of coffee or tea and a cake are essential, so I recommend Snowy River café. The café’s added benefit is that it’s also the local tackle shop. It has a great range of fishing tackle and the owner David, was very helpful in providing fishing information.
The Marlo Hotel (including bottle shop) is a great place for a meal and a bit of a history lesson on the town. I really enjoyed reading the information and looking at the photos in the main dining room. A true insight into the Marlo of the past.
I believe Marlo and the Marlo Ocean Views Caravan and Camping Park would be a great place to visit at any time of the year. It is highly popular during the major holiday periods; however the size of the park ensures a safe and enjoyable holiday for everybody.
Our visit was at the beginning of winter. Beautiful, quiet, fantastic are the words that spring to mind. Yes a little cool at night and first thing in the morning, (the gas heating in the caravan with en suite we stayed in sorted that out), but the days were lovely and I was quite comfortable in shorts and a jumper. What a great time to be there, you really felt you had the place to yourself.
I look forward to my next opportunity to stay and I intend to have my family in tow.
Booking and enquiries can be made by calling (03) 5154 8268 or via the web at www.marlocamping.com.auReads: 1608