Mar 2019, Genoa, Vic
If Autumn symbolises the nearing of the end, the decline. Then we have timed our visit to Genoa perfectly. Once known for being the last town in Victoria before the Princes Highway crosses into New South Wales, Genoa township is now little more than a few crumbling buildings below the highway. Victoria’s easternmost town is almost no more. The pub closed. The roadhouse and the general store boarded up. Yet tiny Mallacoota down on the coast and far from the highway is booming. Such are the vagaries of progress.
Genoa Rest Area is a welcome stop and upon reflection we could have spent a second night there, it is so pleasant. It was once a caravan park that the locals now maintain for overnight guests for the price of a donation. Bordered by an avenue of tall poplars, once the pride of the town I’m sure and backing on to the river, from our van door we can see a flock of emus grazing in a cow paddock on the other bank. Although it is warm and muggy mist hangs in the air as Genoa is surrounded by cool climate rainforest. Bellbirds call constantly from daylight to dusk, the air refreshingly clear with the tang of eucalyptus.
The unpowered campsites are level, the amenities block, although old is clean and has showers. There is a modern BBQ and a rotunda complete with wandering rooster and a park for children to play. It is possible to walk down the riverbank to the tannin stained and winding Genoa River. And there is a short walk into town across what was once the main bridge when the highway went through town. At night the park is quiet as the highway is far enough away not to be a bother. I only wish that we could have spent some money in this town but there is nothing left but to put something in the donation box.