After around two years of closure the Mallacoota Inlet has been opened. On Thursday March 21, the bar was opened by Parks Victoria under authority of the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority.
Communications and engagements officer at the CMA Jessica Shapiro said the decision to open the estuary was a matter of public safety and concern.
"The water levels within the estuary were causing flooding to public areas such as boat ramps, jetties and local roads. With Easter not far away, public safety and access was a concern prompting the decision to open the estuary to the sea last week," Ms Shapiro said.
A sea of locals gathered at Captain Stephenson's Point to watch from a distance as an excavator and a loader dug out the the sand on big beach at the entrance. At first the canal dug by Parks let out a small trickle of water. And some people mistakenly thought the mission had failed.
Mallacoota local Vaness Rijs said it took about a day for the water to really get flowing.
"We were there on the Thursday when it opened and it began with a small flow of water," Ms Rijs said.
However when she returned over the days that followed she witnessed the mouth opening slowly and steadily. On Sunday afternoon at low tide kids were swimming in the gentle current and by Monday the water was flowing fast and furious and there wasn't a swimming kid in sight.
"They (Parks) managed to open it slowly and let nature run it's course.They left it up to the tides to do their work."
The opening of the mouth has brought relief to many around Mallacoota including boat hire businesses dotted around the lakes. David Ralph from Mallacoota Hire Boats at Coulls Inlet said with their jetty under water for around two months they had managed but the situation was not ideal. He said they overcame the inconvenience by building a jetty upon a jetty.
Mr Ralph said the main problem for the boat hire was for his customers who take the boats up the top lake to explore the waterways and to have picnics.
"People were finding jetties completely under water which made it really difficult for them to disembark to have picnics and use the facilities around the lakes. Everything was very slippery and quite slimy."
Although the water levels have dropped significantly Mr Ralph said there was still a little bit further to go but it was "getting there".
"I'm just glad I don't have to wear my gumboots any more," Mr Ralph laughed.