Unlike the Great Ocean Roads big names, like Torquay and Lorne, Aireys Inlet has remained quiet, and non-commercialized and epitomizes the laidback beach lifestyle that has made the Great Ocean Road famous.
That’s not to say the town lacks adventure, good eats, or great beaches. You won’t lack for things to do in Aireys Inlet Australia.
Location of Aireys Inlet Australia
Just a stone’s throw (24 km) from the beginning of the Great Ocean Road is Aireys Inlet. It is approximately 120kms from Melbourne and an easy day trip option.
Head southwest from the Melbournes CBD and hop on Geelong Ring Road and you will be in Aireys Inlet in just under 90 minutes!
Things To Do In Aireys Inlet Australia
Aireys Inlet Fishing
There are an abundance of Aireys Inlet fishing spots and even more fish varieties.
At Painkalac Creek, Moggs Creek and Surf Rod you’ll come across beautiful salmon, snapper and mullets. For the brave of heart, head down to Eastern View where you can go night fishing. If you’re lucky you’ll find salmon, whiting and even the occasional shark at the end of your line.
The best time to head to Moggs Creek is in November when you’ll find an abundance of snapper. In the winter months, focus your efforts around Painkalac Creek for a variety of catches.
You can pop into almost any of the local general stores to check out a selection of fishing gear, tackle and bait to get you started.
For those two-wheel enthusiasts, Aireys Inlet provides fantastic mountain biking! Set through bushland, the courses and trails vary in skill level and has something all riders.
Head up to Bambra Road for a great starting point. Many different trails begin here and eventually fork off.
A short drive will you bring to Anglesea Bike Park. The park boasts Victoria’s first world-class 4X track designed by Glen Jacobs. The park includes dirt jumps, logs, and a skills area.
The park is solely managed a group of local volunteers, so please respect the park when you go and treat it like your own.
If a mountain bike wasn’t something that made it onto your packing list, don’t worry. Local tour company GORATS (or, Great Ocean Road Adventure Tours) offers bike rental and guided tours if you are unfamiliar with the area.
Check out the Surf Coast Offroad Riders, SCOR, for more details.
The longest stretch of coastal beach along the Great Ocean Road is Fairhaven Beach.
It spans 6km east to west. Although it is best suited to experienced swimmers and surfers, there is the Fairhaven Surf Life Saving Club located at the eastern end of the beach.
The waves average 1.5m and are a surfer’s delight. Be aware of multiple rips across the beachfront due to the sand breaks. However, the outside wave has fewer rips and gives way to almost 200m of surfing zone.
Ask the locals about surf points at Moggs Creek for mellow lefts and The Spot reef break.
Split Point Lighthouse
Originally built in 1891, this historic lighthouse is still operational today! A trip to Aireys Inlet is simply not complete without a visit to the Split Point Lighthouse.
Also referred to as “The White Queen”, the Split Point Lighthouse recently featured in MasterChef, Australia!
Many different tours are offered or you can go check it out for yourself. Tours are available every hour on the hour from 11 am to 2 pm daily and run about 30 minutes. Learn about the marine history of the area and enjoy the 360 degrees view from the top!
Pro Tip: Be sure to stop into Willows Tea House for a cuppa and light snack!
Eco Logic Tours
Providing a hands-on opportunity for groups to explore the surrounding area in an environmentally safe way. Eco Logic tours have been operating for 25 years and are the most experienced at what they do in the area!
With a wide range of marine, bush, rivers and sustainability specific tours, there is something for everyone.
Eco Logic Tours provides tours to school groups, social groups, health groups, disability groups, and spiritual groups as well as local and foreign public groups all year long.
Too learn more or book a tour head over to their website.
The Great Ocean Road Gin Distillery
There are many gin distilleries popping up along the Great Ocean Road these days, however, Aireys Inlet is home to the first!
The Great Ocean Road Gin Distillery released its first creation in August 2018 and has been on a roll since. It offers a seemingly endless selection of Victorian Gins to sample by the glass in its beautiful tasting room.
It is a family run business that has already won prestigious awards after its first year open.
The tasting room is currently only open Friday through Sunday and offers cocktails, bottle sales, and light snacks, but be sure to check the hours when you visit.
For groups, tastings outside regular hours can be made by appointment. Additionally, you can be sure to find workshops and local events details on their Facebook or webpage.
What better way to enjoy your Australian road trip than with a more traditional mode of transport?
Blazing Saddles is considered a “must-do” by many and offers beach or bush guided tours for all levels, as well as private parties.
If riding isn’t your thing, you can also relax at the cafe on-site and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Situated a short drive out of Aireys Inlet town centre and backing onto Painkalac Creek, you are guaranteed to enjoy this experience!
Discover Painkalac Creek by paddle. Perhaps one of the best locations to canoe along the entire Great Ocean Road, the creek provides beautiful views of the river valley.
You’ll be able to choose where you launch as there are many jetties to access. For the best access through, make your way to Inlet Crescent, River Road, and Bambra Road.
Pack a picnic for the day and enjoy your lunch in the peaceful surroundings. There are no motorized vehicles allowed so you’ll be free to explore in the sounds of nature.
You can actually navigate all the way from the beach up to Blazing Saddles Horse Rides and take a break to enjoy a coffee at the cafe on site!
A coastal road trip wouldn’t be complete without a relaxing coastal walk and Aireys Inlet is sure to adhere.
After spending your morning exploring Split Lighthouse you can take a leisurely walk down to Sunnymead Beach heading east. The walk brings you around the coastal corner of the lighthouse and eventually opens up to a beautiful cliff and beach views.
It is a great place to relax and watch the surfers dance on the waves as the beach is quite secluded compared to other surrounding beaches.
Alternatively, you can start further east and walk into Urquhart Bluff and approach the same beach heading west. At the east end of the walk you’ll have access to some basic facilities and picnic tables. A great place to enjoy a packed lunch!
If a guided walk is more up your alley, Surf Coast Walks offers a combination of walks starting from Torquay, Anglesea, Aireys Inlet or Lorne. Check their website for times when you visit and they may change due to tides.
Eagles Nest Art Gallery
For a cultural afternoon, head into Eagles Nest Art Gallery in the center of Aireys Inlet.
The gallery displays many local artists of many different methods. A majority of the artists are inspired by the beautiful, tranquil surroundings at their doorsteps. You’ll find handmade jewelry, paintings, sculptures, glassworks and more!
Be sure to check out the current exhibitions online or simply take a stroll through town and head into the gallery.
After a morning of exploring there’s no better way to wind down than with an afternoon coffee and lunch.
There are so many great local restaurants and cafes, with new ones popping up! You can easily spend a relaxing day hopping around enjoying a coffee here, a pie there with fresh, locally grown ingredients! See our whole list of places to eat and drink in Aireys Inlet.
With such a wealth of things that do Aireys Inlet, you have to make this a must-do stop along your Great Ocean Road adventure!
Have you been to Aireys Inlet? Tell us what you think in the comments below!