AIREY'S INLET: IT'S CLOSER THAN YOU THINK!by ALI VELLA
Airey's Inlet is one of my favorite destinations on the Great Ocean Road.
It's under 2 hours from Melbourne (even less from Ballarat) and I can potter around the local markets, kick back with a gin in a cosy bar, and get out in nature.
If you've never been to Airey's Inlet, here are some of my favorite things to do that will easily fill your weekend or mid-week escape:
Buy local at the Aireys Inlet Market
I’m a sucker for a good craft market! It’s a collection of the community’s creativity and an opportunity to support local artists who are doing what they love. From eclectic jewellery to ceramic goods and homegrown cactus, Aireys Inlet Market is full of beautiful things to bring home with you. It runs on selected Sundays from 9am -1pm at Aireys Inlet Community Hall. So, stop by to get your hands on some beautiful recycled, handmade and vintage goods, including their beautiful woollen winter scarves and beanies.
Sink a G&T at Great Ocean Road Gin
Tucked away on a sea-side shopping strip, Great Ocean Road Gin’s tasting room is the perfect place to sink a G&T. Surrounded by shady trees, colourful pillows, and a bright blue bar, it reflects the surfy spirit of the Great Ocean Road. Their award-winning gin is clean and refreshing with a hint of citrus and local botanicals that are handpicked from the area. And their home-made jaffles are great too, especially on a cold day!
Explore Split Point Lighthouse
No trip to Aireys Inlet is complete without visiting Split Point Lighthouse. At 34 metres tall, it has spectacular views of the coast with boardwalks that extend onto its rocky cliffs. Tours run on the hour from 11am – 2pm, so you can climb the original timber staircase and see the breath-taking views from above. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head down to the Lighthouse Tearooms for a damn good Devonshire tea with freshly baked scones.
Hike your heart out
Sometimes the best way to see the Great Ocean Road is to (safely) park your car and explore it by foot. Put on your gumboots and take a 2km discovery walk across the sand, through the bush and into the township to experience the best of Aireys Inlet. If you're visiting in winter, keep an eye out for dorsal fins and tail flukes because Aireys Inlet is a great place to spot whales.
Fuel up at a foodie destination
From A La Grecque to Onda Food House, Aireys Inlet is full of great places to eat. But my top pick would have to be Aireys Pub. With a brewery on site, Aireys Pub serves a variety of premium beers, crisp pilsners and seasonal lagers that go down nicely with a crispy woodfire pizza. But what I love most about this regional pub is its outdoor beer garden with communal tables and an insanely good view of the ocean. And if it’s raining you can always cosy up next to one of their flaming hot open fireplaces.
Practice your backswing at Great Ocean Road Mini Golf
Looking for a way to burn off the excess food you devoured at Aireys Pub? Head into Great Ocean Road Mini Golf to play around replicas of the region’s most iconic landmarks including the 12 Apostles, Split Point Lighthouse and the Great Ocean Road Arch. Then challenge your mates to some of the club’s epic arcade and board games including Connect Four and Giant Kerplunk.
Where to stay...
Lightkeepers Inn Motel
Located in the town centre of Aireys Inlet, Lightkeepers Inn Motel offers comfortable and affordable accommodation along the Great Ocean Road.
Aireys Overboard Seaside Cottage
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Book a stay with Holiday Great Ocean Road this winter and get your 3rd night free!
Aireys Inlet Getaway Resort
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2 Night Special, Lightkeepers Inn Motel
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