The Great Ocean Road’s best-kept secret

by Sunday, January 6, 2019

When our friends Ange and Paul Saines dropped us a line saying, “Here’s a little article about Aireys Inlet and why we love it so much”, we swooned and knew we must share it with you, Dear Traveller. Enjoy!

Less than two hours west of Melbourne, there’s a slice of paradise that, if you blinked while driving along the Great Ocean Road, you’d easily miss: Aireys Inlet.

Twelve years ago, after renting a holiday house and falling in love with Aireys, we decided, along with my husband’s parents and his three siblings, to do everything we could to purchase a tiny shack here. People always ask us, “With so many of you, how does it all work? What keeps you all coming back after so many years?”. After being away for six months, driving along the Great Ocean Road took our breath away, AGAIN. Here’s just a few reasons why….

Delve a little deeper into what looks like a sleepy little town and you will be pleasantly surprised with what this place has to offer. With beautiful forest on one side and amazing, rugged coastline on the other, Mother Nature works at her best here, providing something for everyone.

Having experienced some spectacular coastlines in our travels, we are always drawn back to Aireys where the dramatic, cliff-top walks provide some of the best scenery imaginable.

The famous lighthouse.

There’s a majestic lighthouse (made famous by my favourite 1980s TV show “Round the Twist”) perched on the cliff top where you can take a tour to the top and reward yourself with a serve of famous scones from Willows Tea House, near the base.

If doing something a little different takes your fancy, you can admire the coastline on horseback via Blazing Saddles tours.

Great Ocean Road mini golf.

Or, perhaps experience the cleverly designed Great Ocean Road mini golf, inspired by the surrounding scenery.

Locally brewed beer tasting paddle and lunch at Aireys Pub.

We often finish our days enjoying a cold drink at the Aireys Pub, where the kids have so much space to run around and explore, giving us, bigger kids (adults) time to savour the locally brewed beer, food delights and atmosphere.

With just one general store in town, it offers everything you need and quite possibly the surrounding few cafes and restaurants rival some of the well-known, big-city ones. It seems this place has got it right: a little bit of everything without over doing it, sufficiently pleasing everyone’s appetite.

Our family enjoying our time at Aireys.

This place is special to us. We all keep coming back creating memories here. I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe it’s the fact that we have many ‘local’ beaches to enjoy, or the fact that we feel like we are a million miles from a city in this sleepy little town. Or just maybe this charming, rustic town has imprinted itself on our whole family that we now feel it’s a part us. Either way, we make it work because we love this place and we keep coming back because it continues to amaze us. If you ever get an opportunity, do yourself a favour and experience for yourself everything that Aireys Inlet has to offer.