Follow the Great Ocean Road beaches trail–Peterborough to Port Fairy.
The Shipwreck Coast section of the Great Ocean Road runs from Peterborough to Port Fairy. West of Peterborough is the Bay of Islands, featuring dramatic limestone cliffs, offshore islands, towering rock stacks and other remarkable natural wonders.
The stretch of coastline around Port Fairy also boasts a selection of dazzling beaches and scenic lookouts.
Expect salt spray, breezy fun, lots of swims and lazy beach strolls to distant limestone cliffs. It feels like a world away, yet youâ€™re within easy reach of the creature comforts of Peterborough. This true ocean beach has surging waves and a permanent rip at the eastern end â€“ plus some seriously good fishing, in the lagoon or off the beach or rocks. Nearby parking and picnic areas mean you can stay and play all day without a care in the world. Flanked by dramatic limestone cliffs, this open ocean beach feels like a different world. The beach has surging waves and a permanent rip at the eastern endâ€”plus some seriously good fishing in the lagoon, off the beach or from the rocks. Parking and picnic areas are nearby.
Bay of Islands Beach
Scenic and good for the soul, this windswept coastline offers up unexpected treats like sea swimming far from the madding crowd. Thereâ€™s deep water offshore, particularly at high tide, but the reefs filter out most waves. In the bayâ€™s eastern corner at a bend in the Great Ocean Road, the rugged, bluff-fringed shore gives way to a narrow 70m long beach thatâ€™s usually remarkably calm. Bring your camera and capture some stunning visual keepsakes.
Swim at this windswept and scenic beach away from the crowds. The water is deep offshore, particularly at high tide, but the reefs filter out most waves. In the bayâ€™s eastern corner, the bluff-fringed shore gives way to a narrow 70-metre-long beach, normally remarkably calm.
A secluded, get-away ocean beach where Nature rules time and tide. Take the narrow 7km road detour from the Great Ocean Road and let a day of perfect solitude unfold. This small cove is low and flat, but beware, a permanent rip lurks so swimming is not recommended. Instead, chillax in the secluded locale, amble between the shallows and the sandy tracts, and ogle some of the largest sea stacks this side of the 12 Apostles.
Detour down a narrow seven-kilometre-long road to this secluded ocean beach. The small cove has little surfâ€”but beware, it has a permanent rip, so swimming is not recommended. Instead, just relax and admire some of the largest sea stacks this side of the Twelve Apostles.
More summer fun in Peterborough
Play a nine-hole round of golf at the challenging Peterborough Golf Course on the cliff tops of the wild coastline, with stunning ocean views.
Take the 15-minute drive to Port Campbell for lunch. This colourful and vibrant seaside town offers a good selection of restaurants and cafes with beach views.
Discover the family-friendly beaches in and around the town of Port Fairy. The protected waters are all ideal for swimming or boogie boarding, and feature great rock pools for exploring with the kids.
The jewel of Port Fairy! East Beachâ€™s 5.8km shoreline curves in a broad arc from Reef Point to the harbour entrance wall. Paddle or swim safely in the shelter of the bay. Dig your toes into the fine, white sand. Read the afternoon away in utter relaxation. Surf any of many breaks in the shallow surf zone â€“ try Oigles, a local favourite that breaks over an old shipwreck. Swim between the flags and say hello to the local lifeguards.
Pea Soup / South Beach
Safe, small and super-fun. On the south side of Port Fairy, Pea Soup and South Beach are adjoining reef-protected, family-friendly beaches. Reach the sand with ease via any of three car parks with direct shore access. You could spend hours discovering curious creatures in the rock pools, building sandcastles and paddling in the shallows. Both beaches are relatively safe for swimmers, but keep an eye out for submerged rocks and holes, especially at high tide.
Try stand-up board paddling or swimming at South Mole, known for its small waves and continuous shallow sand bar. This 200-metre-long beach faces north-east and is relatively safe for swimmers and boardriders. Walk from Martins Point car park to the beach via the Griffiths Island footbridge.
More summer fun in Port Fairy
Let Port Fairy Surf School teach you how to stand up on a board in the surf, and enjoy the water at the same time.
Have fun with the kids at the Port Fairy 18-hole Mini Golf Course located in the Big4 Holiday Park. The course has landscaped gardens with paved walkways and its very own Mount Kosciuszko!
Explore Griffiths Island, with its colony of shearwaters, small mob of swamp wallabies, winding pathways and a historic lighthouse at its eastern tip.
Drive the wild and wonderfully scenic coastline to The Crags Coastal Reserve and the safety of Killarney Beach. Take refuge in the protected estuaries surrounding Port Fairy and Yambuk with a variety of water activities.
Fun on the waterways
The Moyne regionâ€™s waterways flow with fishing, fun and watersports. Take the kids angling for bream, salmon or mullet in protected estuaries at Port Fairy, Peterborough or Yambuk, where fishing platforms and secret spots abound. Dive in for gentle swimming away from the ocean waves, canoe glide across a lake against a scenic backdrop, or stand-up paddleboard along a river with local birdlife as your guides. Wind surfers love cruising the waters at Belfast Lough, South Beach and Killarney.
A beach for the ages! This hidden gem boasts Victoriaâ€™s best whiting fishing, safe snorkelling and paddling in a natural lagoon. Killarney Beach also offers prolific birdlife, a boat ramp and is perfect for long beach walksâ€”but donâ€™t forget your surfboard! Take the kids to the nearby playground and enjoy a swim afterwards in the safe shallows of the beach.
Cycle the Port Fairy to Warrnambool Rail Trail, a 37-kilometre-long walking/cycling pathway meandering through a scenic, diverse and remote part of the Great Ocean Road. Enjoy the sea views as you pass through the historic towns of Port Fairy and Koroit, rural countryside, woodlands and native vegetation. Bring your own bike, or hire one from the Port Fairy Visitor Information Centre.
Visit Basalt Vineyard, on the Great Ocean Road near Port Fairy. Tour the vineyard, learn about the art of winemaking, taste wine in the rustic surroundings of the cellar door, and devour tasty bar snacks.
Take the slide of your life at Yambuk Lake’s 33-metre-long giant beach slide. It’s not only exciting but will reward you with panoramic coastal and ocean views.
Cruise to Lady Julia Percy Island to see colonies of fur seals, little penguins and seabirds. Just 22 kilometres south-west of Port Fairy, it is Australia’s only off-shore volcano.
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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.