• Length: 12.4km

  • Duration: 5hrs

  • Grade: 3

  • Style: One Way

  • Start: Aire River information shelter

  • End: Johanna Beach camp ground

  • Location: Great Otway National Park

  • Closest Town: Hordern Vale

  • Distance from CBD: 210km

  • State: VIC

  • Latitude: -38.8014161

  • Longitude: 143.4775233

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2WD Access

4WD Access

Public Transport

Bitumen Road

Gravel Road

Steep Road

Winding Road

Speed Bumps

Vehicle Ford

Entry Fee

Large Car Park

Small Car Park

Accessible Parking

Accessible Toilet

Public Toilets

Drinking Water

Untreated Water

Picnic Shelter

Picnic Table

BBQ Facilities

Campfire Pit

Camping Area

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Great Otway National Park...

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Concrete Path

Timber Boardwalk

Gravel Path

Sandy Trail

Rough Trail

Undefined Trail

Prams & Strollers

Manual Wheelchair

Motorised Wheelchair

Bicycle Trail

Mountain Bike Trail

Historic Rail Trail

Dog Friendly

Urban Walk

Coast & Beach

Historic Lighthouse

Waterfalls & Lakes

Rainforest Walk

Goldfields & Mining

Heritage Walk

Aboriginal Art

Alpine Region

Alpine Huts

Exposed Ledges

Rock Scrambling

Steep Terrain

Bush Bashing

River Crossings

Scenic Viewpoints

Well Marked

Drinking Water

Untreated Water

Fishing Spots

Swimming Spots

Overnight Campsites

Trail Running

Horse Riding


Aire River to Johanna Beach is a 12.4km, grade 3 one way hike, located in Great Otway National Park, Victoria. The hike should take approximately 5hrs to complete.

Hike Summary

The Aire River to Johanna Beach hike is aan impressively satisfying hike through diverse terrain to beautiful Johanna Beach. Pass through heathland with spring wildflowers and experience awesome sea views.

From Aire River the track heads inland for a while, climbing up and around the next headland through spinifex forests, and then continues along the coastal path with sweeping views of the rugged coastline. Expect some ups and downs with a little climbing before you get to Castle Cove. Located on a spectacular bend of the Great Ocean Road at Glenaire, Castle Cove is a beautiful beach surrounded by towering cliffs which have high archaeological significance, as dinosaur fossils have been found here.

From Castle Cove the track winds its way along the cliff tops, through heath-lands and forests, occasionally emerging to give breathtaking and extensive views along the coast. The forest here is an interesting mixture of manna gums, spring wildflowers and magnificent expanses of grass trees. Make sure you keep an eye out above for Peregrine Falcons.

Eventually you will emerge onto the broad expanse of Johanna Beach. This beautiful beach is one of the best in Australia with superb views and enormous crashing surf.

About the region

Great Otway National Park stretches from Torquay, along the world-famous Great Ocean Road and up through the Otways hinterland. Discover windswept coastlines and breathtaking waterfalls in tall mountain forests, walk the iconic Great Ocean Walk, immerse yourself in the Otway Lightstation's history, or surf some of the best breaks in Australia. Enjoy the great outdoors and explore the wonders of the Great Otway National Park. Great Otway National Park is in southern Victoria, Australia. It covers rugged coastland, beaches and the mountains of the Otway Ranges. Waterfalls dot the park, including the 3 cascades of Triplet Falls. Boardwalks lead through temperate rainforest at Maits Rest. The 1848 Cape Otway Lightstation perches on cliffs overlooking Bass Strait. Great Ocean Walk leads through the park to the Twelve Apostles rock formations.

Getting there

From Melbourne take the Princes Highway to Geelong, then continue through to Colac. Turn south along the C155 through the scenic Otway Ranges to Lavers Hill. Turn left onto the Great Ocean Road. You will need to leave a car at Johanna Beach, the end of the hike.

The start point is located at Aire River West. Access is via Horden Vale Road, Horden Vale. This road is narrow in sections and crosses Aire River on a single lane timber bridge. The road and bridge are not suitable for large buses.

The day visitor area is located on the west side of Aire River adjacent to the campground. There is also a day visitor area on the east side of the river but there are no accessible toilets on this side.


Be mindful of the tides and weather alpong Johanna beach and the Johanna River as this can be a dangerious section if the conditions are against you.

GPX File

Total distance: 12400 m
Max elevation: 125 m
Min elevation: 3 m
Total climbing: 465 m
Total descent: -453 m
Download GPX File

Hikes Nearby

One thought on “Aire River to Johanna Beach (12.4km)

  1. An impressive walk away from the more frequently visited tourist spots on the Great Ocean Rd.
    Small correction to closest town; Horden Vale is a rural farming district. Closest town (food and fuel) would probably be Lavers Hill.
    Recently hiked from The Gables Lookout carpark (near Moonlight Head) to Ryans Den camping ground and then back again. Said to be the hardest section of the GOR Walk. Magnificent scenery, well worth a visit if looking for a challenging day hike.

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