• Length: 12.4km

  • Duration: 5hrs

  • Grade: 3

  • Style: One Way

  • Start: Aire River information shelter

  • End: Johanna Beach camp ground

  • Closest Town: Hordern Vale

  • Location: Great Otway National Park

  • Distance from state capital: 210km

  • State: VIC

  • Latitude: -38.8014161000

  • Longitude: 143.4775233000


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.


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.

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.

Total distance: 12400 m
Max elevation: 124 m
Min elevation: 2 m
Total climbing: 468 m
Total descent: -456 m
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