Port Fairy’s main beach, East beach is 5.8 km long, extending in a broad, curving arc from Reef Point in the east, where it faces south, to the North Mole or harbour entrance wall in the south, where it faces east. Erosion along the southern end has resulted in the construction of a rough seawall and several wooden groynes.
The Port Fairy Surf Life Saving Club, founded in 1950, is located on the foredune 1 km north of the north entrance wall. Its members average 10 rescues each year. The beach is composed of fine, white sand. It receives waves that average less than 0.5 m in the south, about 1 m at the surf lifesaving club (where it is also called East Beach) and up to 1.7 m by Reef Point. In response to the changing waves, the beach is fronted by a single, continuous, attached bar in the southern corner, with rips rarely present. However, by the surf club the surf is over 150 m wide with two bars. The inner bar is cut by rips every 250 m, while the outer bar has more widely spaced rips. Further up the beach, the waves and rips intensify. During and following high seas, a 300 to 400 m wide surf zone and a third outer bar can form.
Pea Soup / South Beach
The shore is fringed by continuous basalt reefs lying 100 to 200 m offshore. In lee of the reef are two beaches, both bordered by low, basalt rocks. The first is South or Pea Soup Beach. It is a 500 m long, south facing beach. It adjoins a smaller, 200 m long beach that is backed by scarped dunes and, in places, a protective basalt seawall. The reefs completely protect the wide, low beaches at low tide. Shallow lagoons lie between the beaches and the reefs. At high tide, small waves reach the beaches and wash over continuous, shallow bars with no rips.
South Mole Beach has formed during the past century, since the construction of the harbor moles or entrance walls at the mouth of the Moyne River. The beach lies on the north side of Griffiths Island, between the low dune calcarenite that forms the island and the wall. It can be reached on foot from the car park via a footbridge to the island. The beach is 200 m long and faces north-east. It is protected by the island and waves average about 0.5 m at the beach. This results in a low, continuous bar and usually no rips.
Killarney Beach is located at the end of Beach Road just over 1 km from the Princes Highway. There are picnic areas and a car park, as well as a beach boat launching area at the second car park. The 1km long beach is protected by continuous offshore reefs and waves are usually low to calm at the beach. The bar is shallow and continuous with usually no rips.
Peterborough Beach is 800 m long, faces south-south-west and is also protected by the offshore reefs and those near the inlet. It usually has a steep beach with surging waves. There are parking and picnic areas just before the bridge and, when the inlet is closed, the beach is also accessible from the Peterborough foreshore reserve.
Childers Cove itself is another small, embayed beach. It is 100 m long with a bluff crossing the western end of the beach. It is backed by 30 m high, grassy bluffs, and 40 m high, red headlands guarding the cove. The beach is low and flat, with a shallow bay floor. It has a few reefs and one narrow sea stack just off the beach. A permanent rip drains out of the cove.
Bay of Islands Beach
The Bay of Islands is an irregular, semi-circular bay that faces south-west and has several large sea stacks or islands dotted about the bay, together with rocks and reefs. Most of the Bay Shore is made up of steep, 10 to 20 m high limestone bluffs. However, tucked in the eastern corner of the bay and right next to the bend in the Great Ocean Road, is a gorge containing a 70 m long beach. The beach is used for boat launching and there is a steep ramp and steps descending from the bluffs to the beach. The beach itself is narrow, with deep water offshore, particularly at high tide. The reefs filter out most waves, with usually calm conditions at the beach.
For more information, current conditions and patrol dates, visit the Beach Safe website
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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.