Soak Up the Views at Split Point Lighthouse

Located in the picturesque Aireys Inlet amidst the stunning scenery of the Great Ocean Road, Split Point Lighthouse juts skywards with its 34-metre-tall tower and its recognisable red cap. The lighthouse is known affectionately to the locals as ‘The White Queen’ as a result of its stark white façade.

It remains a working lighthouse, but it is open to the public for guided tours on the weekends, where visitors can marvel at the sweeping views out across the Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary, the Great Ocean Road, and Phillip Island.

The land surrounding the lighthouse is spectacular, with rugged cliffs and wild beaches. There is also a replica of the traditional bark huts that the original settlers in Aireys would have set up home in, plus the beach that sprawls out around the base of the lighthouse is smattered with fascinating rockpools waiting to be discovered.

Why you should visit Aireys Inlet

This town may not be one of the largest along the Great Ocean Road, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a visit. In fact, you most likely will pass Aireys Inlet on your journey as it’s the gateway to the Great Otway National Park. It’s also a popular hub for surfing at the nearby Fairhaven and Anglesea beach, mountain bike riding, bird watching and fishing to name a few activities. A trip to Aireys Inlet isn’t complete without visiting the star attraction- Split Point Lighthouse. Nearby at the Allan Noble Sanctuary, explore the replica bark hut of Thomas and Martha Pease, some of the first settlers in the town.

History of Split Point Lighthouse

Split Point Lighthouse

Split Point Lighthouse has been an unmanned lighthouse since 1919, a time when it wasn’t easy to access the inside of the tower. In fact, it was a rare treat for people to admire the views from the top. Originally, the lighthouse was called the Eagles Nest Point when it was constructed in 1891 and was a critical site in guiding ships along the treacherous Shipwreck Coast. In 1919, the lighthouse switched from using kerosene to automatic, however, the structure as you see it today is the original design.

Throughout the 20th century, the lighthouse was happily nestled among a residential area on an unsealed road. But, after years of planning and visions of growth, various organisations and individuals prepared the lighthouse and its surroundings to be opened for the public to view. This was in November 2005, after the local Surf Coast Shire awarded Eco-Logic the ability to run tours of the lighthouse.

Today, visitors can enjoy guided tours of the lighthouse every weekend throughout the year, as well as weekdays during the school holidays, giving them a chance to soak up the exceptional views of the surrounding landscape.

The tours themselves last around thirty minutes or so, where visitors can clamber up the original staircase, enjoy the views from the balcony below the lantern room, and discover the historic narratives that weave through the lighthouse. Unfortunately, the top part of the lighthouse is now used as a mobile phone base station, so visitors can’t enter this area, and the original lighthouse keeper’s quarters is now a privately owned residence that sits next door to the lighthouse.

Having appeared in numerous television shows, Split Point Lighthouse has found itself in the limelight on several occasions, including on the children’s programme Round the Twist.

A trip to the lighthouse promises visitors amazing views of the country’s rugged scenery and a glimpse into 20th century Australia on the stunning Great Ocean Road.

Walking Trails Near the Split Point Lighthouse

  • Lighthouse Discovery Trail

    This easy walk is around 2.2 kilometres and begins at the Split Point Lighthouse and finishes in the small village of Fairhaven. This coastal walk will take you past prime whale-watching lookouts, and through an ancient tribal boundary line. The track includes some low hills and a couple of steps but is quite accessible track-wise.

  • Aireys Clifftop Walk

    Aireys Clifftop Walk

    Beginning at the Split Point Lighthouse and finishing in Sunnymead, this easy walk takes around 2.7 kilometres to complete. The trail gives you a taste of the best of the Great Ocean Road, with views of the beach, and walks inland through the bush.

  • Exploring the Great Otway National Park

    If you’re looking for adventure while travelling down the Great Ocean Road, then look no further than the Great Otway National Park. Whether you’re a curious explorer wanting to discover the cascade waterfalls of the park or a thrill-seeker after the adrenaline rush of ziplining through the forest canopy, you could easily spend a day here at one with nature and enjoying time well spent with family and friends.

  • Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary

    Protecting over 17 hectares of ocean waters off the shore of Aireys Inlet, home to the Eagle Rock and Table Rock, two limestone stacks that jut out of the water. Further away from the shore, marine species such as octopus, crabs and sea sponges are known to the area as well as different species of sharks. It’s also a feeding area for local sea birds who get their food from the shoreline. At the sanctuary, you might even come across the remnants of ‘middens’, ancient Aboriginal cooking sites which are over 2000 years old. There has been evidence found that a core staple of Aboriginals living on the coast is molluscs. Molluscs are invertebrate animals such as sea snails, mussels and even octopus.

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