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Aireys Inlet



Community, Business and Visitor Guide

Aireys Inlet Local History

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Aireys Inlet is a small town located in the Surf Coast Shire of Victoria, Australia. It is situated along the famous Great Ocean Road and is a popular destination for tourists and surfers alike. However, the town also has a rich local history that dates back to the early days of European settlement in the region.

The Wadawurrung People

Aireys Inlet is part of the traditional territory of the Wadawurrung people, who inhabited the area for thousands of years prior to European arrival. The Wadawurrung people were primarily hunter-gatherers, who relied on the land and sea for their sustenance. They had a rich culture and spirituality, which was closely tied to the natural world.

European Settlement

The area that is now Aireys Inlet was first explored by Europeans in the early 1800s. The first European to visit the area was the explorer Charles Robbins, who arrived in 1802. However, it wasn't until the 1850s that European settlement began in earnest. The first European settlers in the area were farmers and timber workers, who established small communities along the coast.

The Lighthouse

One of the most iconic landmarks in Aireys Inlet is the Split Point Lighthouse, which was built in 1891. The lighthouse was constructed to guide ships along the treacherous coastline, which had claimed many lives. The lighthouse was manned by keepers until 1919, when it was automated. Today, the lighthouse is a popular tourist attraction and is open for tours.

The Surfing Culture

Aireys Inlet has long been a popular destination for surfers, thanks to its consistent waves and beautiful beaches. The town has a rich surfing history, with many of the early pioneers of Australian surfing calling Aireys Inlet home. In the 1960s, the first surfing competitions were held at nearby beaches, which helped to establish the town as a surfing mecca.

The Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road is one of the most scenic drives in Australia, and Aireys Inlet is located right in the heart of it. The road was built between 1919 and 1932, and was designed to connect coastal communities and provide employment during the difficult post-World War I years. Today, the Great Ocean Road is a major tourist attraction, attracting millions of visitors every year.

In Conclusion

Aireys Inlet may be a small town, but it has a rich local history that is well worth exploring. From the traditional lands of the Wadawurrung people, to European settlement, to the establishment of the surfing culture, Aireys Inlet has played an important role in the history of the Surf Coast region. Whether you're a local or a tourist, take the time to discover the fascinating history of this unique town.

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Split Point Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet thanks to Biguana