Reef Dive | Shore access
Depth: 1 m (3.28 ft) to 10 m (33 ft)
Level: Open Water and beyond.
Eagle Nest Reef is a diving and snorkelling area at Aireys Inlet off the Great Ocean Road (B100) on Victoria's Surf Coast. It lies offshore from Boundary Road facing east into Bass Strait.
Eagle Nest Reef is a sandstone reef backed by 30 to 40 metre high, red bluffs. Between the rock platform, reefs and the bluffs are two narrow beaches. On the north side, the Eagle Nest Reef North beach (aka Sunnymead Beach) is 150 metres long, backed by a cobble storm beach at the base of the bluff and fronted by deep water and a permanent rip against the reefs.
The Eagle Nest Reef South beach is hemmed in between two headlands and platforms. It has a single permanent rip channel straight off the beach. Both beaches are only accessible around the rocks at low tide.
The actual Eagle Nest Reef is a broad limestone reef running parallel to the shore for many kilometres from Split Point to the the south, and further north from this shore access point. If you have access to a dive boat you can use the sounder to find many interesting parts of the reef and dive them. This location at Sunnymead Beach gives you the best shore access to the reef for snorkelling and diving.
Beginner snorkellers will be interested in the inner shallow parts of the reef. More intrepid snorkellers and divers will want to head several hundred metres out to the larger main reef structures. There is plenty of interesting reef structure to explore and lots of marine life to see. You might even get lucky and gather a feed of crayfish or abalone.
Location: Aireys Inlet, Victoria 3231
Parking: Eagle Nest Reef is located at Aireys Inlet, a small coastal town on the Great Ocean Road approximately 125 km west from Melbourne and 48 km south-west of Geelong. When heading south to Aireys Inlet on the Great Ocean Road (B100), turn left onto Boundary Road and follow it east to the point at Sunnymead Beach. Here you'll find a lookout and parking area. Before gearing up check out the water. If you see lots of white water, head on home.
Warning: This is a highly hazardous area with deep water, permanent rips, rocks and reefs. Always go with a buddy and be extremely careful. Experienced divers and snorkellers only.
Entry/Exit: The best entry point is at the rocky points sticking out to sea at the northern end of the beach to the north of Boundary Road. Alternatively, you can trek southwards on the slippery potholed limestone pavement until you're opposite Hopkins Street and enter there.
Ideal Conditions: Only attempt to dive or snorkel here if conditions are very calm with little wind, flat seas, and no swell. The beach faces east, so is best dived with light offshore north-westerly to south-westerly winds. See WillyWeather (Aireys Inlet) as a guide for the tide times and the height of the tide.
Bass Strait Warning: Always keep an eye on sea conditions throughout any shore or boat dive in Bass Strait on Victoria's coastline. Please read the warnings on the web page diving-in-bass-strait before diving or snorkelling this site.
See also Eagles Nest Reef in "Shore Dives of Victoria" by Ian Lewis, 3rd edition page 34.
Divers have the opportunity to catch Abalone at this dive site. Remember your catch bag, legal abalone tool, current Victorian Recreational Fishing Licence, and abalone measure. Please abide by all current fishing regulations if you intend to catch abalone.
Divers have the opportunity to catch Southern Rock Lobster (aka Crayfish) at this dive site. Remember your catch bag, current Victorian Recreational Fishing Licence, rock lobster measure, and cray tags. Once you get back to the dive boat, or shore, make sure you clip the tail and tag your Crayfish as per Fisheries requirements. Please abide by all current fishing regulations if you intend to catch crays. See article-catching-crayfish for practical cray hunting advice from The Scuba Doctor, plus melbourne-cray-dives for a list of other crayfish dive sites near Melbourne. For tips on cooking your Crays, please see article-cooking-crayfish.
Traditional Owners — This dive site is in the traditional Country of the Wathaurong (Wadda-Warrung) people of the Kulin Nation. This truly ancient Country includes the coastline of Port Phillip, from the Werribee River in the north-east, the Bellarine Peninsula, and down to Cape Otway in the south-west. We wish to acknowledge the Wathaurong as Traditional Owners. We pay respect to their Ancestors and their Elders, past, present and emerging. We acknowledge Bunjil the Creator Spirit of this beautiful land, who travels as an eagle, and Waarn, who protects the waterways and travels as a crow, and thank them for continuing to watch over this Country today and beyond.
Eagle Nest Reef Location Map
Latitude: 38° 26.997′ S (38.44995° S / 38° 26′ 59.82″ S)
Longitude: 144° 7.178′ E (144.119635° E / 144° 7′ 10.69″ E)
Datum: WGS84 | Google Map | Get directions
Added: 2022-04-06 00:31:38 GMT, Last updated: 2022-04-29 12:48:27 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Sandy Gully Beach, 1,255 m, bearing 209°, SSW
Aireys Inlet, Surf Coast.
Depth: 1 to 10 m.
DISCLAIMER: No claim is made by The Scuba Doctor as to the accuracy of the dive site coordinates listed here. Should anyone decide to use these GPS marks to locate and dive on a site, they do so entirely at their own risk. Always verify against other sources.
The marks come from numerous sources including commercial operators, independent dive clubs, reference works, and active divers. Some are known to be accurate, while others may not be. Some GPS marks may even have come from maps using the AGD66 datum, and thus may need be converted to the WGS84 datum. To distinguish between the possible accuracy of the dive site marks, we've tried to give each mark a source of GPS, Google Earth, or unknown.