Painkalac Creek runs through Aireys Inlet, right by the town at the base of the hill that the Split Point Lighthouse sits on. When you’re driving along the Great Ocean Road, shortly after you go past the lighthouse, you’ll see then cross the Painkalac Creek which is pristine estuary that runs for about 3.5 kms.

The Surf Coast walk that starts in Torquay, passes through here and goes along the creek for a short distance before finishing a little while after at Fairhaven Beach, which is just at the south of Aireys Inlet

A lot of shade surrounds the creek and there are plenty of platforms on the waters’ edge, making it a scenic fishing spot or just a very nice place to stop and get a stunning view of the creek. From some angles, the Painkalac Creek almost looks like a lake and it pretty much is due to the creeks mouth to the ocean often being closed.

Painkalac Creek is known for its drastic changes. If the mouth is closed and there hasn’t been a lot of rain, the water level will reduce and almost dry up in some spots. On the other hand, after a wet couple of weeks, the creek floods and becomes much wider.

Painkalac Creek, Aireys Inlet
Fishing jetty at Painkalac Creek, Aireys Inlet

Fishing at Painkalac Creek

Down near the mouth of Painkalac Creek, there are loads of small platforms for you to fish from. As there are dozens of quality fishing spots nearby and with so many small jetty’s near the river mouth, you’ll almost always find a nice place to yourself where you can throw a line in.

If the mouth of the creek is open and there’s a bit of movement with the tide, then you’ll have a good chance of catching some Salmon and there are plenty of Mullet swimming around too.

The creek has a lot of Bream that can be found just about anywhere from the mouth to the start of the river, about 3.5kms upstream. Behind the shops, not far back from the mouth is a decent spot for Bream. If you don’t have any luck around there, head further up the creek and find a quiet bend. There, you should still be able to catch some Bream and also Estuary Perch.

If you’re not from the area, it’s best to have some sort of idea of how the weather has been in the weeks leading up to your trip. Heavy rain or drought conditions heavily impact the water level. Sometimes the flow of the creek is almost a trickle, other times it floods way past the creek beds and creates super murky water from all of the dirt and sand that gets washed in.

Painkalac Creek with Split Point lighthouse in the background
Painkalac Creek with Split Point lighthouse
Black Swan at Painkalac Creek, Aireys Inlet