Sandy Mouth Of The Sherbrook River Meeting The Southern Ocean
Sherbrook River (almost) meets the ocean on the Great Ocean Road, just near Thunder Cave, Loch Ard Gorge and a short drive from the 12 Apostles.
Sherbrook River Mouth and the surrounding area is most likely going to be the most unique, interesting and fun place that you explore on your Great Ocean Road trip. Unlike the Apostles, there are normally way less people here and there’s a lot more to do. There are several beaches that you can climb down to and about half a dozen small walks and sights to discover.
Sherbrook River is only just over 12 kilometres long. Feeding into the the river is Anderson Creek that is also quite short starting about 5 kilometres away at Ferguson Hill. Due to Sherbrook River being quite small with a low volume of water and only descending a total of 144 metres, there isn’t a lot of flow and the river doesn’t always reach the Southern Ocean.
The river mouth is usually blocked by a small and wide sand dune that creates the Sherbrook Creek Beach, sometimes a creek makes its way through the sandy mouth from the river to the Southern Ocean. The closed river mouth and beach makes the area a lot more accessible, allowing you to walk hundreds of metres and explore the area much further.
It’s a cool place to spend some time admiring the waves and rugged coastline. The river mouth is a one a kilometre walk from the car park, add a few hundred metres if you go past Mutton Bird Island and Thunder Cave or if you parked at Loch Ard Gorge. Look out for snakes on warm days.
Swimming At Sherbrook Creek Beach: The River Mouth Beach
It’s hard to find another person at this pristine beach. Although it’s so close to the Apostles, which is Australia’s most visited natural attraction, it’s rare to see anyone else on the beach.
Being a very quiet and beautiful sandy beach that stretches for hundreds of metres means it could potentially be an incredible swimming spot to add to your Great Ocean Road itinerary, but we’d suggest keeping dry here and remember that this part of coastline is the called the Shipwreck Coast and is home to some of the most treacherous and wild ocean conditions on the planet.
Not far out from the beach are different reefs and sandbars which create some pretty big waves. The beach itself is steep, so the waves then barrel down just a short distance from where you’d enter the water. The waves are super powerful along this coastline and the conditions can change fast.
If you’re keen to head into the water, instead try driving just five minutes west (away from Melbourne & the Apostles) to Port Campbell. There’s a safe and really nice beach right in the middle of town.
On a calm day, it can be safe to swim here. With the right conditions it can be a decent place to surf waves between 1-4 metres that roll in off the heads.
Tragedy Struck at Sherbrook River Mouth: Father & Son Drowned
Unfortunately, tragedy has struck here before. Only recently in 2019, an international tourist was walking along the Sherbrook River Mouth in the water when he got pulled out to the ocean.
A father and son raced to the area from nearby Port Campbell in an effort to rescue the man. During their rescue, they were thrown from their small vessel into the surf where they both died, although rescued the tourist while doing so.
If a couple of Life Saver locals died in the strong waves at the Sherbrook River Mouth, then it really isn’t safe for too many people and goes towards us recommending that you don’t swim there.
Getting To The Sherbrook River Mouth
The Sherbrook River (almost) meets the ocean in the Port Campbell National Park. Drive west along the Great Ocean Road from the 12 Apostles for around five kilometres and turn into the ‘Loch Ard Gorge’ parking area. As you turn off the Great Ocean Road, you quickly arrive at an intersection where you should turn right. Drive as far straight as you can and find a place to park.
If you’re just wanting to visit the Sherbrook River, then you want to park as far west as you can, although the main attraction here is definitely Loch Ard Gorge and Sherbook River Mouth is less than a one kilomtre walk from the gorge.
Make sure you don’t put ‘Sherbrook River’ into your GPS, instead ‘Loch Ard Gorge’. Otherwise, it might take you to Ferguson Hill which is about a 65 kilometre drive down a winding and unsealed road.
Accommodation & Camping At Sherbrook River Mouth
You cannot camp or rent a room for the night at the Sherbrook River Mouth although there are plenty of options nearby.
Port Campbell is very close, less than 10 kms to the west and has loads of places to stay. From luxury accommodation to budget backpacker hostels, it’s all here. There is also a private camping park.
If you’re to head about the same distance east, you’ll come to Princetown. In the town itself is an Inn with accommodation and a camping and caravan park across the road. Starting from $15 or so per night, pitch a tent beside the Kangaroos down on the old Princetown Recreation Reserve.
There are also plenty of places to go camping that are out bush and nearby in the Otway National Park. Aire Crossing Campground is right in the forest and Johanna Beach Campground sits on possibly the most beautiful beach on the entire Great Ocean Road.