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Walk 16: Distillery Creek to Painkalac Dam
A pleasant walk behind Aireys Inlet through ironbarks and other eucalypts on well-formed tracks along the south side of the Painkalac Dam with good water views. No longer the water source for Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven, the dam is now open to the public, and delightful in hot weather with a picnic table, many water birds and possibly a platypus.
Upper car park at Distillery Creek Picnic Ground
3 hr– 8 km return
How to get there

Turn off the Great Ocean Road at Bambra Road, just east of the bottom shops in Aireys Inlet. Follow the bitumen road alongside the Painkalac Creek Valley for 2.5 km and then turn left at junction of Bambra Road and Distillery Creek Road. The lower car park and picnic area is on the right-hand side and the upper car park and picnic area on the left-hand side has an information board and toilets. Both have picnic tables and wood-fired barbecues (supply your own wood).

Walk Notes
Blue-winged Parrot

Begin the walk on the track near the Distillery Creek toilet block where there is a sign to Moggs Creek Picnic Ground. The forest track takes you through a variety of eucalypts with private farmland on your left. The blackened trunks are a reminder of the 1983 bushfires and more recent planned burns.

After about 1 km turn left onto an unsealed Barwon Water 4WD access road to Painkalac Dam. The road passes through a variety of wattles and eucalypts. There are some fine views of the tree clad hills of the Otways. After 3 km you reach the dam. Turn left and walk along the track across the bridge below the spillway and under the dam wall. Climb to the other end of the dam wall for views of Painkalac Dam and surrounding tree-covered slopes. There are picnic tables and a Barwon Water information board about the reservoir.

Follow the steep gravel track (no sign) uphill. After approximately 200 m there is a Barwon Water signed track to the right. Follow this shaded track along the south side of the dam, with lovely views of the water and birdlife. The picnic table at the end of the track is an excellent place for lunch and bird watching. NOTE: There is no track linking the north and south sides of the dam.

Retrace your steps to the Distillery Creek Picnic Ground Car Park.

Bird Calls
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo
Spotted Pardalote
New Holland Honeyeater

Yellow-tailed Cockatoo (Recording by Marc Anderson, CC BY); Spotted Pardalote (Recording by Marc Anderson, CC BY); New Holland Honeyeater (Recording by Marc Anderson, CC BY)

Check Out Fauna & Flora Below

Dam wall (Photo by Margaret MacDonald)
Prickly Moses (Photo by DavidFrancis34, CC BY)
Yellow-tailed Cockatoo (Photo by Rob Shepherd)
Dam view (Photo by Margaret MacDonald)

Ironbark (tree) (Photo by Melburnian, GNU)
Varnish Wattle (Photo by Ellinor Campbell)
Spotted Pardalote (Photo by Alison Watson)

Mountain Grey Gum (bark) (Photo by Poyt448)
Wedge-tailed Eagle (Photo by FIR0002 CC BY)
New Holland Honeyeater (Photo by Rob Shepherd)