The Great Ocean Road gets straight down to business at its official starting point: the surfing capital of Victoria and its world-famous breaks, contests and museum.
Take the plunge in Torquay, the birthplace of Australian surf culture as we know it today. The town gained worldwide acclaim when it launched iconic surf brands Rip Curl and Quiksilver, and its barreling breaks set the scene for international surf championships every year. Check the swell for yourself or watch the professionals from the beach. Pick up the latest surfwear items at Torquay’s extensive shopping mall or learn about the history of Australian surfing at the museum. Explore the gorgeous coastline and find secret coves and wave-lashed bluffs on a foreshore hike or settle in at one of the town’s cozy pubs and cafés.
Torquay’s main draw is its trusty surf spot, Bells Beach. Renowned as the heartland of Australian surfing, seasoned surfers flock to its notorious right-hander and reef breaks. Watch the action from the cliff-top parking lot and enjoy panoramic coastal views. Every Easter, Bells Beach hosts the internationally prized Rip Curl Pro event.
If you’re feeling inspired, be sure to visit Surf City Plaza to check out a range of stores retailing top-of-the-range surf gear. Check out the Australian National Surfing Museum and learn about the history of the sport in Australia. You’ll see the National Surfing Hall of Fame, as well as a collection of interactive displays. Now that you’re ready to try out the waves for yourself, book a surfing lesson at one of the nearby beaches. Go swimming at the sheltered beach that fronts the town and enjoy views of the pretty pine-studded foreshore.
Follow Torquay’s stunning coastline via one of the foreshore walking tracks. Hike along the Surf Coast Walk or stroll up to Yellow Bluff and Point Danger. Near to Point Danger, you’ll find a selection of shops, cafés and restaurants, as well as the town pub.
Torquay is a 90-minute drive southwest of Melbourne and is the official starting point of the Great Ocean Road. Visit in summer for fantastic beach weather or in winter to watch the surfing pros at work. Experience Australian surf culture firsthand in the historic town of Torquay.