Bells Beach, VIC
You're more likely to hear waves and loudspeakers than bells on Bells Beach, which is on Torquay's southern outskirts. This is where the world's top surfers converge to tackle waves of up to five meters in the Rip Curl Easter Pro, the world's longest running surf contest. The two day festival - which also showcases some of Australia's hottest musical talent - draws crowds of thousands to the cliff grandstands. If you can't make it for Easter, surfing carnivals are held throughout the summer, as well as the Australian Strongman Triathlon in February and the High Tide Festival in December. If you're itching to take on the swell yourself, Bells Beach has two right-hand breaks for intermediate to advanced surfers. The waves are almost guaranteed to be good, particularly from March to October.
Jan Juc, VIC
Close by is the whimsical-sounding Winkipop, where the breaks are much fiercer than the name suggests. Kelly Slater surfed here and former tennis ace Mark Philippoussis nearly drowned on the treacherous waves. If you prefer to cut your surfing teeth on smaller waves, try the popular cliff-lined Jan Juc, which lies between Bells Beach and Torquay and is patrolled by lifesavers during summer months. Or stick to the beaches along Torquay's wide, grassy foreshore. Torquay Front Beach is nicknamed ‘cosy corner' for its sheltered, family-friendly waters, while Torquay Back Beach draws swimmers in summer and surfers all year round.
Torquay is also the place to stock up on surf essentials from all the major manufacturers or explore surfing history in the local museum and hall of fame. Of course, you don't have to be a surfer to enjoy Torquay. Sailing, diving, fishing and windsurfing are just a few of the popular pastimes in a town that has been attracting holiday makers since the nineteenth century. Its beaches were modeled on English seaside resorts, and you'll love their spacious grassy foreshores, shady trees and picnic areas.
With its scenic setting and big, booming waves, a surfing holiday in Torquay is as fun as the beaches' names.
More Holiday Ideas
See what else there is near here to inspire your vacation planning.
Great Ocean Road
Drive Victoria's Great Ocean Road, home to the world class surf at Bells Beach and the craggy limestone spires of the Twelve Apostles. This dramatic region also offers fishing villages, migrating whales, shipwrecks, golden beaches, rainforests and national parks. Tackle the Great Ocean Walk or drive the Great Southern Touring Route between Melbourne and Adelaide.
Surfing in Australia
Australia's surf beaches, where first-class waves for all surfing abilities crash, are born from the Pacific Ocean in the east, the Indian Ocean in the west and the Southern Ocean in the south . Visit iconic Bells Beach, near Torquay, the gateway to Victoria's Surf Coast on the Great Ocean Road. In New South Wales, Byron Bay, Newcastle, Sydney and its south coast offer a superior swell. Hang out in Burleigh Heads or coast along one of the world's longest waves at Snapper Rocks on Queensland's Gold Coast. In South Australia, great surf beaches dot the Fleurieu, Yorke and Eyre peninsulas as well as the Limestone Coast. In Western Australia, Perth, Margaret River and Esperance are home to an abundance of surf beaches. Brave Tasmania's Southern Ocean swells in Hobart, Bruny Island, Launceston, Devonport and Marrawah. You'll find a wave to yourself on our uncrowded and pristine coastal beaches.
Melbourne to Adelaide via Great Ocean Road
Travel from Melbourne to Adelaide along the country's breathtaking south-east coastline. Drive the Great Ocean Road past the iconic surf spots of Torquay and Bells Beach, then onto the holiday haven of Lorne and the magnificent Twelve Apostles. Walk through waterfalls and lush forest in Otway National Park and watch whales from historic Warrnambool. Soak up seafaring history in Port Fairy and Portland, near the towering sea cliffs of Cape Bridgewater. Taste wine in Coonawarra and see the fossils of giant marsupials in World heritage-listed Naracoorte Caves. Cruise the Coorong and explore the inviting beaches and wineries of the Fleurieu Peninsula on your way to Adelaide.