Soak up surf culture, sunshine and holiday fun on the surf beaches around Torquay.
You can have all kinds of seaside sun in Torquay, but this picturesque holiday town is most famous for the surf beaches that surround it. Sitting south-west of Melbourne at the gateway to the Great Ocean Road, Torquay is fringed by some fantastic breaks with fairytale names.
You’re more likely to hear waves and loudspeakers than bells on Bells Beach, which is a 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.
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.