Torquay, just 22km south of Victoria’s second city Geelong, is the eastern gateway to the Great Ocean Road, with spectacular oceanside drives west to Anglesea and the scenic gems of Victoria’s magnificent southern coast.
This section of the Great Ocean Road is known as the Surf Coast, and with two of the nation’s best surf beaches, Bells and Jan Juc, at the front doorstep, it was inevitable that Torquay would emerge as one of the state’s most popular surfing locations. The international surfing spotlight is focused here at Easter for the traditional Bells Beach titles, while recreational surfers can run the wave gauntlet secure in the knowledge that the beach is guarded by volunteers from Victoria’s largest surf lifesaving club.
In the same complex as the Tourist Information Centre is Surfworld Australia Surfing Museum, with displays of boards and clothing through the years, photographs and a Surfing Hall of Fame. Many of Australia's leading surfing companies are based in Torquay and you'll be sure to pick up a bargain at their outlets in town.
Torquay is also a popular fishing spot, with good surf fishing from Fishermans Beach. Behind this beach is a large sundial with Aboriginal designs. The beaches around Torquay are excellent for all the family. They are based on the Victorian model, with wide lawned areas and shaded by trees.
The 27km Surf Coast Walk goes from Jan Juc to Aireys Inlet, through coastal bush, along beaches and across clifftops. If you're not up to walking the whole way, it is easy to walk various sections to give you a flavour of the whole thing.
At Tiger Moth World on the edge of town, you can take an aerobatics flight in one of these venerable flying machines (if you dare!) or take a scenic flight over the Great Ocean Road. With an adventure park for the children and a museum dedicated to Tiger Moths, there's something for all the family here.
In nearby Bellbrae, six kilometres to the west, there is an interesting museum with a fine collection of horse-drawn carriages. Fifteen kilometres away, Anglesea is a tranquil beach resort which bursts into festive colour on New Year's Day with the annual regatta on the river of veteran sailing craft, some of which were launched more than 100 years ago.
There are a couple of local wineries, producing red, white and sparking wines, open for tastings and cellar door sales.
Australian Strongman Triathlon (February), Ripcurl Pro Surfing Classic at Bells Beach (Easter) and High Tide Festival (December)
Things to do:
In the area:
- Surfing - especially at Bells Beach and Jan Juc
- Surfworld Australia Surfing Museum
- Fishing - especially Fishermans Beach
- Surf Coast Walk - 27km from Jan Juc to Aireys Inlet
- Tiger Moth World - aerobatics flights, scenic flights, adventure park and museum
- Tourist Information Centre - Surf Coast Plaza, corner of Surfcoast Highway and Beach Rd, Torquay.
- Bellbrae - museum of horse-drawn carriages
- Anglesea - beach resort town
- Wineries for tastings and cellar door sales
Find out more about the Surf Coast
section of the Great Ocean Road.