Torquay, Australia is one of Victoria’s favourite seaside towns, just 21km south of Geelong and 103km from Melbourne. The township is famous for its surfing culture and being the gateway to the legendary Great Ocean Road. But you don't have to be a surf buff to enjoy your time here, keep reading to find out about all the best things to do in Torquay.
Watch the breaks at Bells Beach
When it comes to Torquay and the things to do, there is little doubt what comes first. Bells Beach is one of Australia’s most famous surfing beaches and holds the annual Rip Curl Pro Surfing competition and is the powerful point break of folklore – heard of the movie Point Break? There’s an impressive cliff face and the views from the clifftop car park are spectacular (a great spot to watch the locals surfing). The beach is an exposed reef and point break with excellent right hand breaks, at their best during autumn and winter.
Visit the Surf World Museum
The Surf World Museum celebrates the history of surfing in Australia and celebrates the lives of surfing champions at the Australian Surfing Hall Of Fame. Learn about our country’s rich beach culture and the surfing heritage that has developed over the last one hundred years through themed exhibition spaces, interactive displays, spectacular footage, and vintage surf memorabilia, including an epic array of historic surfboards.
Start your Great Ocean Road trip
The Great Ocean Road officially starts in the town of Torquay and there are plenty of fantastic Torquay accomodation options to choose from. It's recommended to start the Great Ocean Road drive from Torquay and head south-west so you’ll be in the lane closest to the ocean, which makes it easier for stopping at the view points. Don’t forget to visit the Farmers Market for supplies before you head off!
Torquay Farmers Market
Every Saturday morning all-year-round is the Torquay Farmers Market, which offers up great fresh food and produce from around the region at cheap prices. A genuine European style farmers' market, stalls include local and regional bread, cheese, organics, eggs, veggies, berries, jam, honey and coffee! Located in the carpark of the Surf Coast Shire offices at Merrijig Drive, the Farmers Market should definitely find its way onto your list of things to do in Torquay.
Surf Coast Walk
The 44km Surf Coast Walk connects you with the coastal towns of Torquay, Anglesea and Aireys Inlet. Walk for an hour, a day or a week (you choose your own pace) passing through coastal bushland, and along beaches and clifftops, leafy green eucalypt forests, ancient aboriginal traditions and abundant wildlife. There’s plenty of options for accommodation and refreshments just a step off the track. Grade: Moderate. Start: Point Impossible Carpark (north of Torquay).
Point Danger Marine Sanctuary
The area between Torquay's back and front beaches is a small limestone reef, exposed at the lowest of summer tides just offshore and is ideal for snorkelling and exploring the diverse marine life at low tide. The reef is home to a number of weird and wonderful creatures, most noteworthy are the 96 species of sea slugs. Also living in the sanctuary are carnivorous worms, delicate brittle stars and majestic eagle rays.
Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery
Just 10 minutes from Torquay you'll find the stunning landscaped grounds of the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery. You'll be hard-pressed to leave the epic showroom without a bagful of some delicious chocolates and the on-site cafe has plenty of tasty options to fill you up. After the kids explore the open-air play areas, it'll be time to order one of the many handcrafted ice-creams and sorbets in the cafe or outdoor kiosk.
Just outside of Torquay, Bellbrae Estate is situated right in the heart of Victoria's Surf Coast. Their handcrafted wines are named after the region’s local surf breaks, and their elegant, contemporary wines are made from estate and select Geelong region fruit. Stop by their cellar door to have a nibble on some local cheeses and a sample of any of their reds or whites.
Tiger Moth World Adventure Flights
Take to the skies on a biplane adventure flight with Tiger Moth World Adventure Flights. Soar over the Twelve Apostles or other Great Ocean Road viewpoints and take in the iconic scenes from the open cockpit of a 1930s vintage biplane. Choose between a scenic ride to just see the sights or add in a little aerial aerobatics (barrel roll, anyone?) to up the thrill-factor.
Surf Coast Strawberry Fields
Love strawberries? Then you can't miss this "Pick Your Own" strawberry farm. Less than a 15-minute drive from the centre of Torquay, the strawberry fields is a great place to relax and have the whole family enjoy the experience of fresh fruit picking, which is always an excellent lesson in paddock to plate. If you manage to eat all of your pickings during the day, you can always grab a jar or two of strawberry preserves to take home as souvenir instead.