Torquay is the first coastal town on the Great Ocean Road. And what a place: very beautiful views of red/orange colored rock formations and super good surf spots, where you can get lucky even as a novice surfer. Here you can really learn to surf. The conditions are almost always good, and if it is not good in one spot, there is another spot that will satisfy you with less wind.
In Torquay there are plenty of spots you can go to if you want to surf. Of course we all went to discover these when we lived there. There are a number of famous, but also a number of less famous spots where you can also get into the water as a beginner and put your skills to the test.
1. Torquay Surfbeach
My most beloved place and surf spot where I would prefer to go and have a look every day. Even if it was just looking, I was already happy. It is such a beautiful place, and with sunrise and sunset even more beautiful, when you see the rocks turn to bright orange. There is an atmosphere here that you cannot explain but can only feel if you go there yourself. A kind of calm and tranquility, but also a kind of coming home. The surf here is often good for beginners, so I surfed my first green wave here!
Often there are beautiful, powerful waves that you can learn well in. Also, this place is protected from the wind, which is ideal for the waves. There are always several sandbanks where you can surf, so it is never very crowded. Although we were convinced at the end of the summer, in March, when many people (tourists) had already left. I thought this was a very nice time to be there, there was also such a late summer feeling.
2. Jan Juc
Jan Juc, commonly known as Jucawahtu by the locals, is right next to Torquay, but also a gem, with amaaaazing sunrises and sunsets.
It’s a fast, breaking, snappy little wave that’s more suited to small boards, and not so great for big waves. It’s okay for longboarders and beginners when it’s small (1 to 3 feet). Lots of locals surf at Juc and it can get busy in the parking lot at the end of the beach so if you go where the Surf Club is it will be less crowded. Torquay Surf Beach is better recommended for beginners. Also a tip for beginners: always surf with a friend. There can be strong currents here and there that can take you out to sea. In the summer there are lifeguards who keep an eye on everything, but not in the winter.
From Bird Rock, on the west side of Jan Juc, to Bells Beach is a rocky coastline with a series of reef breaks below the cliffs that are more suitable for advanced surfers. Just like Bells Beach, Winkipop is a reef break. This is a wave created by the reef under the water. This can be dangerous because the reef becomes visible at low tide and you can fall on it faster. Therefore, it is not a good spot for beginners.
4. Bells Beach
The most famous spot in Victoria is Bells Beach and home to the longest running surf competition to date. Waves can reach as high as 15 feet (4.5 meters) in this spot on some days. The highest wave ever recorded here was 49 feet (15.5 meters), last year at the 2019 Bells Beach Surf Competition. Huge waves that even the best surfers in the world struggled with. Bells Beach is a reef break and therefore not recommended for beginners at low tide.
5. Point Addis
Point Addis should be one of the most perfect spots on the Great Ocean Road. I know this is a big claim, but if you’re ever lucky enough to surf there, you know what I mean! Point Addis is sheltered from big swells and high winds, giving beginners and advanced surfers the chance to improve their skills in relatively safe conditions.
6. Point Impossible
Point Impossible is best accessed from Minya Lane and has two popular surf breaks and a nudist beach. The two surf breaks are Insides and Outsides. Insides, as the name suggests, is the more protected of the two and very popular with longboarders. The wave offers a long wave to the right, especially with larger waves this works very well. Outside picks up more swells, but if you’re a distance from the shore, it also picks up the wind and makes for a long paddle. For me as a beginner, Outsides was not such a good choice. Both surf breaks are best surfed at low tide.
7. Thirteenth Beach
Beautiful spot, also for camping in the evening. This spot is a little earlier from Torquay, towards Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads. We have also lived here, so we could often be found on this long, expansive beach. On the Barwon Heads side the sea can get very wild and choppy with high winds which was spectacular to watch. This is a beach break, so it differs every time where and on which sandbank it works best.
8. Anglesea Main Beach
This surf spot in Anglesea is good for beginners, especially the small waves at Main Beach. Point Roadknight is a Surfspot for all levels, which can be found at the end of the beach at the tip. We surfed here a few times with a group and the waves were super consistent. Definitely recommended as a surf spot, and also good for longboarders!
All in all, when it comes to surfing, you can’t go wrong in this area. There are beautiful spots everywhere and so the entertainment is endless.