Torquay was our first stop along the Great Ocean Road but also our last as we loved it so much, we had to stop again on the way back! Home to the world-famous Bells Beach, Torquay is Victoria’s surfing capital and the birthplace of the Rip Curl and Quicksilver brands. During Easter, you’ll find the world’s best surfers competing in the mighty Rip Curl Pro Surfing Classic – an annual event which attracts surfers from all over the world. Aside from its beautiful beach, Torquay is tiny, so there isn’t really much else there! However small, this sleepy seaside village has oodles of charm and its laid-back lifestyle won us over. We thoroughly enjoyed our days here spent surfing, walking along the beach, visiting the local market, having fish and chips for dinner and eating (too much) frozen yoghurt!
There are a few different surf shops in Torquay – if you want to do a lesson, it’s worth trying to book something before you arrive. We (stupidly) tried to rock up for a lesson in the morning, but the group had just left so we were too late. The guy in the shop was lovely – Gary explained I’d never surfed before and I was given a complimentary on-shore surf lesson in the middle of the shop!! We decided to hire a couple of suits and boards instead and try our luck without a lesson. Gary had previously been to a surf lesson in Sydney, so at least he knew the basics. He was a great teacher – he would push me out to sea to catch a wave, help me get in to position, yell ‘GET READY!’ and ‘GO!’ at the appropriate times, and then give me a shove to help me get some momentum! Despite this, after trying for an hour and a half, I had only managed to swallow a few cups of sea water, take a surfboard to the face and get surfed over whilst I was underwater. I STILL hadn’t managed to stand up… Desperate times called for desperate measures, so edible incentives got involved! Gary offered to buy me as much frozen yoghurt as I could eat, if I could stand up for just 1 second… Andddd what d’ya know – the next attempt I was up there like a pro!
As we weren’t travelling at a peak time (September), we didn’t need to pre-book any of our accommodation. When we arrived at each place, we would drive along and see if we could spot any good campsites to park up the van. There was room at every site we stopped at, and it was really easy to just pay on arrival and find a space. We stayed in Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park, which is based on a cliff, overlooking the beach! It had good, clean showers/ toilets and our spot was perfect – we were right at the back, really close to the bathrooms, with views of the beach and 5 seconds away from the steps which led down to the shore.
One morning we decided to get up early to watch the sun rise. It was a real struggle waking up and getting out in to the cold at 5am, but OH was it worth it! It was amazing watching the sun come up, transforming the horizon into a series of pinks and oranges; one of the best sunrises we’d seen! The early morning surfers slowly began to fill the sea from around 5.30, which was also pretty cool to watch 🙂 If you fancy a chilled few days, relaxing at the beach or trying your hand at surfing – you can’t miss Torquay!