Bells Beach, Tourism Victoria

Population 9848

Torquay was one of the first resort towns on Victoria's coast, and remains one of the most popular today. It was named in honour of the famous English resort, but its heritage is very different. Not only does Torquay and its coast have some of the best surf beaches in the world, it was also the birthplace of world leaders in surfboards, wetsuits and other apparel, including Rip Curl and Quiksilver, founded here in the 1960s and 70s.

Visitor Information

77 Surf City Plaza, Beach Rd; (03) 5261 4219 or 1300 614 219

Nearby national parks

  • Brisbane Ranges National Park

    In Brisbane Ranges National Park low mountains are dissected by rugged gorges and hidden gullies with basalt grasslands and woodlands. An...more

  • Kinglake National Park

    Surrounding the township of Kinglake, this bush retreat close to Melbourne offers views of the Yarra Valley, the city skyline and Port...more

  • Yarra Ranges National Park

    Lofty mountain ash bathed in mist, rare and endangered plants and animals, snow in winter and pristine pockets of bushland make Yarra Ranges...more

Nearby towns

  • Anglesea

    A pretty and sheltered part of the Surf Coast, Anglesea is one of the smaller holiday hamlets along the Great Ocean Road. The main beaches...more

  • Barwon Heads

    This picturesque village, situated on the banks of the Barwon River near Bass Strait in Victoria, was established in the late 18th century...more

  • Ocean Grove

    Ocean Grove is a popular summer-holiday destination near the mouth of the Barwon River. The beaches around the town offer great surfing and...more

In Town

Surf City Plaza This modern plaza houses some of the biggest names in surfing retail alongside smaller outlets. The complex boasts the world's biggest surfing museum, Surfworld. See how board technology has developed over the last century, find out exactly what makes a good wave, and learn about the history of surfing at Bells Beach. A theatre here screens classic 1960s and 70s surf flicks and the latest surf videos. Beach Rd.

Fishermans Beach: good spot for fishing, with a sheltered swimming beach and a large sundial on the foreshore.

Tiger Moth World: theme park based around the1930s Tiger Moth biplane. Joy-flights available; Blackgate Rd.

Surf schools: programs available to suit all abilities, with many courses run during summer school holidays; details from visitor centre.


Surf Coast It is no wonder the coast that runs from Torquay through to Eastern View (past Anglesea) has dubbed itself the Surf Coast. Submerged reefs cause huge waves that are a surfer's paradise. Most famous is Bells Beach, around 5 km SW of Torquay. The clay cliffs provide a natural amphitheatre for one of the best surf beaches in the world and the longest running surf competition, the Rip Curl Pro, which started in 1973 and attracts top competitors. Other good surf beaches include Jan Juc, Anglesea and Fairhaven. To see the coast on foot, take the 30 km Surf Coast Walk, starting at Torquay and travelling south to Moggs Creek.

Hinterland: delightful towns like Bellbrae, Deans Marsh and Birregurra are dotted along the vista of the Surf Coast hinterland; starts 8 km W.

Bicycle lane: runs along Surfcoast Hwy from Grovedale to Anglesea.

Fishing spots near town

Torquay 1 km

The offshore waters of western Bass Strait, from Torquay to Cape Otway contain an abundance of species including Australian salmon, snapper, barracouta, King George whiting, yellowtail kingfish, silver trevally, gummy... Find out more

Anglesea 15 km

Beach fishing species here are the same as Torquay, with the best fishing east of the Anglesea River, although you need to be aware of the marine park that extends west from Point Addis. But most anglers go here to fish... Find out more

Barwon River Estuary 17 km

The Barwon River estuary enters Bass Strait about 10 km west of Port Phillip Heads and it divides the holiday towns of Barwon Heads  and Ocean Grove. This estuary  is one of the most productive  waterways... Find out more

Barwon River 18 km

Sometimes going fishing in our southern rivers is about making the best of what is available, as is the case of the Barwon River, which flows through Geelong. Like the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers, the coffee-coloured... Find out more

Stingray Bay 22 km

Stingray Bay on the southern shore is properly called Stingaree Bay, but many anglers simply refer to it as Limeburners, due to the boat harbour at Limeburners Point. The boundary of the bay is roughly between the... Find out more

Western Shore 22 km

Taking a southerly route around the bay from the lagoon you pass a large industrial and waterfront area. The next fishable water from shore is North Shore rocks, just outside the entrance to Corio Quay. During winter,... Find out more

Curlewis Bank 24 km

Curlewis Bank is well regarded for King George whiting during late summer and autumn. However, this vast bank of sand, seagrass and spoil ground also produces snapper, snook, squid and flathead. It is popular with soft... Find out more

Point Henry 25 km

Point Henry is a sand spit point on the southern shore of Corio Bay and is the demarcation between the inner and outer harbours. It is distinctive in that there is a large aluminium smelter and a long pier used to unload... Find out more

Lonsdale Bight 27 km

With lots of weed, waters affected by current and a high level of exposure when a southerly comes in, Lonsdale Bight is one the most productive all-round fishing areas in Port Phillip. The bight goes from Shortland Bluff... Find out more

Clifton Springs 28 km

Clifton Springs is a sheltered harbour with a double boat ramp, mooring jetty and toilets. The facility is well signposted. To get there, take the Portarlington road out of Geelong and turn left at Jetty Road just before... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Marine Discovery Centre, Queenscliff 30 km

Primarily set up to educate school children about the marine environment, this government-run facility also has an interesting holiday program and an interactive aquarium and touch tanks. Holiday activities include... Find out more

Golf courses around town

The Sands, Torquay 3 km

Sands by name . . . Sands by nature. It doesn’t take long to figure out the overwhelming feature of a round at Torquay. Standing on the 1st tee of this Stuart Applebydesigned layout, a blanket of white is... Find out more

Thirteenth Beach Golf Links (Beach Course) 12 km

After all the accolades Tony Cashmore received for his design work at The Dunes, on the Mornington Peninsula, he must have felt some pressure to produce an equally fine layout when it came time for his next project:... Find out more

Thirteenth Beach Golf Links (Creek Course) 13 km

Sir Nick Faldo won six major titles, playing himself into winning positions on the back of strong shot-making, a trait that is highly prized on the courses he now designs. The Creek course at Thirteenth Beach, created... Find out more

Barwon Heads Golf Club 15 km

From the moment you pull up at the car park in front of the Barwon Heads clubhouse, it is as if you have travelled back in time to a more genteel era. The old-world charm is present not only in the architecture of the... Find out more

Portsea Golf Club 33 km

Portsea Golf Club has long been regarded one of the best-kept secrets on the Mornington Peninsula. Although it is a private club, the public is welcome at most times to experience this visually striking layout across... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town


This welcoming place has a unique spot right on the water, with deck, courtyard and restaurant views over the sparkling ocean. It is a typical seaside venue, where patrons come in for traditional breakfasts, with all... Find out more


This stylish shopfront restaurant offers pavement dining with lovely beach views and a casual but refined style of dining. For those who can’t make up their mind what to have from the contemporary Australian menu,... Find out more

The Surf Rider

This family-owned and operated restaurant offers relaxed casual dining some 200 metres from the beach, but the surf interest is actually inside. The surf-loving family has turned The Surf Rider into a quasi surfing... Find out more

Sunnybrae Restaurant 
and Cooking School

Part cooking school and part restaurant, Sunnybrae is one of regional Victoria’s hidden gems. It is overseen by renowned chef George Biron, a staunch advocate of the philosophy of slow food. The regionally sourced... Find out more

Campsites around town

Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park 1 km

Torquay is the centre of the Victorian surfing scene, so it’s no surprise that this caravan park is adjacent to a great surf beach at the southern end of Paterson Bay – not very far from the best known surf... Find out more

Breamlea Caravan Park 8 km

Fringed by tea-trees and sand dunes, this caravan park is located on Horwood Dr in the small, low-key town of Breamlea, near the beginning of the Great Ocean Rd. A patrolled surf beach is only a short walk away and... Find out more

Anglesea Beachfront Family Caravan Park 14 km

In Anglesea, turn off the Great Ocean Rd onto Cameron Rd to access this waterfront campground, where you can choose between a splash in a river and chasing waves off a surf beach. Anglesea township is only a short walk... Find out more

Barwon Heads Caravan Park 16 km

The campsites here are sprinkled alongside the Barwon River, right where the watercourse flows out into Bass Strait. Aside from the picturesque views, the park offers safe freshwater swimming, quick access to a surf... Find out more

Riverview Family Caravan Park 18 km

The beach here at Ocean Grove is a lovely stretch of sand that’s very popular with holidaymakers when the summer sun is shining. Equally popular is the nearby nature reserve, where there is over 140 ha of native... Find out more

Royal Park camping area 26 km

Point Lonsdale is joined to Queenscliff by a narrow isthmus and shares the same ocean-wide view. It’s here you’ll find snug Royal Park. Stroll the promenade behind the seawall down to the point itself, or... Find out more

Hammonds Road camping area 27 km

There’s plenty of open space at this campground up in the far north of the national park. Back towards the coast, close to Aireys Inlet, nice short walks include the easy Distillery Creek Nature Trail and the Moggs... Find out more

Queenscliff Recreation Reserve camping area 30 km

This foreshore reserve has lots of shady sites and plenty of wide open spaces for playing games. Go for a wander through the streets of the historic township or watch enormous tankers and cargo ships navigate the Rip,... Find out more

Victoria Park caravan and camping area 30 km

Victoria Park is on Hesse St, near Queenscliff’s main street with its quaint cafes and shops, and is almost as close to the dramatic entrance to Port Phillip Bay. Its campsites are arrayed opposite the town’s... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Torquay Holiday Park 1 km

The park is located on the highway about 400 metres from the centre of town. It is a very good quality park and facilities include tennis courts, putting greens and private bathrooms with spas. Bookings are required in... Find out more

Geelong Surfcoast Highway Holiday Park 11 km

This park between Geelong and Torquay has been rejuvenated as a tourist park and importantly for those who travel with pets is one of the very few parks in the region that takes pets. It is easily accessible from the... Find out more

Anglesea Beachfront Family Caravan Park 14 km

This large beachfront and riverfront park is centrally located just 500 metres from the town centre. It has large expanses of lawn, shady sites and a range of good facilities. It is a very nice park! Bookings are... Find out more

Barwon Heads Caravan Park 16 km

This is a large park fronting the wide picturesque estuary of the Barwon River close to the river mouth. It is a popular summer beachside park and just a short walk from the town centre. Waterfront sites are available at... Find out more

Riverview Family Caravan Park 18 km

This is a large holiday park with a long frontage to the Barwon River. It is popular with families during summer. Bookings are required at Christmas, Easter and long weekends, with a minimum-length stay period during... Find out more

Riverglen Holiday Park 18 km

This is a large, owner-operated park with good facilities and is located just 2 km from the centre of Geelong. Bookings are required at Christmas, Easter and long weekends, with a minimum-stay period at Easter and long... Find out more

Geelong Riverview Tourist Park 18 km

This is a great park on the south side of the Barwon River, just 2 km from the centre of Geelong. Bookings are required at Christmas, Easter and long weekends.... Find out more

Barwon River Tourist Park 18 km

On the south side of the Barwon River about 2 km from the centre of Geelong, this place has good facilities and is easily accessible. There are nicely shaded sites and it is just a short walk to the shopping centre. A... Find out more

BIG4 Beacon Resort 27 km

This award-winning establishment has all the trimmings you would expect of a park of this quality, including an indoor heated swimming pool and tennis courts. It is just a short walk to the beach. Bookings are required... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Crowne Plaza Torquay

Enjoying an absolute beachfront location, this new low-rise 164-room hotel includes 82 one-bedroom apartments and is only a short drive to the famous surfing beaches of Bells and Jan Juc. Contemporary in style, it is... Find out more

Peppers The Sands Resort

About five minutes from the main beach, this 112-room golf resort appeals with its contemporary style and abundant leisure facilities. All rooms are spacious and tastefully furnished, with minibars, flat-screen TVs,... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Torquay park area

At Torquay

Overlooking the beach on the esplanade.

Anglesea Park Area 15 km

West side of town

Large area adjacent to the road on the west side of town. Good facilities.

Urquharts Beach park area 21 km

6km SW of Anglesea (L) or 23km NE of Lorne (R)

On the foreshore 500m off the highway.

Leigh River rest area 34 km

At Inverleigh

Large grassed area just off the highway under shady trees. On the east side of town.

What's on around town

Cowrie Community Market: foreshore; 3rd Sun each month Sept–Apr.

Danger 1000 Ocean Swim: Jan.

Surf for Life Surfing Contest: Jan.

Kustom Jetty Surf Pro: Jan.

Rip Curl Pro: Easter.

Hightide Festival: fireworks display; Dec.

comments powered by Disqus