Torquay is situated at the very start of the Great Ocean Road. It is not the official beginning but the actual coastal road begins here. If you are intending on a trip down Victoria’s Great Ocean Road then in all probability you will begin your journey in Torquay.
Torquay is not the place it used to be. When I was a teenager and living and surfing in Torquay there was a resident population of around 3000 people. Today it is around the 12,000 mark and growing. It is a thriving community, almost a satellite of Geelong some ten minutes away yet still retains that seaside feel, perhaps due to the fact that much of its population surfs. It’s about 80 kilometres from Melbourne which makes it a popular destination for people living in Melbourne. How better to destress from work than by having a few days relaxing by the sea. And if you are a surfer then that will be a bonus.
Torquay is at the very heart of surfing in Australia. It is the unofficial capital of surfing in this country and has earned this reputation for a very good reason: Bells Beach.
Bells Beach is simply awesome. It can be very playful when small and scare the pants off you when it gets big. And it can get very, very big. Every Easter the world surfing titles are held at Bells Beach. They are held at this time of the year because this is when we have a full moon and king tides at the same time. This results, more often than not, in a very big ocean swell. This swell is generated far out to sea and travels enormous distance before it explodes over the reef at Bells with thundering applause.
The winner of the Bells surfing competition at Easter receives a big bell trophy and must ring it as loudly as possible. This year’s winner was so enthusiastic that he broke the bell in doing so. Adriana De Souza was the first South American to ever win this event in its 52 year history. He is from Brazil.
Bells Beach is very much on the tourist trail these days. Tourists just love to watch surfers out in big surf. It is often the first time many of them have ever seen surfing and you can imagine how amazing it must look. If you are reading this article because you are planning a trip along the Great Ocean Road then please make sure you spend a few days in Torquay and if you are lucky you just might get to see some of the biggest surfable waves in the world. Happy Surfing!