BEACHES OF THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD

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BEACHES

If you love the beach, you will love the Great Ocean Road region.

From Torquay to Portland and beyond there are literally hundreds of bay and ocean beaches to choose from, and they are magnificent all year round. In summer they act as a cool retreat, while in winter a wonderful backdrop to get away from the cities.

It may be tempting to jump in anywhere along the coast, but we advise it's best to look for the yellow and red beach flags. They signify that there are lifesavers around looking after you and your family, at patrolled beaches. You can help by swimming between the flags and being conscious of beach saftey.

 

The Great Ocean Road region also has hundreds of breaks along its coast and draws a steady stream of seasoned surfers all year round. Weekends and school holidays are fairly crowded but because there are so many breaks, there's a wave for everyone. The region is also a great place to learn how to surf. There are a number of excellent surfing schools along the coast.

Swimming

TORQUAY

Some of the best swimming beaches along the Great Ocean Road include Torquay’s beautiful Norfolk Pine-lined front beach which offers a quiet protected foreshore and the nearby Fishermans Beach.

ANGLESEA

Anglesea’s main beach is a wide sandy expanse beside the Anglesea River and attracts both swimmers and surfers, and just around the bay is the long sweeping arc of Point Roadknight beach. The shallow, protected waters are safe for children, making it a popular spot with families.

LORNE

The sheltered two kilometre beach at Lorne is safer than most on the coast and is bordered by lawns, gum trees and picnic and barbecue facilities

WYE RIVER

At Wye River, you will find a beautiful sandy beach at the mouth of the river with a lush forest backdrop.

APOLLO BAY

Apollo Bay has a wide, crescent-shaped sandy beach with a backdrop of rolling green hills. Protected waters make it excellent for swimming. Popular with families. Lifesavers patrol in summer. Surfing nearby.

THE OTWAYS

Nestled in the Great Otway National Park, Blanket Bay is a protected beach that adjoins the Blanket Bay Camping/Picnic area. There are lots of great rockpools for children to explore at either end of the beach. Take care when swimming because this unpatrolled beach can get choppy and may have rips. Off the Great Ocean Road, about 35 kilometres from Apollo Bay. 

PORT CAMPBELL

Port Campbell's sheltered stretch of beach offers fun, safe conditions - and is essentially the only safe area to swim in the Port Campbell or Twelve Apostle region.  The nearby Loch Ard Gorge is nice to paddle your feet, but can be moderatley dangerous. It is not recommended to swim out into the gorge as rip currents run out through the entrance. Read more here.

WARRNAMBOOL

Warrnambool's main beach offers a gorgeous stretch of golden sand and is a popular swimming beach when patrolled during the summer months. Swim at the surf club where waves are usually lower, rips less common and the bar wide and shallow.  Read more here.

PORTLAND

Portland and its surrounding area provides numerous beaches that provide safe fun sea swimming and beach adventure or the perfect place to launch small boats or jet skis. The complete guide to Portland's beaches are here. 

Remember, don't risk your safety and always swim between the flags at a patrolled beach. Visit Surf Life Saving Victoria for a list of patrolled beaches.

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Surfing

The Great Ocean Road region has some of the world surfing professionals' favourite surf spots.  Most famous of all is internationally renowned Bells Beach, home to the annual Rip Curl Pro event - a hallmark event for Victoria.

The coastline from Torquay to the 12 Apostles has surf spots dotted along it. You get a clue when the surf is pumping when certain car parks along the Great Ocean Road are full of local tradesmen's vans and utes - having downed tools for the day to capitalise on the good conditions.

If you're an inexperienced or beginner surfer, the best way to learn is to take a surf lesson. These are usually held by qualified professionals on easier breaks (usually east of Apollo Bay or west of Warrnambool).

Between Cape Otway and Warrnambool is not the place for the newbie surfer, with bigger swells and tougher conditions.

 

Many of the beaches are patrolled in Summer, and lifesavers can give advice on local breaks, reefs, tides and currents.  Please visit the Beach Safe website for more information by clicking here.

Torquay, at the beginning of the Great Ocean Road, was the birthplace of surf culture. The leading surf brands of Rip Curl and Quiksilver were established here more than 30 years ago and are now global market leaders in clothing and equipment for surf, snow and adventure sports. 

Sight Seeing

There is so much to see on the Great Ocean Road, and so many ways to see it!  Whether you drive the road, take a scenic flight, mountain bike, cycle or decide to make one of the destinations a base and tour up and down the road at your leisure, there is plenty to see.

Get back to nature and admire the stunning coastline on the Great Ocean Walk. Be enchanted by the The Twelve Apostles, the massive limestone structures that tower 45 metres above the tempestuous Southern Ocean, leaving you awe-struck in wonder at their size and beauty.  Listen to the surf crashing against the rocks at many of the magnificent surf beaches.  

Enjoy fine dining and fill your car boot with goodies from local winemakers and regional producers as you go. Indulge in some relaxation therapy at an invigorating day spa. 

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Swimming

Remember, don't risk your safety and always swim between the flags at a patrolled beach.

Visit Surf Life Saving Victoria for a list of patrolled beaches.

TORQUAY

Some of the best swimming beaches along the Great Ocean Road include Torquay’s beautiful Norfolk Pine-lined front beach which offers a quiet protected foreshore and the nearby Fishermans Beach.

ANGLESEA

Anglesea’s main beach is a wide sandy expanse beside the Anglesea River and attracts both swimmers and surfers, and just around the bay is the long sweeping arc of Point Roadknight beach. The shallow, protected waters are safe for children, making it popular spot with families.

LORNE

The sheltered two kilometre beach at Lorne is safer than most on the coast and is bordered by lawns, gum trees and picnic and barbecue facilities

WYE RIVER

At Wye River, you will find a beautiful sandy beach at the mouth of the river with a lush forest backdrop.

APOLLO BAY

Apollo Bay has a wide, crescent-shaped sandy beach with rolling green hills in the background. Protected waters make it excellent for swimming. Popular with families. Lifesavers patrol in summer. Surfing nearby.

THE OTWAYS

Nestled in the Great Otway National Park, Blanket Bay is a protected beach that adjoins the Blanket Bay Camping/Picnic area. There are lots of great rockpools for children to explore at either end of the beach. Take care when swimming because this unpatrolled beach can get choppy and may have rips. Off the Great Ocean Road, about 35 kilometres from Apollo Bay.