Great Ocean Road
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Man Holding Surfboard
Group Surfing
Catching a Wave
Group Surfing in Sunset

Surfing

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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 Quiksliver were established here more than 30 years ago and are now global market leaders in clothing and equipment for surf, snow and adventure sports. 

For more information on surfing in the 12 Apostles region, visit here.

Highlights

Stand up Paddle Boarding

Stand Up Paddle boarding, or SUP, is one of the fastest growing water sports in the world for adults and kids. SUP lessons, tours and fitness classes are now being offered on Geelong Waterfront, Ocean Grove main beach, Barwon Heads, Portarlington and Queenscliff. These locations are perfect places to learn Stand Up Paddle boarding in a safe, fun and protected environment. WSUP offers lessons, tours and fitness classes weather permitting. Stand up paddle boarding lessons are a fantastic way to get into the sport and start your journey to the unknown, while enduring general fitness, strengthening and core muscles and balance or just paddling your favourite waterway. SUP lessons are great for groups, families, corporate and school groups. The experienced and qualified instructors ensure water safety, paddling technique, equipment, and of course fun are provided in each lesson, every time. WSUP instructors can assist in the selection of the right equipment for your level of skill. SUP also supply packages of boards, paddles and leg-ropes for purchase.

Beaches near Barwon Heads

At Barwon Heads, the coast trends due west for 7 km to Black Rocks. The first 2 km are dominated by calcarenite rocks and reefs, which outcrop on the beach and in the surf. These divide the coast into three beaches. The first (285) is below Point Finders and is a 50 m pocket of sand facing south-east and bordered by rock platforms and reefs. The two Barwon Heads beaches (286, 287) face south and are more exposed, with higher waves and patchy reefs. These conditions result in a wide, low gradient beach, rock flat and surf, with persistent and some permanent rips against the reefs. All three beaches are easily accessible. There is a car park and a lookout on Point Flinders, and car parks on the Torquay Road, which parallels the two Barwon Heads beaches. Swimming Point Flinders is relatively safe close inshore, however there are rocks and reefs off the beach. The Barwon Heads beaches are both potentially hazardous, owing to the higher waves, reefs and strong permanent rips. Surfing There are several breaks along this section, mostly reef breaks that work best at higher tide, with a low to moderate swell and north winds. Those immediately west of Point Flinders are called The Hole. Fishing There are excellent rip holes and gutters next to the reefs, together with rocks and reefs to fish from at low tide. General A reef dominated section of coast, most suitable for beach fishing and experienced surfers. Carpark Type: Formal parking area Surface: Sealed Spaces: 100 SLSA provides this information as a guide only. Surf conditions are variable and therefore this information should not be relied upon as a substitute for observation of local conditions and an understanding of your abilities in the surf. SLSA reminds you to always swim between the red and yellow flags and never swim at unpatrolled beaches. SLSA takes all care and responsibility for any translation but it cannot guarantee that all translations will be accurate. General Beach Hazard Rating: 7 Least hazardous: 1-3 Moderately hazardous: 4-6 Highly hazardous: 7-8 Extremely hazardous: 9-10 Hazard rating refers to physical beach and surf conditions ONLY and does not include potentially dangerous marine life.

Ocean Grove Beach

Ocean Grove Beach is located in the centre of the 9.5 km long beach that curves in a broad, south facing arc from Point Lonsdale to the Barwon River mouth. The Ocean Grove section is 2 km long and faces south-east. Some protection is offered by Barwon Heads and the beach receives waves averaging 1.4m. These waves interact with the fine beach sand to produce a wide, low gradient beach face, fronted by a 300m wide surf zone that contains strong rips every 250m. During moderate waves, the rips increase in size and intensity toward Collendina, while decreasing toward Barwon Heads. At low tide, the beach and exposed bar can be over 100 m wide, with the deeper rip channels clearly visible. The town of Ocean Grove backs the beach, with a wide, well-arranged foreshore reserve between the town and the beach. It provides extensive parking, together with most beach amenities. The good parking and easy access, together with the surf club patrols and slightly lower waves make this a popular summer beach. The Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club was formed in 1948 and performs an average of 8 rescues each year. Swimming A moderately safe beach, particularly during average summer conditions, when extensive bars dominate. Best at high tide, however watch the rips, particularly at low tide. Best to stay between the flags. Surfing Usually has wide, moderate to low beach breaks; more popular with summer surfers. Fishing Best to go up the beach away from the summer crowds, and where rip holes are more common. General A popular summer beach, which can hold a large crowd. It has a wide, shallow surf zone with rips increasing up the beach, so it is best to stay near the surf club and bathe in the patrolled area. Carpark Type: Formal parking area Surface: Sealed Spaces: 200 SLSA provides this information as a guide only. Surf conditions are variable and therefore this information should not be relied upon as a substitute for observation of local conditions and an understanding of your abilities in the surf. SLSA reminds you to always swim between the red and yellow flags and never swim at unpatrolled beaches. SLSA takes all care and responsibility for any translation but it cannot guarantee that all translations will be accurate. General Beach Hazard Rating: 6 Least hazardous: 1-3 Moderately hazardous: 4-6 Highly hazardous: 7-8 Extremely hazardous: 9-10 Hazard rating refers to physical beach and surf conditions ONLY and does not include potentially dangerous marine life.

Go Ride A Wave - Learn to Surf

Have you ever wanted to take the plunge into the ocean on a summer's day and try surfing? Most peoples response is that it looks way too hard, but Go Ride a Wave makes it easy and accessible to everyone. Lessons are run mostly at waist deep water, using specially designed soft foam boards and over 80 per cent of participants get to stand up even if it is only for a short time, in their first lesson. Go Ride a Wave has been teaching surfing since 1987 and their expert, qualified instructors not only teach you the basics, they make it an experience hard to forget. Full-length wetsuits, boards and instruction for two hours are all provided. Classes are run in Anglesea, Torquay, Ocean Grove and Lorne. Go Ride a Wave also offers two hour fun sessions on sit on top kayaks in the surf. Learn in sheltered locations with small waves where it is easy and fun for people getting started. Bounce over the waves on the way out and surf them. No prior experience is needed and the best quality kayaks, equipment and instructors are used. New activity for Go Ride a Wave is Stand Up Paddle Boarding on the Anglesea River. Stand Up Paddle (or SUP) - depending on which way you look at it is suitable for anyone that is willing to give it a try. It is a fantastic way to get around on the water while giving you a great core work-out. Stand Up Paddle surfboards are much longer, wider and more buoyant than normal surfboards, enabling you to comfortably balance on them and propel yourself with the paddle. With proper instruction Go Ride a Wave can get you out on the water either with a lesson or hire.

Great Ocean Road Surf Tours

Great Ocean Road Surf Tours is a multi-award winning learn to surf company, offering advanced eco-certified surf lessons, surf tours and walking tours in small groups along safe, scenic Ocean Grove and Surf Coast beaches. With transport available from Melbourne and Torquay every day of the week, you can learn to surf without worrying about how you will get there. Even better, accommodation, breakfast and lunch are provided on all two to ten day Great Ocean Road Surf Tours. Experience personalised surf coaching, no matter which tour. Great Ocean Road Surf Tours 'learn to surf' tours also include progressive surf lessons four hours per day, Subway lunch, morning and afternoon refreshments, boards and wetsuits. Take in the stunning beauty of the Great Ocean Road by foot with a Secrets of the Great Ocean Road Walk. Enjoy a secret hidden walk way, secret local gourmet food and learn the mysterious stories of the region. Half day and full day options. Learn the Secrets - if you dare! Select from a range of tours. See the sights of Bells Beach and parts of the stunning Great Ocean Road including Cape Otway and the 12 Apostles. Enjoy discounted shopping at Torquay's Surf City, home of surfing giants Rip Curl and Quiksilver. An optional extra is water photography of your day surfing on a surfboard-shaped USB. And enjoy nights accommodation at our personalised surf cabin with breakfast included. Please call or visit the website for more information. Visit the shop for surfboard hire, and to ride their indoor Big Wave! Most recently winners at the Geelong Business Excellence Awards 2014 and 2013 winners of the Telstra Australian Business Awards for business innovation and passion and dedication to ecotourism and sustainability.

Torquay Surfing Academy

Torquay Surfing Academy offer professionally taught lessons in a variety of surf related activities which include, surfing, kayaking, stand up paddle-boarding and body boarding. The lesson types Torquay Surfing Academy offer are suitable for beginners through to advanced coaching. They specialise in surfing, stand-up paddle boarding and kayak lessons. The Great Ocean Road Surf Safari is a new feature at Torquay Surfing Academy. This is great for travellers who want to see the great ocean road and Torquay but want to experience the surfing culture while they are down there. This day tour includes transport to and from Melbourne, lunch and the use of any of their sports equipment from surfboards to bikes. The Torquay Surfing Academy has been in operation for five years and has been rated one of Australia's best surfing schools by Surfing Australia, so come and enjoy a lesson with one of the best surf schools on the coast!

Bells Beach

With an international reputation as one of Australia’s best surf beaches, Bells Beach is amazing spot – either in the water or out. There isn’t much ‘beach’ at Bells, it’s mostly a glorious cliff-face, and views from the cliff-top car park are spectacular – a great spot to watch local surfers out in the water. There are several quality surfing spots in the precinct from Southside to Steps Reef. Every Easter Bells Beach hosts the international professional surfing community for the Rip Curl Pro event. To get to Bells Beach, travel along the Great Ocean Road past Jan Juc – turn left into Bells Boulevard and follow the signs. General Beach Hazard Rating: 6 Least hazardous: 1-3 Moderately hazardous: 4-6 Highly hazardous: 7-8 Extremely hazardous: 9-10 Hazard rating refers to physical beach and surf conditions ONLY and does not include potentially dangerous marine life. SURFING Bells is a world class right when above 1.5 m. When smaller, the waves break close in to the headland and produce a right called Rincon. Further around the head are two more reef breaks which work below 2 m, called Centre Side (a right) and Southside (a left). FISHING The water is deep right off the beach, while at low tide you can fish from the reefs at each end. GENERAL One of the meccas of surfing and well worth a visit, if only to view the beach and surf from the bluffs. CARPARK Type: Formal parking area Surface: Sealed Spaces: 200 We provide this information as a guide only. Surf conditions are variable and therefore this information should not be relied upon as a substitute for observation of local conditions and an understanding of your abilities in the surf. We remind you to always swim between the red and yellow flags and never swim at unpatrolled beaches.

Learn to Surf

What better place to learn to surf than in the birthplace of Australian surfing? There are several licensed tour operators and qualified instructors who run learn to surf classes on beaches close to Torquay. Catering for individuals or groups, often equipment hire and transport can be included in the price.

Surf Torquay

Torquay lives and breathes surfing, and the region has a global reputation as an amazing surf destination. Bells Beach hosts the annual Rip Curl Pro, where the best surfers in the world compete each Easter. Nearby Winkipop is also popular with experienced surfers. Torquay and Jan Juc offer good conditions for those wanting to learn to surf, and several schools operate classes at local beaches. Surf conditions can vary greatly, check with the Visitor Information Centre or local Surf Life Saving Club.

Surf World Museum

The Surf World Museum in Torquay, Australia’s surfing capital, celebrates the story of surfing. It also charts Australia’s significant contribution to the development of surfing around the world. Through the colourful and exciting permanent displays and temporary exhibitions of important surfing artefacts and memorabilia, the museum commemorates Australia’s fantastic surfing heritage and rich beach culture. An unforgettable experience, Surf World provides the opportunity to immerse yourself in one of Australia’s most popular pastimes. It’s a place where you can experience or relive, surfing’s sense of fun, and marvel at the changes that have taken place over the years. We look forward to welcoming you.
 

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Packages & Offers

Experience the spectacular Great Ocean Road and Heritage Centre

Enjoy overnight accommodation in a one bedroom garden view apartment at Cumberland starting at $171 per night.

Autumn Walk at Otway Fly Treetop Walk

Zip down to Otway Fly for the ultimate Treetop Adventure this Autumn and take advantage of this exclusive offer.

Family Escape at BIG 4 Port Fairy Holiday Park

Stay in a Fully Self Contained 2 bedroom cabin $129.00 per night for a family of 4!

Family Fun at Belfast Cove Holiday Park, Port Fairy

Family Fun at Belfast Cove Holiday Park, Port Fairy for Four $109 per night!

Couples Escape at Belfast Cove Holiday Park, Port Fairy

Come and stay in a Deluxe One Bedroom Cabin for 2 nights and receive 50% off your third night.

High Tea on the High Seas - Searoad Ferries

Experience High Tea on the High Seas in the privacy of the Portsea Lounge on board the Queenscliff Sorrento Ferry.

Experience the spectacular Great Ocean Road and Heritage Centre

Enjoy overnight accommodation in a one bedroom garden view apartment at Cumberland starting at $171 per night. Each apartment features a spacious lounge and dining area, private balcony, large bathroom with corner spa. Accommodation includes complimentary use of Resort facilities, including indoor heated pool and undercover car parking. Quoted rate is based on one bedroom garden view apartments, available 7th April – 30thof May Sunday – Friday.

To book phone: (03) 5289 4444

 

Autumn Walk at Otway Fly Treetop Walk

Zip down to Otway Fly for the ultimate Treetop Adventure this Autumn and take advantage of this exclusive offer, of 20% discount on adult or child treetop walk ticket and receive a complimentary coffee or warm drink from the Black Snail Café.

Simply present this voucher on-site at Otway Fly to redeem your Autumn Walk offer.

 

Family Escape at BIG 4 Port Fairy Holiday Park

Stay in a Fully Self Contained 2 bedroom cabin $129.00 per night for a family of 4! (Standard price $210.00 per night)

  • 2 Bedroom Family cabin
  • Valid for stays between May 15 and September 15 ($20.00 per night surcharge applies for Queens birthday weekend.)
  • Additional $20.00 per night for additional people.
  • 2 night minimum stay.
  • No further discounts apply.
  • Subject to availability.

Call (03) 5568 1145 to book

 

Family Fun at Belfast Cove Holiday Park, Port Fairy

Stay in a fully self-contained Two Bedroom Holiday Unit and enjoy full access to the parks indoor heated pool, giant jumping pillow, playground, tennis court & giant outdoor chess.

  • Valid Sun - Thur only. An additional charge of $15 per night for bookings made on Fri & Sat nights
  • Two night minimum stay. Available June 27th - July 18th 2015
  • Price includes 2 Adults & 2 Children - Additional guests $15 each per night

Call (03) 5568 1816 to book

 

Couples Escape at Belfast Cove Holiday Park, Port Fairy

Come and stay in a Deluxe One Bedroom Cabin for 2 nights and receive 50% off your third night.

  • Includes a late check out of 12pm, two delicious latte vouchers and a packet of Tim Tams
  • Available to book from April 7th - June 4th 2015

Call (03) 5568 1816 to book

 

High Tea on the High Seas - Searoad Ferries

Experience High Tea on the High Seas in the privacy of the Portsea Lounge on board the Queenscliff Sorrento Ferry.
Enjoy table service in elegant surroundings, exquisite food, quality tea and real coffee!

$40.00 per person and includes immediate return travel on the same ferry for a leisurely experience.

Every Sunday from February to November
12pm sailing from Sorrento
3pm sailing from Queenscliff.

To book visit www.searoad.com.au or contact 03 5258 3244