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Beaches

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

From Geelong 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. 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.

Highlights

Portarlington Beach

Point Richards is a large accumulation of sand that forms the northern tip of the Bellarine Peninsula. The point is still growing slowly to the west, while in the east it is attached to the bedrock at Portarlington. There are three beaches along this 2.5 km section of coast. The first is a 300 m long, low energy section west of the point, which grades into tidal flats. Between the point and the Portarlington Jetty is a 2 km long, north facing beach, backed by a large reserve and a caravan park. The third beach runs for 200 m east of the jetty to the bluffs. All three beaches have good access, with a large car park on the point servicing a boat ramp, and a second boat ramp on Portarlington Beach. Swimming These are three relatively safe beaches, with usually calm to low wave conditions. Due to the extensive sand flats, bathing is best at mid to high tide. However, watch the boat traffic near the boat ramps and jetty. Surfing None. Fishing The jetty is the most popular location. General A very popular section of coast, particularly during the summer holidays when the backing caravan park is full. 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 guarentee that all translations will be accurate. General Beach Hazard Rating: 1 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.

St Leonards Beach

At Indented Head, the coast turns and runs due south for 3 km down to the low bluffs at St Leonards. The Esplanade runs right behind the beach and low foredune. There are two picnic areas behind the main beach, with a camping reserve toward St Leonards, and a foreshore reserve with numerous facilities backing the bluffs and St Leonards Pier Beach. Toward the southern end of St Leonards Beach, there are several wooden groynes, as well as the breakwater and pier, that form the boundary with the 300 m long St Leonards Pier Beach. This beach terminates at a low, rocky point and reef flats. Both beaches are low and narrow and fronted by shallow, 100 to 200 m wide sand flats, containing low amplitude bars and runnels. The flats are exposed at low tide. Swimming Two relatively safe beaches fronted by shallow sand flats and low bars. Bathing is better at mid to high tide when the flats are covered. Surfing None. Fishing The rocks on the south side of Indented Head and the St Leonards Pier are the two best places to reach deeper water. General A long, relatively natural beach, with good access and numerous facilities, plus the small town of St Leonards at the southern end. 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: 2 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.

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.
 

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Packages & Offers

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.

Blues Train & BIG 4 Beacon Resort - May and August

Enjoy the legendary Blues Train and the equally legendary BIG4 Beacon Resort with this package, from $497 for two people.

Family Supatramp & Stay Package at BIG4 Beacon Resort

Bring the kids and their bucketloads of energy to BIG 4 Beacon Resort with this Supatramp accommodation deal for 2 adults and 2 children, from $459.

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

 

Blues Train & BIG 4 Beacon Resort - May and August

Enjoy the legendary Blues Train and the equally legendary BIG4 Beacon Resort with this package, from $497 for two people:

  • $40.00 per person and includes immediate return travel on the same ferry for a leisurely experience.
  • 2 nights accommodation.
  • Charcuterie Plate dinner and live band at Flying Brick Cider House, and a 1 litre cider ‘Growler’ to take home.
  • $50 voucher for Mud Day Spa, located at the resort.
  • Breakfast hamper.
  • Extend your stay with early check in (10am) and late check out (6pm).
  • P: 5258 1133 or book online

Only valid for Blues Train events in May and August 2015. Terms & conditions apply.

 

Family Supatramp & Stay Package at BIG4 Beacon Resort

Bring the kids and their bucketloads of energy to BIG 4 Beacon Resort with this Supatramp accommodation deal for 2 adults and 2 children, from $459.

  • 2 nights in a Queenscliff cabin.
  • A Supatramp pass for each child including an hour of clip ‘n climb and an hour of trampolining, plus socks and $10 to spend in the café.
  • 1 hour GoKart hire at the resort.
  • Unlimited DVD hire and a milkshake for each child from the resort shop.
  • Late 6pm checkout.
  • P: 1800 351 152 or book online

Offer available from 11 March to 30 April 2015. Terms and conditions apply.