Starting in Torquay, Victoria, the Surf Coast Walk is known for its scenic views and fringing bush. There’s plenty to see and do along the trail, and it has different terrains and lengths suitable for all levels of hikers or walkers.
Very few opt to walk the whole length of the Surf Coast Walk in one day. Rather they enjoy sections of it based on their own preferences and timings.
The Surf Coast Walk is a must-do if your travelling through Victoria, as the walk offers an up-close chance to see the raw, natural beauty of many famous attractions along the Great Ocean Road.
What is the Surf Coast Walk?
The Surf Coast Walk is a walking trail which starts from Torquay and ends at Aireys Inlet. It is 44 kilometres in length but is broken down into sections.
The Surf Coast Walk was originally developed in 1987, with a route going between Jan Juc and Moggs Creek (both surfside villages). Over the years, the walk has been extended and developed, so visitors to the Great Ocean Road can experience bushland, beaches and soaring views from numerous viewing platforms along the way.
There are lots of facilities along the Surf Coast Walk, like toilets and car parks. However, as the Surf Coast Walk is linear so people hiking it must return to their departure point if they are driving. There are no looped walking trails on along the Surf Coast Walk.
It’s common for most travelers to choose the specific sections they want to explore, instead of attempting the entire length in one go. We’ve compiled a list of the most important highlights along the way, as well as some of the best sections to embark upon.
Highlights of the Surf Coast Walk
The Surf Coast Walk is considered a world-class walking route and covers some of the top attractions that can be found along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. Walking the trails and discovering the beauty offered by the landscape is recommended for all, whether you’re traveling with your family, friends, or solo.
Point Impossible is very close to Torquay, and has a clothes-optional beach. It is a prime surfing spot in Victoria that is ideal for beginners who want to test the waters. Sunseekers looking to relax on the beach and can lounge and soak in the sun at this beautiful beach.
Point Impossible is the starting point of the many trails which can be taken along the Surf Coast. It ends in Torquay, and holds a lot of history from the native Wadawurrung people.
Jan Juc Beach
Jan Juc Beach is great for swimmers and surfers alike. A popular attraction along the Great Ocean Road, many tourists are drawn to the beach as it is often less crowded than Torquay beaches nearby. With dramatic limestone cliffs backing the beach and a length of 1.2 kilometres between Bird Point and Rocky Point, the beach offers breathtaking views of sand and sea.
Known for hosting the Rip Curl Pro Event, Bells Beach is one of the most popular surf destinations in the world.Although there isn’t much else to do at Bells Beach except surf and relax, it’s a must-see place along the surf coast walk for its incredible natural beauty.
Point Addis Marine National Park is a fantastic spot along the Surf Coast Walk known for its abundance of sea life and rugged coastline. The chances of spotting dolphins or seals is likely here. In addition, the vast sandy beaches backed by the towering limestone and sandstone cliffs create the perfect setting to relax and take in the views.
Kids can roam around the rock pools and explore the marine life, whilst daredevils can experience hang gliding from the cliffs above. Point Addis is definitely worth a stop for Surf Coast walkers interested in sea life.
Point Roadknight Beach
This beach runs parallel to Urquhart Bluffs, and although it isn’t suitable to surf, it’s still a great spot to take a break and take in the views along the Surf Coast Walk.
One of the lesser-known beaches along the Great Ocean Road, it’s often quieter than beaches like Bells Beach, so you can take in the spectacular views in peace. It’s also considered one of the safest beaches in Anglesea to swim, perfect for those travelling with children.
Angelesea River offers a calmer, more relaxed vibe for those who want to try water sports without the intensity of the open ocean. Paddleboarding is popular here, alongside fishing. It’s a great place for families to grab a bite to eat and sit by the riverbank after a long coastal Victoria trek.
If you happen to visit on a Sunday, make sure to check out the Riverbank Markets and the range of fun, eclectic stalls, perfect for souvenir shopping.
Split Point Lighthouse
Delve into history at the Split Point Lighthouse in Aireys Inlet as you admire gorgeous 360 panoramic views. With many ships having crashed here, it’s a fantastic place to stop along the Surf Coast Walk and take in the history and stories that have emerged from this interesting, rugged coastline.
You may even be lucky enough to spot a pod of dolphins as they are commonly sighted in the area.
Popular Sections of the Surf Coast Walk
Below are a few of the most popular trails along the Surf Coast Walk. They each include their starting points and lengths so you can make the most of your time along the Surf Coast Walk.
*Please note that the following walking maps have been taking from Google Maps. Actual lengths, times, and conditions may vary slightly
Wadawurrung Country Walk
Starting From: Waterside Park, Breamlea
Length: approx. 6.6 km
Taking roughly 1 hour and 20 mins, this walk is great for learning about the culture of the Wadawurrung people and their history in the region. It’s a mostly flat trail, making it suitable for all travelers. The route starts at Point Impossible and ends at Yellow Bluff, with lots of interpretative signages along the way.
Torquay Promenade Walk
Starting From: Sundial, Torquay
Length: approx. 2.3 km
This route is extremely easy and only takes approx 20 mins. You can experience the best of Torquay by meandering along the Torquay Promenade. There are lookouts over the beach and the many Torquay restaurants and cafes along the way. It ends at the Jan Juc lookout, which offers 180-degree views.
The Jan Juc to Bells Track
Starting from: Jan Juc Beach, Jan Juc
Length: approx. 3.8 km
Starting from Jan Juc Beach this walk takes just under an hour (approx 50 mins) and covers the Cantala Drive Lookout, as well as various other viewpoints over the dramatic coastline. This trail ends at the famous Bells Beach. It’s perfect for all types of walkers, as the trail is easy, steady and doesn’t include steps or steep inclines.
Ironbark Basin Walk
Starting from: Bells Beach, Torquay
Length: approx. 7.1 km
This trail is popular amongst those who want to experience the inland areas. Taking roughly 1 and a half hours to complete, the terrain is moderate, with some steep hills and sand. The trail ends at Point Addis and includes plenty of lookouts and opportunities to see wildlife and beautiful plants.
Anglesea Riverbanks Walk
Starting from: Anglesea Cliffs, Angelsea
Length: approx. 2.7 km
This easy, flat walk takes you around the Anglesea River, passing the Lions Park (perfect for families with children) to stop off at, as well as paddle boarding areas for the whole family to enjoy. This 30 min walk finishes at the Anglesea Beach.
For a midway break pop by 4 Kings Coffee & Food for a bite to eat in Anglesea or enjoy the air con at the Anglesea Visitors Center. At the visitor centre you can learn about the rich Aboriginal history and culture in the area.
Anglesea to Point Roadknight Walk
Starting from: Anglesea Visitor Centre, Anglesea
Length: approx. 2.6 km
This walk starts from the Anglesea Visitors Center and covers a number of stops along the way to check out the views. There are places for refreshments and toilet stops, and the easy terrain makes it suitable for all. Enjoy the panoramic views and end at Point Roadknight beach where you can relax and rest from this 40 min walk.
Aireys Clifftops Walk
Starting from: Sunnymead Beach, Aireys Inlet
Length: 2.6 km
The Aireys Clifftops Walk is an easy trail suitable for all types of travelers. Taking approx 35 mins, it covers a number of lookouts and beaches. It’s the perfect combination trail, as it encompasses beach, bush and the Airey’s townlet, finishing at the Split Point Lighthouse.
Lighthouse Discovery Walk
Starting from: Split Point Lookout, Airey’s Inlet
Length: approx. 2.3 km
This route is the end of the Surf Coast trail and takes roughly 30 mins to complete. The section of the Surf Coast Walk starts at the Split Point Lighthouse and ends at the Fairhaven Surf Life Saving Club and the adjacent beach. The route includes lookouts, recreational areas for BBQs and toilet access. It’s an easy route with well-signed viewing platforms which can be enjoyed as you make your way through Aireys Inlet.