Torquay is undeniably cool. It’s hip, it’s thriving, and it’s one of Australia’s quintessential surf towns. Like Byron Bay is to Sydney, Torquay is to Melbourne. There are so many things to do in Torquay, Australia – even after you are done soaking up the surf culture.
Torquay has a lively arts scene, lots of great restaurants and cafes, and outstanding natural beauty. Torquay marks the start of the Great Ocean Road and gives visitors a taste of the marvels that are yet to come.
Location of Torquay, Australia
Torquay Australia marks the beginning of the Great Ocean Road and is located just a short 1.5-hour drive from Melbourne’s CBD.
If you don’t have a car, there are a couple of buses from Melbourne to Torquay but the more popular route is to take the train to Geelong Railway Station and then take a bus from there. The Geelong to Torquay bus takes around 44 minutes and stops both in town and at the Jan Juc’s lookout point.
If you plan to explore the Great Ocean Road past Torquay, then we would highly recommend renting a car in Melbourne or Geelong. You will be hard-pressed to find one past there. Otherwise, consider doing the Great Ocean Walk or partaking in a cycle or bus tour.
Brief History of Torquay
The Wathaurong people traditionally occupied the land around Torquay. However, Europeans started to settle in the area in the early 1800s. At first the area was simply known as Spring Creek and a place to picnic but in 1886 the lands department began diving the land. Shortly, thereafter in 1892 the town was officially renamed after the English holiday town of Torquay in Devon.
By the 1920’s the town had many permanent facilties like a school, church, post office, bowling alley and more. Then as car travel became more popular, Torquay became known as a holiday and day trip destination for people from surrounding areas. It still remains so today.
Things to do in Torquay Australia
These top things to do in Torquay, Victoria will make any visit to the area special.
Visit Bells Beach
Located on the outskirts of Torquay, Bells Beach is world-renowned for its incredible surf break and stunning natural beauty. It is the home of the Rip Curl Surf Competition which takes place every Easter weekend.
Most days you will find local and international surfers ripping up the exposed reef and point break. But if you are not a surfer just sit back and enjoy the show from atop the bluffs or bask in the sun on the golden sand beach.
Read Next: The Ultimate Guide to Bells Beach, Australia
Take a stroll on Torquay’s Foreshore and Coastal Path
Spend an afternoon exploring Torquay’s foreshore which connects the town’s two main beaches and the town center. The path runs parallel to the beach and there are lots of steps connecting the beach to the path.
If you follow the coastal path further west you will find yourself in Jan Juc. Torquay’s small coastal neighborhood. The beaches here are far quieter than in Torquay. This pathway is part of the popular Surf Coast Walk.
Visit the Australian National Surfing Museum
Located in the town center and within walking distance to the beach, this museum delves into the history of surfing. You might be surprised by Australian contributions to the worldwide surf scene and the leading figures that made these developments happen. The boards on display are a highlight!
This is one of the top things to do in Torquay on a rainy day or when you need a reprise from the sun. The museum is open all year round, from 9 am to 5 pm.
Bare-It-All at Point Impossible Beach
One of the most unconventional things to do in Torquay is spending an afternoon on this clothing-optional beach. It is a great way to experience the surf and beach culture of Australia in an alternative way!
Located a 10-minute drive north of the city center, Point Impossible beach offers sun, white sand, and great waves. Toilets and a car park are located at the entrance of the nudist beach.
Take a Swim Just Off Torquay Beach
Torquay has a beach for everybody! While Bells Beach, Jan Juc’s Beach, and Fisherman beach are renowned among surfers worldwide, if you are not an expert in the art of riding waves, don’t fret!
Head towards the center of town and take a detour towards the foreshore. Here lies Front Beach, one of the safest and most peaceful bays of Torquay.
The calm waters and soft sand make this the perfect destination for a family outing. Here you can find BBQ facilities, grassed areas, water fountains, playgrounds, and toilets. Get ready to spend the whole day on this bay!
Read Next: The 8 Best Torquay Beaches, Australia
Learn How to Surf in Torquay
While in Torquay, Australia’s surfing epicenter, you can’t miss out on the opportunity to take a surf lesson or two! The town is dotted with state of the art surf schools and you will get the chance to ride your first wave in one of the most sought-after settings in the world.
We recommend this 2-hour surf lesson. Safety is the first priority and instructors are committed to helping you stand up on your first lesson. All equipment is provided (including wetsuits and surfboards) and we love you can arrange for photos to be taken and that you can take a hot shower at the surf shop post-lesson.
Check out Rocky Point Lookout
Newly refurbished, this lookout is one of the symbols of Torquay Victoria and a visit should definitely be on your list of things to do in Torquay. The wooden structure is located between Torquay Surf Beach and Jan Juc Beach.
Rocky Point Lookout is strategically located on a piece of land that juts out to sea. Expect incredible coastal views!
Sample Local Beer at Torquay Victoria Breweries
For the beer lovers, Blackman’s Brewery, 4 Pines Torquay, Sou’West Brewery and Bells Beach Brewing are must-do’s to include when you are planning what to do in Torquay. While offering completely different products, the beers produced here are fresh, local, and inspired by the town’s surf culture.
Located in the more industrial part of town, Bells Beach Brewing’s taproom occupies a corner of its active brewery. Here you can sample their core range of beer and seasonal specials.
4 Pines has partnered with the Boardrider’s family and often has live music. Grab causal bites to eat here and bring your pup, they have a large beer garden which is dog-friendly.
Sou’West offers delicious seasonal food alongside their pints of craft beer. Their large beer hall is modern and refined. They also offer a family room with a playground for the kids.
Blackmans Brewery is located in the heart of town. They are located just 500 metres from the beach on Bells Street and have become known for their tasty wood fired pizzas.
Find an Event in Torquay Common
Torquay Common plays a big role in the region’s music and festival scene. The lush green field located just off the town center hosts the annual Drop Festival during spring and many events throughout the years. Check what’s happening while you are in town here or just head to the park to take a stroll on the banks of the peaceful Spring Creek.
Torquay has something to offer to any traveler, whether you are a surfer, beach bum, or culture vulture. If you just started off your Great Ocean Road trip or you are taking a weekend off the hustle and bustle of Melbourne, this little seaside town won’t disappoint you.
Go Shopping in Torquay Central Farmers Market
Located 40 minutes walk northeast of the town center, this local market is a must-do stop if you find yourself in Torquay on a Saturday morning. Open from 8.30 am to 1 pm, the many outdoor stands offer the best selection of just-picked fruit and vegetables, homemade baked delicacies, and local coffee.
Whether you are looking to pick up enough groceries for the week or just enjoy a freshly made breakfast, the live music and chilled atmosphere of this Farmers Market will make for the perfect relaxing setting. You might even brush shoulders with some of the professional surfers who call Torquay Victoria home.
Get Lost in The Vineyards of Bellbrae Estate
Bellbrae Estate is located 10 minutes’ drive from the Torquay Victoria town center. If you are a wine lover then this stunning vineyard definitely deserves a spot on your list of things to do in Torquay. Aside from being the only vineyard on the Great Ocean Road, this winery is tucked away in the green and flourishing Bellbrae Reserve.
Here you can find unique wines, produced locally in Torquay, Victoria. The winery aims at combining the unique surf culture of the area (try The Longboard range of wines they offer) with traditional french winemaking techniques.
The estate is open to visitors from 11 am to 5 pm and they serve lunch, snacks and cheese plates to go with your glass of wine. They also sell wine packs, so don’t forget to stock up on them before you leave!
Indulge in Ice cream at the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie
The Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery is situated 11 minutes drive from Torquay’s town center and is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm.
Here you can find chocolate, candies and ice creams which are enough to satisfy any sweet tooth. The dreamy looking shop is impossible to miss while driving on the Great Ocean Road and is one of the only place where you won’t be judged for having ice-cream for breakfast!
They offer chocolate tastings, high tea, and chocolate making classes as well.
Explore the Coastline with Tiger Moth World
For the dare-devils, Tiger Moth World offers skydiving and flight experiences to visitors of Torquay Victoria. Their flights are aboard vintage World War 2 Tiger planes which feature a thrilling outdoor cockpit.
You can book a standard flight along the coast or an aerobatic flight which incorporates loops and barrels into your fly time. The experience is open to everybody and you will be briefed and geared up before the flight.
The center is open from Friday to Monday, from 9.30 am to 5 pm, and you can get your booking in on the park’s official website.
Daredevils visiting Torquay might find their next passion with skydiving. If this item is on your bucket list, you can try it out by visiting Australian Skydiving at the Torquay airport. You will have amazing views over the Great Ocean Road as you free fall for 70 seconds from from 14,000-15,000ft.
Stock up on Gear at SurfCity Plaza
SurfCity Plaza houses the Surf Museum, but it is also home to a number of trendy surf shops from popular brands like Oakley, Billabong and RipCurl. You can’t miss this imposing plaza as you drive into Torquay.
However, around the corner in Baine’s Court is you’ll find outlet shops and better luck at finding some deals. Across the street is The Usual Suspects Coffee Co. which we would recommend as a refuel stop after a day of shopping.
Check out the Sundial
Located at the end of Darian Road, on the Esplanade in Torquay. The Analemmatic Sundial is a piece of public art crafted by local artists Claire Gittings and Glenn Romanis. It depicts traditional indigenous motifs and tells the Wadawurrung oral story of Mindii. It is a stunning piece of art that serves as a reminder of the tradition custodians of the land which is well worth a visit.
Go to the Spa
If you want to pamper yourself one of best things to do in Torquay is hit the spa. endota spa is a part of a chain of first-class day spas. You’ll be welcomed with a cup of tea in the relaxation lounge before receiving your treatment. Choose from facials, massages and more.
Saltair Spa has two beautiful locations in Torquay. You can choose from individual treatments or packages like couples or deep relaxation. Their location on the outskirts of town is tucked into nature and will make you want to stay for awhile.
Go on a Day Trip
Torquay is the beginning of the Great Ocean Road and there are so many great things to see and do along it within just a short drive of the seaside town. The Split Point light house in Aireys Inlet is a half hour away. Lorne and Erskine Falls are an hour in the car away. See a full list of the top attractions along the Great Ocean Road if you feel like getting out of Torquay for the day.
Whether you are a daredevil, foodie or prefer a day lounging at the beach, you will find lots of interesting things to do in Torquay, Victoria. This special town is a favourite of many for a reason!
What are your favourite things to do in Torquay Victoria?
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