Torquay is a township in Victoria Australia located on the coast of the Bass Strait. It is 21 km south of Geelong or 100 km south of Melbourne. Torquay is known for its beautiful surfing beaches and it is also often referred to as the gateway to The Great Ocean Road, and iconic road trip. Rather than it being just a stop on a road trip, Torquay is a great place to stay for fun in the sun.
Things to Do in Torquay
You can't pass through the town known as the Surfing Capital of Australia without taking some time to at least play in the ocean, or catch some waves.
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If you don't know how to surf, lessons are very easy to come by. Bells Beach is probably the most well-known surf beach. Worldwide surfing competitions are held here on a regular basis. It is also the birthplace of surf clothing brands Rip Curl and Quicksilver. Some souvenir surfing attire is definitely in order. Victorians have been going to Torquay for vacations since the 1900's. In addition to surfing, you can charter a boat, go shopping, visit the Surf World Museum, or just relax on the beach or in a local spa. If you are into surfing, then riding the waves at Bells Beach probably isn't the only beach on your agenda. There are plenty of popular surf spots all along the coast in this region.
Hiring a Car
Of course, you will want to hire a car for your holiday in Torquay so that you can take advantage of one of the most scenic and popular road trips in the entire world: The Great Ocean Road. You can hire a Budget car rental in Melbourne or nearby Geelong so that you have the right vehicle for the coastal terrain and national parks along the way. Having your own car means seeing the sights on your own schedule. When hiring a car, be sure to let the agent know your travel plans so that they can recommend the right car for your needs.
The Great Ocean Road
Torquay is the gateway to The Great Ocean Road. This is one of the most scenic road trips in Australia, and even the world. The road trip begins in Torquay and takes you west along the coast of southern Australia to Port Fairy and back. Stops along the way include:
Lorne: A relaxed seaside village with a Mediterranean flair.
Great Otway National Park: The landscape in the National Park is in sharp contrast to the ocean and coastal views to its south. Instead, you will encounter mountains, rainforests, waterfalls, gullies, and rivers in the lush park.
Apollo Bay: This is a quiet seaside village located in the foothills of the Otway Mountains. There is so much to see and do in this little town. During the winter and into spring, whale watching is popular here. It is also home to several annual festivals. You can go fishing, dine at the local ocean view cafes, or explore the Otway Ranges.
Cape Otway: This is where the Bass Strait meets the Southern Ocean and the lighthouse perched at the cape helps guide boats. It is Australia's oldest lighthouse built in 1848.
The Twelve Apostles: These limestone landmarks are one of the highlights of The Great Ocean Road adventure. These structures are just off the coast and were once part of the cliffs. You have to see them to witness the beauty.
Port Campbell National Park: The 12 Apostles are one of the many picturesque landmark features that are located in the National Park. Other natural landmarks to look for include Loch Ard Gorge, the Arch, the Grotto, Gibson Steps, and Bay of Islands.
Warnambool: As with each of the other seaside villages along the way of The Great Ocean Road, Wanambool has plenty to offer as well. Experience the local food and wine, visit the beaches, gardens, and parks, encounter local animals in the Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve, and soak up some of the local arts and culture.
Port Fairy: This is the westernmost point on the official Great Ocean Road. It is a quaint fishing village that is also one of the oldest towns in Victoria, established in the early 1800's.