Surfing on the Great Ocean Road

Whether you're following the call of the waves to surf world-class beaches, or you're a traveller looking for adventure on your Melbourne Great Ocean Road tour, you're guaranteed to enjoy surfing the legendary waves of the Southern Ocean.

Great Ocean Road

Surf lessons in Victoria on the Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road coast features popular surf spots, including the famous Bells Beach, where the Rip Curl Pro event is held annually.

The beach towns along the coast have friendly locals, a surf culture, and well-equipped businesses for surfing. Be mindful of the beautiful beaches, cliffs, and rainforest scenery while surfing.

The Great Ocean Road has safe beaches and gentle waves, making it ideal for learning to surf. Beginners can start by taking a surf lesson with qualified instructors on more accessible breaks. After a two-hour lesson, you'll know how to choose the right waves, stand up on your board, and enjoy surfing. Beaches are often patrolled in summer, and lifeguards can provide information on local conditions.

Where to find equipment?

If you don't bring your gear, there are many places to buy or rent what you need. Get a full-length wetsuit to stay warm in the cold water and protect your skin. Beginners should use a giant foam board, which is easier to stand on. Surfboards and wetsuits can be hired at local surf schools or shops in town.

Consider purchasing your gear if you plan on staying for a while and don't want to return it daily. Torquay, where the Great Ocean Road begins, is the birthplace of Australian surf culture. It is home to several discount surf outlets, including leading brands Rip Curl and Quiksilver, which have been around for over 30 years. These brands are now global surf, snow, and adventure sports gear leaders. You can find everything in Torquay, from high-quality wetsuits and swimwear to board wax and affordable new boards.

Surfing spots on the Great Ocean Road

The coastline from Torquay to Portland offers numerous surf spots for enthusiasts. Surf conditions can be easily determined by the entire car parks along the Great Ocean Road, where local tradespeople take advantage of the good conditions.

Surf Coast

This area is known as the epicentre of Victorian surfing. It has top surf spots for all levels, including beginners and experienced surfers. Torquay Cosy Corner, Anglesea Main Beach, Point Roadknight, and Lorne Main Beach are great for beginners, with small, gentle waves and surf lessons available. Try Torquay Back Beach, Jan Juc, Point Addis, and Fairhaven Beach for more challenging surf. Cathedral Rock offers an exposed point break that is popular among experienced surfers.

Apollo Bay

Apollo Bay's sheltered harbour provides a safe and ideal place for learning how to surf. The waves at this beach become larger and more powerful the further you go from the harbour. It is a versatile beach that caters to surfers of all skill levels. Experienced surfers can also explore Marengo Beach and Skenes Creek Beach for different breaks.

Warrnambool to Portland

Port Fairy East Beach and Warrnambool Main Beach are ideal for beginners, with long sandy beaches and easy-to-ride waves. Bridgwater Bay in Portland provides sheltered and beginner-friendly surfing. More experienced surfers can challenge themselves at breaks like Dredges, The Cutting, and Japs in Warrnambool. In Portland, experienced surfers can enjoy powerful breaks and long rides from Bridgewater Bay to Narrawong Beach along the coast.

Areas to avoid

Bells Beach is well-known for surfing, but it is also hazardous. The area between Cape Otway and Warrnambool is unsuitable for beginner surfers, as the waves are big and conditions can be challenging. The 12 Apostles Coast may look inviting for surfing, but the mighty waves here are best left to experienced surfers. Even those confident in their abilities can get in trouble quickly at these spots, so watching from the beach is safer.

Melbourne Great Ocean Road tour

Follow surfer etiquette

Before surfing, it is essential to respect the locals who have been surfing in the area for years. Additionally, it is essential to respect the environment and leave no trace.

Avoid dropping in on someone else's wave, and be mindful of not being a wave hog. Cutting in front of someone on a wave can lead to a collision. The surfer who is further out on the wave and has been waiting longer typically has the right of way. It's essential to communicate with other surfers and always hold onto your board. If you make a mistake, apologize; surfers usually understand and won't hold it against you.

When learning to surf in choppy waters, be considerate of other beginners and hold onto your board to avoid accidents. Foam boards can still cause harm if they hit someone.

It is essential to only surf at beaches that match your skill level. Putting yourself in dangerous situations where you may require rescue is not advisable.

Surfing along the breaks on the Great Ocean Road is a popular activity when the weather is nice.

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