13 Things to Do in Torquay

On the Great Ocean Road’s eastern end is the lovely city of Torquay, Victoria, a popular beach destination and the starting point of the Surf Coast, located a mere 1.5 hours from the Victorian capital of Melbourne. 

Torquay is every avid surfer’s surfing heaven, with popular surfing brands, Rip Curl and Quicksilver, having their headquarters in the city. 

Aside from its surf culture, this city is also a favourite residential extension of Geelong as well as a seaside holiday resort that rakes in thousands of travellers each year. 

13 Best Things to Do in Torquay, Victoria

What to do in Torquay?

You can learn more by visiting the Torquay Visitor Information Centre in Surf City Plaza at 77 Beach Road, Torquay.

Meanwhile, here’s a quick roundup of some fun Torquay activities and places to visit that you shouldn’t miss.

Learn more about riding the waves at the Australian National Surfing Museum

Visit the world’s first museum that’s dedicated solely to the history of surfing, whose doors opened in December 1993. Recognised as “A place of surfing significance” by the International Surfing Association, the Australian National Surfing Museum is not only the largest museum of its kind but is also the only museum for surfing that’s accredited by related governing bodies. 

Going around, you can find temporary exhibitions and permanent displays that tell the beautiful story of the surf culture in Australia. 

Moreover, the surfing museum is home to the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame, which features Australian surfers who have contributed to the sport, culture, and industry.

Photo by Max Ravier

Learn how to surf at the Torquay Surf Beach

Another one of the many Torquay attractions is the Torquay Surf Beach, also known as Torquay Back Beach because of its location in the town’s south area. 

Compared to other surf beaches in the area such as Jan Juc Beach, this beach is more protected, which is why it is a great surfing spot that’s perfect for beginners and families. 

With its small and gentle waves, you can practice your surfing skills and get the chance to learn it from the Surf Academy, which offers an hour surfing lesson or two. 

Shop like a local at the Torquay Farmers Market

Why not go all the way with the Torquay experience by shopping like a local at the farmers market and grabbing your favourite day trips food?

When you come on a Saturday, you can witness the buzzing locals as they scramble to get their favourite local produce from 8:30 in the morning. The Torquay Farmers Market is located in the Surf Coast Shire Offices’ car park, selling artisan produce and fresh local delicacies. You can also see numerous Torquay things and treats for your sweet tooth at the ‘dessert lane’.

Every January, the market holds the Night Jar Market, which features many emerging designers and their curated products. Make Torquay shopping a memorable one! 

Give in to your sweet cravings at the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery

Love chocolates and ice cream? Who doesn’t, right? I know I’m guilty!

Then, stop at this sweet tooth haven for the ultimate sweet treat. Located not far from Bells Beach, the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery has been captivating chocolate lovers since 2016. 

It’s composed of a team of pastry chefs and European chocolatiers who collaborate with the local staff to concoct the most unique and delicious chocolate treats you can ever try! 

Don’t miss to see their showroom, which features thousands of chocolates as well as fresh pastries, artisan ice cream, and mouthwatering desserts. And if you’re up for it, enjoy their tasting sessions, watch their chocolatiers’ skilful hands as they make their concoctions, or join in the chocolate-making classes for the ultimate twist to your Torquay adventure. 

Experience Tandem Skydiving at Skydive Great Ocean Road

Want to feel the ultimate adrenaline rush–the kind that exceeds every other adrenaline rush you’ve ever experienced before? Then, it’s time to experience the traveller tandem skydive! 

You won’t just get to see big waves but also dramatic scenery, about 600 shipwrecks, the stunning Bells Beach, limestone formations, excellent cliff top viewpoints, and the spectacular views of the Barwon Heads and Geelong. 

And you also get to have a keepsake of your exhilarating experience, as your instructor uses a special high-resolution, wrist-mounted camera to capture the moment!

Explore the Point Danger Marine Sanctuary

Measuring 21.7 hectares between the towns of Jan Juc and Torquay, the Point Danger Marine Sanctuary is exposed to big swells and strong winds. 

Aside from its intertidal limestone platform that provides a home to species of marine plants, the sanctuary is also known for having a diverse population of sea slugs. Some 96 species of these sea slugs have been recorded–many of which are endemic to the area and can be found in the subtidal and intertidal reefs. 

A sandy channel isolates the reef from the beach, with the reef becoming a fully exposed reef during the summer’s low tide. You’ll get to see seaweed beds and small boulders and pools as well as mussels and key-hole limpets that are abundant in the reef.

In case you wanted to know, Point Danger got its name for its dangerous offshore reefs in the area, which posed a danger to ships.  Please be careful!

Experience the Front Beach

If there is a Torquay Back Beach, there is also the front beach, situated between Point Danger and the Yellow Bluff. 

This beach has a natural beauty that’s accentuated by large BBQ and picnic areas. Blessed with calm waters and fronting the town centre, it is equipped with facilities such as changing rooms, playgrounds, and water fountains that make it a favourite among both locals and visitors alike.

Be the king of the world when you visit the Tiger Moth World Adventure Flights

You might have already flown in an aeroplane but not in a WWII open cockpit biplane. Don’t be the last to experience the thrill and adrenaline rush by visiting the Tiger Moth World Adventure Flights! 

You can choose from various flights such as the Lighthouse Spectacular, which takes you flying in a vintage biplane over the cliff tops and beaches as well as over Point Lonsdale or the Aireys Inlet Lighthouse. 

Your flight already includes your flying gear such as goggles, helmet, and a leather jacket–the complete flying suit just like the “Biggles”. All you need to do is choose which way to fly!

Pick Fresh Strawberries at the Surf Coast Strawberry Fields

Just because Torquay, Victoria, is part of the Great Ocean Road trip doesn’t mean it’s all just about the beach and ocean during day tours. It is also about delicious food and fruits, especially when you stop by the Surf Coast Strawbery Fields, which is one of the best Australian activities. 

Photo by Anna Tarazevich

This destination lets you experience farm-fresh picking on their strawberry farm that sits on a 90-acre land. Whether you’re doing this with the family, your friends, or by yourself, picking fresh strawberries can enhance your mood and lets you stock up on healthy snacks in your campervan! 

Afterwards, you can enjoy sitting at their ice cream bar for some delicious strawberry ice cream or go around and explore their shop to purchase some honey and strawberry preserves. 

Be Immersed in Nature as you do the Surf Coast Walk

The only other thing to do in order to immerse yourself in the marvellous natural beauty of the Great Ocean Road is to do the Surf Coast Walk. 

This 44-kilometre trail takes you from the entrance of the Great Ocean Road in Torquay, all the way to the Aireys Inlet, and features 12 trailheads and easy access for various hiking abilities. 

Check out my earlier post on the Great Ocean Road itinerary for a guide to nearby destinations, including a guide for finding camping spots along the way.

If you don’t want to take a walk, you can also hop on your bike and ride on the Torquay Promenade and enjoy the Anglesea River. Be amazed to see Bells Beach’s ochre cliffs and Bass Strait’s deep blue hue. 

And when you reach the Ironbark Basin, you’ll fall in love with the relaxing greens of the Eucalyptus trees and the stunning wildlife in the area. 

The best part of the Surf Coast Walk is the Walk section’s interactive maps that offer essential information on where you can park, grab a coffee, and tons more. 

Bask in the Southside Beach

To the west of Torquay, some 30 minutes drive from Geelong, is the surf beach of Southside Beach. 

Considered a legal nudist beach, this site may be washed out when the tides are high, making it important for you to check tide information prior to visiting. 

It is also a favourite destination among surfers thanks to the beach’s barrelling waves that go up to a meter-and-a-half high on a regular basis. And because it is located close to where world surfing competitions are held, it has become a world-famous surfing destination. 

But what brings tourists to South Beach are its exceptional landscape and special features, given the many walking trails that keep you busy as you complete your day trips. 

Experience the great outdoors with a visit to the Great Otway National Park 

One of the many fascinating Torquay attractions stretches from Torquay all the way to the Otways hinterland via the Great Ocean Road, and it’s called the Great Otway National Park. 

It’s one place you shouldn’t miss on your trip as numerous Torquay activities await you. Think lush mountain forests, majestic waterfalls, and stunning coastlines, and you get the idea of the wonders that await you in the Otways. 

Go ahead and conquer the Great Ocean Walk by foot in eight days or in sections, and enjoy the views of the sparkling waters between Twelve Apostles and Apollo Bay. 

And if you want to learn more about the Shipwreck Coast, take a tour of the Cape Otway Station and climb to the historic lighthouse’s top to admire the magnificent views of the coast. 

Don’t forget to visit the Melba Gully, where you can watch the spectacle of glow worms as they illuminate their surroundings at night. 

Of course, the Great Otway National Park offers numerous camping grounds if you want to stay longer here. With loads of caravan parks and powered and unpowered sites, you’ll definitely be in for a lot of fun and adventure in the Great Otway National Park.

Be captivated by the impressive artworks at the Salt and Pepper Gallery

Here’s another year-round destination offering–the impressive works of Catherine M. Brennan at the Salt and Pepper Gallery. 

Her place offers a refreshing break from all the category tours and custom tours adventure that take you outdoors. For a change, go indoors and appreciate the beauty of art in the paintings, original design scarves, and sculptures in the studio gallery. 

What makes Catherine’s works unique is that she uses colour to bring about positivity to the world, which she believes is very important in the midst of these difficult times. 

And yes, she hasn’t failed because numerous international visitors have come to purchase some of her works, enabling her to spread such positivity to all corners of the world. 

Come and visit and feel relaxed and inspired. 

Knowing More About Torquay, Victoria

Before you leave, here are some questions and answers that can help you make your journey one for the books.

Where can I camp in Torquay?

Torquay has numerous camping grounds that offer you a restful stay for a few hours or days.

In the area from Torquay to Anglesea, you can choose from the following:

Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park, Torquay Holiday Park, Jan Juc Holiday Park, Anglesea Beachfront Family Caravan Park, and Big 4 Anglesea

In the area from Aireys Inlet to Lorne, choose from the following:

Aireys Inlet Paid Campgrounds, Hammonds Road Campground, Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park, Allenvale Mill Site, Sharps Track, and Cumberland River Holiday Park. 

You can also find more campgrounds in Victoria here. 

Do remember that free camping is not allowed in commercial and residential areas along Victoria’s Surf Coast. With stricter rules, you can only go free camping within national parks. 

Where are the public toilets in Torquay?

You won’t have to worry about finding public toilets in Torquay. Thanks to the National Public Toilet Map, you can easily make a stop at the closest public toilet to your location. 

In Torquay, the nearest public toilets are at Torquay Motor Angling Club, Torquay Playpark, Whites Beach East, Djilla Tjarri Playground, Grant Pavilion, Gilbert Street Shopping Centre, Cosy Corner, Solo Block, Bird Rock Car Park, and more. 

Final Thoughts

There are so many things to do and sights to see along the Great Ocean Road, and Torquay, Victoria, is just one of them. 

Now, you no longer have to ask ‘what to do in Torquay’ because there is always something to do here every day. 

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