Torquay is the surfing capital of Australia and one of the fastest growing towns in the Geelong region with new developments going up everywhere, Being only 25 minutes from the centre of Geelong and under an hour and a half from Melbourne people are moving to Torquay for its magnificent beaches, cosmopolitan energy and great lifestyle. The new ring road around Geelong is going to cut substantially more time off the drive to and from Melbourne, which will lead to Torquay becoming more appealing to the commuter.
Located between Barwon Heads and Anglesea the Torquay area takes in some of the best beaches in the region, with the most famous being Bells Beach a few kilometers towards Anglesea from the centre of Town. Bells Beach is the venue for one of the World’s great surfing competitions The Bells Beach Classic which attracts the cream of surfing at the Easter event. Bells Beach like all the great beaches either side of Torquay has wide sandy shores and is protected by sand cliffs. Jan Juc is located between Torquay and Bells and is a very popular place to live and also has magnificent water. Bremlea and the clothing optional Point Impossible are to the north west of the town looking out over the rugged Bass Straight.
The original Torquay township nestled the protected Zeally Bay but over the past few decades the town has spread in all inland directions. There are two main shopping and entertainment areas. The original town with its alfresco dining, great cafes and shopping in Gilbert Street just off the Esplanade. and the huge surf complexes on the Surf Coast Highway. Torquay is home to the surf industry, many of the big brands like Rip Curl, Piping Hot and Quicksilver have surf factories in town. The Surf Coast plaza is a vibrant collection of the big surf brands, cafes, specialty stores and the Surfworld Museum. Surfworld is a hands on museum and traces the history of surfing and this popular sport in the region.
Torquay is home to many sporting events throughout the summer taking advantage of the magnificent beaches. The Australian Strongman Triathlon is held in early February, and the Torquay Surf Life Saving Club recognized as one of Australia’s finest, along with the Jan Juc Surf Life Saving Club have various competitions over the summer months. The Danger 1000 open water swim and beach cricket are also held in January.
The first weekend in December is the High Tide festival, this huge community event celebrates the uniqueness of Torquay and has a wide array of fun and entertainment. The event kicks of with a huge parade, there are stalls, art, food and even a Billy cart race. The Outrigger race is another favorite of the carnival like atmosphere and the eco friendly Cowrie Market, which also runs on the third Sunday of the month between September and April at the Elephant walk on the Esplanade.
Over the summer months Torquay swells with hundreds of visitors taking advantage of the great camping grounds and a good selection of hotels, apartments and motels. Recently several large hotels have been opened to cater for the demand including Crowne Plaza Torquay which offers over 160 rooms of luxury accommodation. Bed and Breakfasts are also popular with quiet a few in the town and there are even a few farm stays a few kilometers inland at property around Freshwater Creek and Bellbrae.
The dawn of April 25 every year Torquay celebrates Anzac Day with a very moving service at Point Danger. Thousands brave the usually cold and windy conditions to pay respect for the fallen. The Torquay service is regarded as one of the state’s best Anzac Day traditions.