Check out this surfers guide to the Great Ocean Road to find the best waves and beaches this stunning coastline has to offer. 

The Great Ocean Road stretches along Victoria’s coastline in the south east of Australia. It’s an iconic coastal drive that attracts people from all over the world. The highlights are many, including the 12 Apostles. However, the Surf Coast is one place that shouldn’t be missed. 

From secluded beaches to big waves and coastal trails, this part of the coast has it all. It’s the home of iconic surf brands, Rip Curl and Quiksilver. It has Australia’s best surf beach, Bells Beach. Plus it offers waves of all sizes for every surfer to enjoy. 

Surfers Guide to the Great Ocean Road

The destination: Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road is home to Victoria’s most stunning stretch of coastland. There’s incredible rock formations, lush rainforests, and some of the best surfing spots in the country. Every year thousands of tourists explore the winding road. But no trip to this beautiful coastline is complete without a visit to the beaches. It’s a chance to discover the best surfing waves and beaches that are home to world surfing professionals’ favourite spots. It was the original Australia’s surf scene, with famous surf brands such as Rip Curl and Quiksilver originating right along this coast.

Top surf spots on the Great Ocean Road

For beginners:

Anglesea Surf Beach

Anglesea Beach is from the southerly swells protected by the Point Roadknight headland. This means it generally has smaller waves rolling in to shore. The whitewater is a great place to learn to surf. You can also take a lesson with a local surf school to learn the right technique. The stunning sandstone cliffs surrounding Anglesea beach make a wonderful backdrop. 

Torquay Surf Beach 

Torquay Surf Beach has a long stretch of sand with a couple of different breaks. For beginners the best spot is close to shore, in the whitewater. If you want to take a lesson, there are a couple of surf schools in the area. The beach has nice views of the rocky headland in the distance. There’s a grassy hill above the sand where spectators can sit and watch the surf. 

Apollo Bay Beach

Apollo Bay has calmer waters and a very long beach. Because of this, it is perfect for beginners. You will find smaller waves and lots of room to practice surfing for the first time. You can contact the local surf school for a lesson, or hire a surfboard to take out into the waves. Apollo Bay beach has views of the local marina and the winding coastal road in the distance. 

Lorne Main Beach

Lorne is a popular destination for surfing, swimming and many holiday makers from Melbourne. If the waves are good at the point, there will be a crowd. However, there is plenty of space along the main beach to catch the whitewash and practice surfing. Avoid the area between the lifesavers flags as this area is reserved for swimmers. 

For experts:

Bells Beach, Torquay

Bells Beach is home to Australia’s oldest and most professional surf competition – The Bells Beach Pro. It started in the 1960’s and continues to be held annually. The worlds best surfers come to Bells Beach around April each year to compete. Bells Beach is also famous for its coastal scenery and amphitheater cliffs which gives you great views of the action if you are not experienced enough to surf here. 

Black Nose Point, Portland

Black Nose Point in Portland is a large basalt headland that is a part of the long beach. Becuase of the exposed point break, the surf at this location is consistently large with clean groundswells. However, novice surfers are advised to avoid the area due to the rough currents, rocky surrounds and the lack of lifeguards.  

Gibson Steps

Gibson Steps is one of the locations we visit on our Great Ocean Road tour, along with the 12 Apostles. On a day with smaller swells there is one surf break amongst the picturesque scenery. It requires you to paddle out past the towering rock formations and is not a space for beginners. You can watch the experienced surfers from the lookouts at Gibsons Steps or the 12 Apostles. 

Tips for surfing on the Great Ocean Road

  • Take a surf lesson to learn the basics – both of surfing and ocean safety 
  • Always surf with a friend, in case you get into trouble in the water
  • Check with locals or lifesavers before entering the water – they can advise of dangers such as rips, currents and rocks
  • Watch out for swimmers and other surfers in the water, always hold onto your board and watch where you are going when catching the waves 
  • Hire or buy a foam surfboard when starting out – it is less likely to cause injuries if you fall or let go of the board 

Take a Great Ocean Road tour to visit the Surf Coast

If you want to see Victoria’s Surf Coast, we recommend taking a day tour from Melbourne. You can join us on two different tour options that take you to along the Great Ocean Road at different times of the day. 

Our Great Ocean Road tour starts with a coffee stop at Torquay’s Surf Beach and contineus along the Great Ocean Road to explore the rainforest, see koalas and visit the Apostles Lookout, Gibson Steps and Loch Ard Gorge.

Our Sunset Tour of the Great Ocean Road departs the city later than other tours. The firs tstop is in Anglesea and then you will discover the highlights of the Great Ocean Road, including seaside towns, koalas in the wild and 12 Apostles Lookout at sunset. 

Whichever tour you choose, we guarantee to provide you with an experience that is memorable for all the right reasons. 


Written by: Leah Furey – Digital Content Coordinator