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Bells Beach

Bells Beach, located on the edges of the surfers’ haven of Torquay town, is one of the world’s most famous surfing beaches. Fronting the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, it’s home to the iconic Rip Curl Pro Surfing contest and its associated music festival, first held over 50 years ago.

The contest takes place every Easter and attracts the world’s best surfers as well as hordes of fans of the dramatic sport. Associated surf breaks nearby include Boobs, Steps, Southside, Rincon, the Winki Pop uppers and lowers, and Centreside.

Bells Beach is the inspiration for a local conservation group named Surfers Appreciating the Natural Environment, formed in 1988 by surfers concerned about the effect or tourism on the Bells Beach Surfing Reserve. The group meets monthly to evaluate any damage and its members have planted well over 100,000 plants since the group’s inception to help bring the area back to its original wild beauty.

The beach itself is wide, sandy and gently curved, with the reef-strewn shallows creating the outstanding surf from the Southern Ocean swells as they approach the land. The beach is backed by soaring cliffs, with their walking trails giving dramatic views over the coastline towards rocky headlands. The ocean is an amazing turquoise blue which contrasts with the red ochre hue of the cliffs.

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The Surf Coast Walk from Bells Beach runs through traditional aboriginal lands and passes the resorts of Torquay, Anglesea and Airey’s Inlet. The coastal scenery is superb, with whales seen from the cliff tops from June to October. The inland parts of the walk lead through the lush rainforest, with its native wildlife and dozens of bird species. Bells Beach is just less than five kilometres from Torquay, with its great choice of hotels, eateries and seasonal evening entertainment.

Activities and Experiences at Bells Beach

  • Swimming
  • Sightseeing
  • Walking
  • Surfing
  • Great Ocean Road
  • Rural/Country
  • Cultural
  • Food and Wine
  • Historic/Heritage
  • Indulgence/Luxury
  • Accommodation
  • Pub Stay
  • Shopping

Where Are Australia's Best Beaches?

Australia's Best Beaches

Australia has miles and miles of shoreline but which beaches are really great? Ultimately it depends on what you're looking for in a beach. Pristine wilderness without a single footprint in sight, the sparkle of cosmopolitan high rise on the waters edge, the adrenalin pumping roar of a powerful surf beach, or quite simply the perfect white squeaky sand that squelches between your toes.

See our short list of Australia's best beaches.

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