From Melbourne to Torquay

14 Apr

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March 27, 2012

We had a rough idea of how we wanted to break up our journey along the Great Ocean Road but decided to speak to the travel desk within Urban Central before beginning the trip. They recommended that we stop in Torquay first as it was a cool little surf town.

Driving into Torquay it was unmistakably a surf town with all of the major surf brands having huge storefronts along the main road – Rip Curl, Billabong, Roxy, O’Neil, etc. – as well as tons of advertising for the upcoming Rip Curl Pro surf competition that was to be held at the famous Bells Beach. We liked the town immediately and decided to go into the Visitor’s Centre to get some information about what to see and do as well as where to stay.

The Visitor’s Centre was extremely helpful from booking us our accommodations at Home at Bells Beach (an awesome local hostel), to firming up our plans for the first half of our trip along the Great Ocean Road. They even gave us a great 1-pager detailing where to stop along the way to take the best photos which proved to be extremely helpful in the days to come.

We checked into our hostel just before 2pm (the reception desk is closed from 2pm – 5pm daily) and dropped off our things in the clean and spacious 4-bed dorm before setting out in search of a surfboard rental shop and surf beach. The beach was just down the street from our hostel but instead of turning right at the end of the road toward Surf Beach, we turned left toward Fisherman’s Beach. With not much happening on Fisherman’s Beach and very few small waves, we doubled-back and headed toward Surf Beach.

The waves at Surf Beach were rolling in at predictable intervals and were the perfect height for our beginner level of surfing. Next, it was off to find a shop that rented boards. We were directed by a sea kayak company to Bell Street and found a shop just a block up from the beach. Unfortunately they closed an hour from when we arrived and so there wasn’t much point in renting a board from them that day as there was a minimum 2 hour board hire. Instead we opted to explore the town, promising to return the next morning for boards.

There isn’t much to the town of Torquay within walking distance of our hostel so we did what we could on foot: visited the local surf shops, picked up some beer at the drive-through liquor store, The Thirsty Camel, and did a grocery shop to get what we needed to cook our own dinner.

Back at the hostel J.J. cooked up a deliciously spicy chicken and vegetable stir-fry that we ate before taking an evening walk around. There isn’t much in the way of night-life in Torquay and we were pretty tired after a day in the sun (we hadn’t experienced ‘hot’ weather in a while) so we ended our night with a movie that never gets old, Superbad.

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