Phillip Island is best-known as a haven for wildlife, but there are plenty of other activities you can get stuck into both on the island and on the way to the island. Set in the charming town of Torquay, Bells Beach offers visitors the chance to hit the waves, whether they’re a beginner or pro surfer. You’ll find the beach just 80-minutes from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne, where it unfolds in a display of rocky outcrops below the cliffs.
The beach is well-known as the surf capital of Australia, and you’ll often see pro surfers and amateurs getting to grips with the huge swells, particularly during the Rip Curl Pro. This international surfing championship takes place every year at Easter and brings together the best in the industry as they compete against each other for a range of prizes.
The History of Bells Beach
Named after John Cavert Bell, a member of the very first pastoral family in the 1840s, the beach is now on the Victorian Heritage Register and sees thousands of visitors grace its shores every year.
Surfing at Bells Beach
Bells Beach is all about surfing. Even if you’re not a surfer, you can watch pros get to grips with the waves amongst a friendly and laidback atmosphere that pervades the area. As well as surfing, there are other water-based activities you can get stuck into if you want to try something a bit different.
More experienced surfers will enjoy the huge swells that come in from the Southern Ocean that are protected by the large cliffs surrounding the beach, while beginners can splash around in the shallows and learn more about this exciting sport.
To enjoy the best waves, head to the beach between March and October.
The History of Surfing on Bells Beach
Surfing has always been a key activity on Bells Beach, ever since 1939 when a group of surfers from Torquay made their way there to enjoy the waves. But access was difficult back then, which continued to cause problems up until 1960 when Olympic wrestler Joe Sweeney cleared a road along the cliff that came right down onto the beach.
Surfers were charged one pound to use the route, which now makes up the Torquay to Anglesea walking track.
Whether you’re an avid surfer not, Bells Beach is well worth a visit to check out the views and soak up the lively atmosphere of one of the best surfing spots in the country.