Torquay is a seaside town in Victoria, Australia, and is the gateway to the Great Ocean Road. It is best known for its world-famous surf beaches, with one of the most popular ones being Bells Beach. Every year the population in Torquay usually triples during surf season, and Bells Beach holds the annual Rip Curl Pro competition which sees thousands of visitors. So don’t forget your board shorts as we take a deeper dive into the history of Bells Beach and what it has to offer on your next vacation to Torquay.
About Bells Beach
Bells Beach is located about five kilometers southwest of Torquay and is comprised of a high number of quality surfing spots. Therefore, it is a popular destination for surfers of all skill levels and beach-goers to enjoy an afternoon in the sun and waters. The wide pristine beach gives way to the rolling blue waters of Bass Strait, and many people like to stop along the shoreline and watch the surfers enjoy the waves. Furthermore, there is a car park nearby for easy access to Bells Beach. Due to the high number of surfing opportunities, it was the location of the first competitive surfing competition in the world and since then has become an iconic surfing destination for all.
Rip Curl Pro and Bells Beach
Originally known as the Bells Beach Surf Classic when it started in 1961, the Rip Curl Pro, as it has come to be known, is the longest-running surf contest in the world. The event turned pro in 1973 and since then has welcomed some of the biggest names in surfing, including Michael Peterson, Mark Richards, Carissa Moore, and many others. The event is held every year around Easter and is particularly notable because they were the first surfing competition to champion gender equality by paying their male and female athletes the same amount.
In preparation for the event, each year, the town of Torquay braces itself as the world-class surfers descend on their small seaside village. During this time, Torquay is transformed into a festival-like atmosphere with celebrations and live music in the town to round out the night after the daytime festivities on the water.
The reason Bells Beach was first chosen to host the Rip Curl Pro was because it is a haven for surfers thanks to its excellent surfing opportunities. Some of the key surf breaks are The Bowl, Rin Con, Centre Side, South Side, Jarosite, Winki Pop, Boobs, Steps, Pt Addis, Bird Rock, Jan Juc, Haystacks, Torquay Point, Drainos, Pt Danger, Fishos, The Gap, and Point Impossible.
On your next visit to Torquay, make sure to schedule some time to visit the iconic Bells Beach, where surfers have been coming to enjoy the waves for decades. And don’t forget to pack appropriately for both the daytime fun in the sun and the nighttime festivities Torquay has to offer. We’re talking boy’s and men’s board shorts, resort wear, beach shorts, and more!
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