Australian beaches are some of the best in the world. The last instalment in our surf series begins in Victoria’s Gippsland Coast, before winding its way to the world-famous Great Ocean Road.
With gentle beginner’s swells, world champion-worthy tubes, and everything in between, this trip has something for every surfer on safari!
An hour and a half southeast of Melbourne, let the good vibrations begin at your first stop, Inverloch. Overlooking the calm waters of Anderson Inlet, this seaside town is an excellent place to find your feet on a wave. Beginners can catch baby waves at Surf Beach, the sandbar in front of the surf club is usually your best bet for the safest conditions. More experienced surfers will find a left-hander off the point a few minutes up the coast at Petrel Rock. Feeling confident? The next beach along, has an offshore reef break called Suicide, which peels left and right.
- Stay: Ingenia Holidays Inverloch
- Best for Beginners: Surf Beach
- Experienced Surfers: Petrel Rock or Suicide Reef
Half an hour down the road lies Cape Paterson. First Surf is the main beach in town, offering tame beginner waves close to the bar and a reef break known as Insides that develops lengthy tubes in the best conditions making it ideal for experienced surfers. If the reef break isn’t working, Second Surf offers decent rides as a reward for navigating the paddle out through the rocky channel. Prefer to avoid rocks? The Oaks offers a sizeable break over sandy beachfront for seasoned surfers and adventurous beginners.
- Stay: Ingenia Holidays Cape Paterson
- Best For Beginners: First Surf
- Best for Experienced: Insides
Surrounded by protected beaches and exposed reef waters, Phillip Island produces surfable waves year-round. If one beach is sleeping, you need only pop around to the next bay. It’s a rare day you pack up your board disappointed. Small swells at Smiths Beach create fun learning conditions. Cat Bay also caters to newbies with gentle waves through the middle of the beach, while more confident surfers will enjoy its outer reef break. For those looking to really charge, Kitty Miller Bay Beach holds big swells with heavy right-handers developing on the reef break.
- Stay: Ingenia Holidays Phillip Island
- Beginners: Smiths Beach or Cat Bay
- Experienced Surfers: Kitty Miller Bay
Where better to end a surf safari than Torquay? The spiritual home of Australian surfing offers world-class surf, with iconic Bells Beach hosting the Rip Curl Pro is held every year. This point break serves up perfect peeling waves in almost any swell or wind condition. With two distinct breaks that join when conditions are flawless, experienced surfers can get rides up to 250 metres long. Not ready to brave Bells? Learners and longboarders can hit the waves at Front Beach. Known to the locals as Cosy Corner, gentle waves break around the point, offering long spilling rides all the way to the sand.
- Stay: Ingenia Holidays Torquay
- Best For Beginners: Front Beach
- Experienced Surfers: Bells Beach