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A local’s guide to Victoria’s Surf Coast: ‘Everyone has some relationship with the ocean’ | Victoria holidays

A local’s guide to Victoria’s Surf Coast: ‘Everyone has some relationship with the ocean’ | Victoria holidays


I moved to the Surf Coast (Torquay to Lorne along the Great Ocean Road) in 2013. It’s the traditional home of the Wadawurrung, Gulidjan and the Gadubanud nations. Being Victorian and close to Melbourne (Torquay lies 100km south-west of the city) we’re all a bit snobby when it comes to food and coffee but it’s unbelievable how much it’s improved. There wouldn’t have been much to recommend 10 years ago!

Two spots in Torquay are doing next-level sandwiches. Mortadeli does a meatball sandwich that you could easily share. Gooleys does a shredded chicken breast roll with lettuce, chips and aioli. They’re both near the Esplanade so you can walk down to look at the ocean with your delicious sandwich.

The meatball sandwich at Mortadeli in Torquay. Photograph: Everyday Nicky

Torquay has two exceptional contemporary Australian restaurants. The Kyn does amazing cocktails and the tasting menu is about $70. They have takeaway containers if you can’t get through it. Try not to go crazy on the fresh focaccia as a starter so you can enjoy the Turkish “beef ravioli” (manti) and cured ocean trout. It’s always busy; a hustle-bustle vibe but they can tuck you away in a booth for a date.

Share plates at The Kyn, a bustling restaurant in Torquay with a Middle Eastern-inspired menu. Photograph: Cameron Murray Photography

Samesyn is moody and more intimate; more of a food-centric experience. It’s focused on low waste and the tasting menu is under $100.

Green spaces

The Surf Coast walk is 44km and starts at Point Impossible and ends at Fairhaven beach. I love walking the 6.5km return from Jan Juc to Bells beach. There’s heaps of lookouts, interesting vegetation and bright orange clay cliffs. I also love going from Urquhart bluff to Split Point lighthouse. It’s about 12km return but I’ll divert to the Lighthouse Tea Rooms in the morning or Aireys pub in the afternoon. Dogs on lead are allowed on the Surf Coast walk – my dog loves it! Bring your bathers to do an ocean plunge along the way.

The view to Split Point lighthouse in Aireys Inlet.
Photograph: Ingo Oeland/Alamy
The path from Jan Juc beach. Photograph: Phil Holden/Alamy

Cosy Corner in Torquay is where my seven-year-old son surfs because it’s protected from big swells. If you follow the track further around, in less than a kilometre you’re on the crashing surf side.

Point Addis between Torquay and Anglesea is super popular. Pack your ice box and take the boards or just splash around and swim….

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