Visitors to the Surfcoast, on Victorias west coast – at the start of the Great Ocean Road, might wonder why anyone would get up before dawn and immerse themselves in 11 degree water in the middle of winter.
The answer, of course, is that this area of the world at that time of the year experiences some truly spectacular surf. The fantastic waves on the Surfcoast will be remembered long after the ice cream headaches and numb feet have faded away. Summer may see the coast crowded with visitors and holiday makers but good surf during summer is rare, as strong southerly storms are suppressed by warm high pressure systems and sea breezes dominate the summer surf.
The Surfcoast is home to a number of world class surf breaks, with the area between Torquay and Bells Beach seeing a concentrated group of quality reef/point breaks. As the seasons turn the surf turns on, the local winds swing round to west and strong southerly swell lines are seen marching along the west coast beaches.
Bells Beach is the most famous spot on this part of the coast and is both home to the worlds longest running professional surfing contest, The RipCurl Pro, as well as being the worlds first dedicated and protected surfing reserve.
From the early Bells pioneers to the ranks of the worlds best men and women professional surfers, the weekend warriors and dedicated local surfers, all have enjoyed the spectacular scenery and surf at one of the surfing worlds icon surf breaks. The Victorian government recognises the RipCurl Pro at Bells Beach as one of its ‘Hallmark International Sporting Events’.
Although Bells Beach supplies the focus for surfers and visitors to the Surfcoast it is situated at the start of the Great Ocean Road, and is a prelude to one of the worlds great drives, and a gateway to the spectacular scenery and sweeping vistas that is the Great Ocean Road experience.
If the elements combine, there are days on the Surfcoast and along the Great Ocean Road when all these things are at their best, fantastic surf, spectacular scenery, and the long and winding road . . . .
Visitors to Surfworlds wave room will discover how waves are generated, how storms in the southern ocean drive long lines of swell toward southern Australia. How and why waves break is displayed, as well as the varied geography that provides us with reef, point and beach breaks. There is also a detailed history of Bells Beach including a scale model of this special site.