02 June 2018
10 THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN TORQUAYby JESS ZARNOW
Our final stop on the Great Ocean Road was a beautiful one- we visited Torquay.
Just over 100kms from Melbourne, Torquay is the perfect coastal town to visit if you are in need of some vitamin-sea, or are just looking for somewhere to relax for a couple of days.
Our days were spent eating, relaxing, exploring the coast and spending our public holiday penalties at the surf outlets (whoops). We only had 2 nights in town, but we still managed to cram plenty of activities in.
Here’s my list of 10 things to do and see whilst in Torquay-
Get immersed in the cafe culture
Torquay has some cute cafes on offer, both on the Esplanade and in the town centre. Our favourites included Pond- their juices, big brekky, coffee and blondies were delicious. Moby Cafe is also on the Esplanade- you can’t go past their zucchini and corn fritters with haloumi and their House Beans with Poached Eggs. If you love chai tea then a pot of theirs is a must!
Check out the local beaches
If you love the sand between your toes then there’s plenty of options for you to get your fix. The Back Beach in Torquay is the perfect place for a swim, as is Fishermans Beach. Iconic Bells Beach, just a short drive out of the town is a must visit to check out the waves and dabble in some surfing. Jan Juc is another great beach offering one hell of a view
Max out the credit card
If you love bargains and surf brands, head to Baines Crescent and get acquainted with brands like Ripcurl, Roxy, Quicksilver, Reef and Rojo, offering ridiculously discounted clothing, footwear, wetsuits and even snowboards. I loved their ladies 2 for $60 fleeced hoodies (because you can never have enough hoodies), and the other half picked up some cheap mens shorts and tees. You can also find all the major surf brands in the Surf City Plaza just around the corner. If you love homewares then head to Bell Street, where you’ll find 2 of my new favourite stores- Frankie Says Relax and House Warming.
Have a cold one at the local brewery
Beer and onion rings- the perfect combination. After a long day of playing tourist we popped into Blackmans Brewery and tried their tasting flight, and it was bloody good. To go with the beer we ordered a side of onion rings, and they were the biggest, crunchiest things I have even eaten. They also offer a variety of other meals and bar snacks, including wings, pizzas and chips.
Rest your head
We spent two nights in town, and we found that it was the perfect amount of time to explore the town and the beaches as the weather was cooler when we visited. We rested our head at Torquay 1903 in one of their self contained cottages. They were close to the beach, detached, had onsite carparking and offered everything we needed for our stay. I loved their big spa bath, free mini bottle of champas (best enjoyed in the spa bath, because, holidays) and their gas fire.
Eat, drink and eat some more
When the sun goes down, you’ll find you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to food in Torquay. My picks included Senors– we loved their vibe, and their cocktails, Southern Fried Chicken and Barramundi. Easily some of the best food we’ve had all trip. Lure Fish and Chippery is a modern fish and chippy, offering dine in but predominantly takeaway. We ate the whiting (and plenty of chips) which were cripsy and well battered. One of the highlights of my whole trip was dining at Pholklore– look for the navy blue shipping container and colourful street art. This restaurant specialises in Vietnamese street food and Pho- they make a mean broth and the ribs are messy but so good.
Watch the paragliders at The Great Otway National Park Southside
While we were at a lookout taking in Jan Juc beach we spotted the paragliders and just had to check them out. There is a paragliding launch area where the general public can view- we watched them for almost a hour, watching them take off and float around in the breeze. Perfect for the big and little kids- just keep an eye on them as there’s some big cliffs around.
photo credit- Torquay Life
Visit the Australian National Surf Museum
If you find yourself to be a bit of a surfing buff then you make sure you drop into the surf museum. There you can soak in all the history and culture of surfing in Australia, without having to get wet.
Soak in the views and put on your walking shoes
If you like to get the fresh air in your lungs and rack up the steps on your Fitbit then check out the Surf Coast Walk. Stretching a total of 44kms, the walk can be done in full or in parts- the Bells Track section is more my style, being just over 3kms.
If you’re looking for some lookouts then check out Bird Rock Lookout and the Bells Beach lookouts- they take in some breathtaking views of the coast.
Rack up the Calories at the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie
Ok it’s not technically in Torquay, but the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie is just a stone throw away and is worth the drive. Every wall here is filled top to bottom with everything chocolate. Literally everything. They also have free samples on hand, which explains why there was so many hypo children running around. If you love icecream then you should probably get a scoop or two while you’re there (because there is always room for icecream).
For more great inspiration from Jess, head to her blog Dressed in Copper