ESCAPE TO TORQUAYby GREAT OCEAN ROAD
Get up early and watch the sun rise over the water, salt in the air, surfers catching their first waves of the morning, all to the sound of the ocean crashing against the shoreline. There is something so cleansing about watching the sun rise over the ocean.
From Point Danger you can see the stand up paddle boarders catch a long clean wave and if you time it just right, the sun will poke up on the horizon as the perfect back drop.
With an early rise you’re probably looking for something to eat and will need a decent coffee. Torquay is home to some pretty awesome cafes with specialty coffee to make sure your fuelled. With Pond offering up 7seeds coffee, Ginger Monkey’s giving us Proud Mary, A cup of Love and El Nidos honouring St Ali and not to mention Ocean Grind roasting their own coffee here on the surf coast, there are many cafe’s to choose from, the hardest decision of the day is which cafe to go to, or why not just try them all, you are on holiday after all.
After brekkie (where ever you chose to go), head to the Australian Surfing Museum to catch up on the history of surfing in Australia. There is so much to see and learn, I had no idea surfing dated back as far as the 1700’s and that one of the earliest photos of an Australian surfer was back in 1911/12. You will see photos, newspaper articles, the first surfboards and wetsuits (how they wore them back then I have no idea, lets just say we’ve come a long way) the Rip Curl Pro Bell, Lane Beachley’s surfboards, Kelly Slaters Trophy, even a few whale bones fossils that were found on our shores. Currently on exhibition this summer is the WIPE OUT, man that will have you mesmerised, 3 massive screen TV’s with videos playing on repeat of surfers surfing giant waves and wiping out. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. The Australian Surfing Museum is really a must see, you can spend hours there so keep that in mind whilst planning your trip to Torquay.
Being home to some of the best surfing breaks definitely has it’s perks, Quiksilver and Rip Curl have called Torquay home since 1969. Along with Patagonia, Ghanda, Strapper, Blunt, Oakleigh, you will find something at Surf City Plaza. Oh yeah, there’s a few seconds shops around the corner on Baines crescent.
That should take to right up til about lunchtime. Did I mention Surfcoast Wholefoods? Delicious smoothies, my favourite is the Choc Protein smoothie. All organic ingredients. They offer tasty salads, dips, bowls and you can even buy organic produce to take away with you. They also have kombucha on tap, very health
If that’s not your thing, then don’t worry, head to the Esplanade and eat your lunch with a view, Growlers, Front Beach, Fishos, Moby’s , Pond and Whytes all have an outdoor seating area with a view of the water. Or you could just grab a pie or some fish and chips and sit on the grassed area and watch the waves roll in.
The Surfcoast walk will get your heart pumping, the track leads all the way from Breamlea to Aireys Inlet. Choose your own adventure… Park your car at the Jan Juc SLSC walk the track to Bells beach stopping off at the Bird Rock Lookout along the way.
Yoga is a big part of the Torquay culture and we have some beautiful studios to practice in. Upstate offers both Yoga and Pilates with a focus on fitness, Yolk Yoga is very soulful with heated and non heated vinyasa with a real focus on mediation and mindfulness. That’s just to name two. But there are many more to choose from, Yoga is very personal and Torquay has studios to match whichever yoga you’re in to.
Torquay is also home to two pretty spectacular golf courses. The Sands professional course wraps around the houses with the sand dunes and the sea breeze keeping you focused. Then theres the RACV with its stunning views of the water. You choose. I’m going for a massage.
RACV One Spa with a Hammam bathing experience or Saltair Spa sitting up on the hill with a view. Both will wash away any tension you may be holding so again, you’re on holiday, experience both.
Dinner… there are so many great restaurants in Torquay. Roku Den is the best Japanese inspired restaurant. I am not exaggerating when I say I eat here 3 times a week. I’m a huge fan. Then there’s Squires Loft if you love a good steak, Senors for some pork ribs or southern fried chicken great for groups of people or by yourself (they also do a great Moscow Mule), Blackmans Brewery, Ill Matto is great Italian, Bomboras for pizza, Pholklore, The Stoop, Bottle of Milk and Jan Juc’s Bird Rock just to name a few. Or if it’s cold outside, head to the Torquay pub, sit by the cosy fire and have a parma. There are so many places to eat, drink, shop and drop in Torquay. So moral of the story… you’re gonna need a few days, 1 day in Torquay is just not enough. In fact I came for a day and am still here 13 years later.