With some of Victoria’s most pristine beaches, the Great Ocean Road is a great place to visit at any time of the year. But there is something extra magical about exploring a coastal town during the winter. Tourists leave, wild mammals appear and cosy cafes ignite their fireplaces, creating a winter wonderland for you to experience.

Like many dog owners, I don't like leaving Millie at home when I go on an adventure. So, I’ve researched some of the best beaches, cafes and markets for you and your four-legged friend to enjoy in Torquay this winter.

1. Beaches

There’s nothing better than taking your pup off the leash and letting it run free. But the council has some pretty strict rules in place, which means your dog needs to be harnessed unless it is in a designated off leash area. Luckily, Torquay is home to some mighty fine dog beaches where your pet can frolic in the sand all year round. The most popular is White’s Beach, just a kilometre or two down the esplanade, but my favourite is Jan Juc, near the golf course, half way between Moon Bay and Rocky Point. 

2. Markets

The Torquay Farmer’s market takes place every Saturday morning from 8:30am – 1:00pm, in the Surf Coast Shire’s car park. With a huge range of fresh produce and artisan bread, you will find everything you need to make an Instagram worthy breakfast or lunch. And if you’re feeling chilly you can warm up with a steaming hot coffee and crepe from one of the local stalls while checking out the local canines.

3. Cafes

Despite being an hour and a half away from Melbourne, coffee is still a huge part of the Great Ocean Road lifestyle. But a smashed avo and soy latte isn’t the same without your four-legged friend sitting by your side. From Café Moby to The Pond Café, there are plenty of great places to get brunch with a view. But none are as hospitable as The Salty Dog Café. Each table has its own water dish, so your pup will feel right at home overlooking Fisherman’s Bay while you indulge in a toasty bagel and cold pressed juice.

Accommodation tip: 

Spring Creek Horse Rides and Accommodation is a great place to stay with your pup on a weekend road-trip to Torquay. And it might even make friends with a few of the local stallions.   

About the Blogger


Ali is a city dweller who loves spending her weekends on the coast; never leaving home without her camera! Visit Ali's blog to follow her adventures to some of Victoria’s best food, wine and travel destinations.

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