Once heralded as the Bells Beach Surf Classic, the Rip Curl Pro held at Bells Beach in Victoria is the oldest continuously staged surfing event in the world. Famous for not too much else, Bells Beach has gained a notorious reputation throughout the world as one of Australias best competition surf breaks. But what is the real Bells Beach? Located 100km south-west of Melbourne on the Great Ocean Road, we decided to head on down and introduce ourselves to the raw and seldom seen heart of Bells Beach, on a quest to discover the rhythm behind the waves.
Home to some of the best surf in Australia, Bells Beach recently saw the likes of South African young gun Jordy Smith take out the infamous Bell trophy for the 2017 Rip Curl Pro held every Easter at Bells Beach. The third stage in this years World Surf League circuit, Bells Beach has a well-respected reputation on the world stage, and has worked hard to provide consecutive, consistent, world-class waves year after year. Having witnessed the likes of Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning, and even Andy Irons take out the top spot in previous years, Bells Beach has seen surfing legends come and go, and continues to this day to be a fertile destination for rearing some of Australias best future competition surfers.
The gateway to the iconic Great Ocean Road, Torquay is a welcoming and hospitable town to all who travel there. Whether surfers on a pilgrimage, or backpackers on a cheap-as-chips trip, Torquay welcomes everyone. So, if after a long drive youre keen to get that surfboard off the roof of your VW Kombi van and hit the waves, surfers of all experience levels have the chance the surf the vicinity of the world-class break. When the swell pumps above 1.5m, Bells Beach is the place to be for experienced surfers looking for a gnarly challenge. When Bells isnt working, theres a right break off the headland called Rincon. Then, if you venture further around the headland, there are two additional reef breaks which pump with a swell below 2m, called Centre Side (a right-hand break) and Southside (a left-hand break).
To understand the real culture and significance behind the oldest continuous surfing contest in the world, head on over to Surfworld Australia Surfing Museum. A celebration of Aussie surf and beach culture, Surfworld is home to displays of vintage surfboards and memorabilia which date back to 1915, the Ocean Art Gallery, a wave-making barrel to help explain the natural forces and energy at work behind the making of the great local surf breaks, a surfing fitness simulator and a surfboard balancing machine. In need of inspiration? Head on through to watch some epic surfing royalty speak about their journey into the surfing hall of fame.
77 Beach Rd, Torquay VIC 3228 |(03) 5261 4606