Torquay, the “Gateway to the Great Ocean Road” and “Capital of the Surf Coast” is arguably the most famous surfing town in the world.
Settled in 1871 as a staging post for the Cobb & Co coaches and a popular seaside tourist town for many decades thereafter, Torquay almost literally rode the wave of success that nurtured and then drove the surf industry. As the popularity of surfing grew through the 1950’s and 1960’s so too did both the local population and visitor numbers. The surfing industry was born in the late 1960’s when, lured by the lifestyle but needing a way to make ends meet, local surfers began making and selling surfboards, then wetsuits and boardshorts. What started as backyard enterprises to make ends meet has become an international phenomenon, with Rip Curl and Quiksilver, both of which were founded in this manner, now being globally recognised brands. And yet both companies still maintain their world headquarters in Torquay.
The pioneering surfers were attracted to the variety and challenges of the waves at the local beaches and this remains an unchanged motivation for many of today’s population. It is possible to find surfable waves in the immediate vicinity of Torquay for every level of ability and in almost any conditions. At the highest level, Bells Beach is a world renowned break and the location of the world’s longest running professional surfing event, held each year at Easter since 1973.
But Torquay is more than merely a surfing town. The community of over 10,000 permanent residents has both passive and active recreation and lifestyle opportunities the envy of towns many times its size. Sporting clubs are prominent, including football, soccer, netball, cricket, two golf clubs, lawn bowls, cycling, sailing and angling, while groups such as Rotary, Lions, RSL and half a dozen religions are all important community pillars.
Volunteers are also highly respected locally and provide invaluable safety resources to the permanent and visitor populations. The CFA, SES, Torquay Marine Rescue and Jan Juc and Torquay Surf Life Saving Clubs are prominent examples of the committed volunteer organisations playing a vital role within the town.
While the town provides something for almost everyone’s lifestyle tastes, a thriving economy offers almost endless opportunities for residents from an employment, financial and property investment viewpoint. The opening of the Westgate Bridge and the huge influx of residents after the Ash Wednesday bushfires are historical keys to the growth of Torquay over the last 3 decades. The recent opening of the Geelong Ring Road, significantly reducing travel times to and from Melbourne, is the latest springboard and has made commuting to a job in the city a truly realistic proposition.
Torquay is one of Victoria’s fastest growing towns, and with good reason. We love living here and we’re sure your family will too.