Torquay: A Cafe + Shopping Hub On The Great Ocean Road

Torquay: A Cafe + Shopping Hub On The Great Ocean Road

Our final stop on the Great Ocean Road was a beautiful one when 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 two nights in town, but we still managed to cram plenty of activities in.

The cafe culture

We do love a good coffee, so we were pretty happy to find there were plenty in Torquay! Here are my top recommendations:

  • Pond Cafe (delicious juices, big breakfasts, coffee and blondies!)
  • Ocean Grind (West Coast Business Park)

Rack up the calories

Just a few minutes out the road in Bellbrae is the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie. Every wall here is filled top to bottom with everything chocolate. Literally everything including a vegan range. If you love ice-cream then you should probably get a scoop or two while you’re there (because there is always room for ice-cream).

Late afternoon beer

After a long day of playing tourist we popped into Blackmans Brewery Bar and Restaurant.  For me, the beer and onion rings were the perfect combination. The onion rings 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.

Dinner time

When the sun goes down, you’ll find you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to food in Torquay. My picks included:

  • Bob Sugar (great vibe and cocktails)
  • Fisho’s Torquay (modern fish and chippy where you can dine in or takeaway)
  • Pholklore (Vietnamese street food and Pho)

Amazing 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 the Front Beach and Cosy Corner.

The 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 and great surf.

TIP: If there’s a bit of breeze, go to Jan Juc to watch the paragliders. 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.

Max out the credit card 

If you love bargains and surf brands, head to Baines Crescent and get acquainted with brands like Rip Curl, Roxy, Quiksilver, Reef, Rojo and Ghanda, offering ridiculously discounted clothing, footwear, wetsuits and even snowboards.

I loved their ladies fleeced hoodies (because you can never have enough hoodies), and the other half picked up some cheap men’s shorts and tees.

You can also find all the major surf brands in the Surf City Plaza just around the corner. If you love home wares then head to Bell Street, where you’ll find two of my new stores – Frankie Say Relax, and House Warming.

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 stayed 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 champagne (best enjoyed in the spa bath, because, holidays) and their gas fire.

Surf Coast Walk

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 have breathtaking views of the coast.  

About The Author


Jess is a foodie and loves exploring new places with her camera. She loves promoting her local area in South Australia, as well as other locations interstate and overseas.

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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.