You’re never far from water on the Surf Coast, whether it’s the Barwon River, the lifeblood of Winchelsea; the Great Ocean Road surf beaches; or the waterfalls inland from Lorne, lets explore our backyard…
Fourth generation Winchelsea resident Stewart Matheson describes the Barwon River as a drawcard for the small rural town as it runs through it, before eventually emptying into Bass Strait at Barwon Heads.
The scenic river has always been an important resource for the region and there are a number of grand bluestone buildings, such as the Barwon Park Mansion, as well as a bluestone bridge to walk underneath on the network of riverside trails.
Discover more about Winchelsea’s history here.
Now uncover the history of surfing with local photographer Barrie Sutherland, well-known for his iconic surfing images from the 1960s and beyond.
“Every town throughout Australia’s got a specific culture,” says Barrie, from a deckchair at the Australian National Surfing Museum. “Torquay is probably a little more unique than others because it’s firmly based on the culture of surfing.”
The Museum has a collection that will take you through the early days of surfing to the modern day, with film screenings and exhibitions, such as ‘Waves and Wheels’, featuring the wagons, vans and other surfmobiles that were used by surfers in search of the perfect waves and fun times.
Undoubtably one of the most famous surf breaks in the world, Bells Beach on the Surf Coast is just a short drive from the Museum and surrounding Surf City plaza, an entire precinct dedicated to surfing and filled with all the best surf brands in the one location — including Quiksilver and Rip Curl, who began operations here.
For those who prefer to stay on dry land, a walk to any of the 10 waterfalls within 10km from Lorne town centre will provide soothing nature and inspiring views: the perfect meeting place between the bush and the beach.
“Visitors love the region for the coast to forest interface,” says Parks Victoria ranger Caitlyn. “Some walks take you along cliff faces with ocean views, and others take you deep into the forest via a creek, with tree ferns overhead — the variety is what I think attracts people.”
Explore Lorne’s Walks and Waterfalls here.
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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.