A couple of months ago I did a surf camp in Morocco. It was an amazing experience, but also a realisation that I’m not exactly a natural. So what better place to have another practise session than Australia. Unfortunately there are no surf beaches in Melbourne, but in just 2 hours I can get out to Torquay by public transport.
Torquay has a fantastic hostel: Bells Beach Backpackers. It’s not too big and has a great atmosphere. There is a big living room with well equipped kitchen and I felt straight at home. From the moment I walked in, I connected with my roommates and in the evenings I ended up playing cards or talking to them until we all fell asleep.
Torquay is famous for surfing, with Bells Beach being the top surf spot, where the competitions are held as well. This weekend wasn’t the best weekend for surfing. On Saturday there was a lot of wind! We went to surf beach, at walking distance from the surf school. It was a very popular beach for beginners and there were many surf schools with students in the water.
I had a good time trying to catch the waves and one of the guys taught me how to paddle out and quickly turn my board. But there were a lot of us in the water. I wanted to learn to turn my board, but was often heading straight for someone else and rather jumped off my board than trusting my ability to turn. On the Sunday we had to go to another beach: Jan Juc. Although it was a very cool beach, and much quieter, the waves were all over the place. It was a bit too wild for beginners and some of our group even left. Next to us were some little kids swimming through the big waves with a surf lifesaving instructor. On this day I barely learned anything, but it was still fun trying to catch a few white waves.
In the afternoons I used my time to explore Torquay and enjoy being at the beach. One afternoon I walked from Torquay down the Great Ocean walk to Bells Beach. When I finally arrived, there were no waves! And thus also no surfers to watch. But… it’s a beautiful walk, with a walking track that takes you down to the beaches and through the scrubs. I even came across an echidna, that seemed to be digging a hole next to the path. The wind was driving me mad, but at the same time it was amazing to just be out and about. Torquay is definitely worth a visit and the perfect place for a weekend escape from the city!