Eight of the best beaches on Victoria's Surf Coast

Jan Juc surf beach at dusk

Jenna Meade

Posted January 17, 2023

Bells Beach might be the darling, but the Great Ocean Road is peppered with stunning swimming and surfing spots. These are eight of the Surf Coast's best beaches.

As the weather warms up, now is the ideal time to discover some of the sandy sites less travelled along the Great Ocean Road. From calm waters perfect for little legs to some of the state’s coolest secret surfing spots, here are five of the best beaches along the Victorian Surf Coast at which to splash out this summer.

Eight of the Surf Coast’s best beaches 

Jan Juc

Right around the corner from Torquay lies this cliff-lined cove ideal for surfers and strong swimmers. While it’s still popular in summer, it’s a good – and close – option to escape the Torquay crowds. Take extra care in the water as the more exposed beach is prone to high waves and persistent rips.

If you’re staying on dry land, set off for a stroll along the cliffs on the Surf Coast Walk. You’ll weave through the Bird Rock lookouts – the perfect vantage point for watching the surfers dominate the waves below.

Point Addis

Your next stop after the iconic Bells Beach is Point Addis.  The captivating rugged haven has all corners of Mother Nature’s goodness covered, with sandy beaches, limestone and sandstone cliffs and dramatic rocky platforms. And it’s still a relatively hidden gem.

The lookout serves up stunning panoramas, before leading to a lush walk through a section of national park down to the beach. Plan to be there at low tide so you can take the walk along the rock pool ledges to Southside Beach. 

Bells Beach world famous surf break

Surf Coast belle, Bells Beach. Image: Visit Victoria.

Point Roadknight, Anglesea

Got the kids in tow? This idyllic Anglesea nook is perfect for little legs to splash around in the shallows. Seasonally patrolled, the protected waters have waves that average less than a metre, so there’s little chance of rips. 

Pack the paddleboard, explore the rockpools at the point or take a hike up the bluff and admire the dramatic beauty of the red-cliff backdrop. Swing by Point Roadknight Kiosk afterwards for a coffee or post-swim sausage roll, sit on the balcony at The Rusty Anchor and have a sunset sip overlooking the beach, or make a beeline for Fish by Moonlite for some of the Surf Coast's best fish and chips.

Step Beach, Aireys Inlet

Chances are you’ve already visited the infamous Split Point Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet. Next time, venture a little further and you’ll be treated to one of the coast’s best coves. 

Step down to the tucked-away Step Beach and pick a spot on the sand, marvel at the turquoise rock pools or take a dip to cool off. The horseshoe-shaped reef forms an excellent swimming hole at low tide.

Just up the road, the Lighthouse Tea Rooms are an ideal next stop for scones, jam and cream.

Bells Beach

It wouldn't be a list of the Surf Coast's best beaches without a nod to this southern belle. Bells Beach is not only a world-famous surf break, it's also the home of the world's longest continuously running pro surfing competition – now known as the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.

The majestic sandy stretch is a gorgeous spot to soak up some sunshine while watching surfers catch some waves. The beach, howwever, is unpatrolled, so swimming here is best left to the professionals. 

There are also some fantastic lookouts atop the cliff, just a short walk from the car park, that offer sweeping views of the rugged inlet and beyond.

Cosy Corner beach torquay

Soak up some sunshine at Torquay's stunning Cosy Corner. Image: Visit Victoria.


Pack the beach umbrella because here’s your chance to spread out. This six-kilometre stretch is the longest beach on the Great Ocean Road.

The moderate swell is suited to more experienced swimmers, with strong rips common due to the shifting sand bottom. Stick to the patrolled area in front of the surf club for the safest dip. A magnet for surfers, Fairhaven has numerous beach breaks and works best with northerly winds.

Once you’ve had your fun in the sun, duck into the recently renovated Fairhaven Surf Life Saving Club for a bite and an unbeatable view of the ocean.

Cosy Corner, Torquay

If you're looking for a family-friendly beach break, Torquay's second-favourite child, Cosy Corner, has it all. Just a short walk from the main street with its cafes, ice creameries and fish and chipperies, this humming hamlet is an ideal spot for young kids to find their sea legs. 

With a wide sandy stretch, an ubandance of shallow water, safety flags and minimal rips, as well as plenty of public amenities including bathrooms, barbecue facilities and plenty of grassy areas, it's the ideal seaside spot for a family day out. 

Lorne Beach, Lorne

When it comes to Surf Coast swim spots, it doesn't get much more spectacular than Lorne Beach. With rolling waves, a gentle sea breeze, pristine sand and crystal-clear water, the hardest part about swimming here is choosing where to lay your towel.

Kids will love the foreshore playground, replete with its own ship, slides and giant wooden seals, while adults will love being able to duck across the road for a coffee, ice cream or cheeky tipple. 

After a day of dipping and splashing, head to Lorne Surf Lifesaving Club for a meal with a view, and watch the sunset over the ocean as the night riders catch some evening waves. 


Want to splash out on the Surf Coast? 
Make a weekend out of it staying at RACV Torquay Resort →