Torquay, Victoria

"Torquay (Australia)" redirects here. For the town in Queensland, see Torquay, Queensland. For the town in Tasmania, see Torquay, Tasmania.

View from Point Danger, looking towards the Torquay surf beach
Coordinates 38°20′0″S 144°19′0″E / 38.33333°S 144.31667°E / -38.33333; 144.31667Coordinates: 38°20′0″S 144°19′0″E / 38.33333°S 144.31667°E / -38.33333; 144.31667
Population 10,142 (2011 Census)[1]
Postcode(s) 3228
LGA(s) Surf Coast Shire
State electorate(s) South Barwon
Federal Division(s) Corangamite
Localities around Torquay:
Freshwater Creek Mount Duneed Connewarre
Bellbrae Torquay Breamlea
Jan Juc Bass Strait Bass Strait

Torquay is a township in Victoria, Australia, which faces Bass Strait, 21 km south of Geelong and is the gateway to the Great Ocean Road. It is bordered on the west by Spring Creek and its coastal features include Point Danger and Zeally Bay. At the 2011 Census, Torquay had a population of 10,142.[2]


Wathaurong Aborigines lived in the area before white settlement. From the 1860s picnickers began to frequent the location, which was originally known as Spring Creek, after the watercourse along its south-western edge,[3] but it was named Puebla in the 1882 Victorian Municipal Directory. James Follett, who settled there in 1871, came from Torquay, the seaside town in Devon, England, and at his suggestion the name Torquay was officially adopted in 1892.[4] The Post Office opened on 20 August 1894.[5] On 3 April 1908 the Spring Creek bridge was built, connecting the town to Anglesea.[6]

In 1891 the Joseph H. Scammell sailing ship struck the reef near Point Danger in Torquay and subsequently became wedged on the reef and as a result the ship broke up in the heavy seas.[3] The cargo of the Scammell was washed onto the beach of Torquay and was looted, the anchors of the Scammell are still on display at the Torquay front beach and the Torquay boat ramp.

In 1900 a primary school was opened in the newly built Presbyterian church, moving to the recreation hall in 1901, a permanent school building not opened until 1910. A bowling green, tennis courts and a golf course were opened by the 1920s.[7] The town once had 145 bathing boxes on the main beach. In 1946 the Torquay Surf Life Saving Club was formed, opening their current clubrooms in 1971 after the previous one burnt down.[8] Today it is the oldest and largest club in Victoria.

Recent years have seen increased development of the area. With the 'old town' between the highway and the beach almost fully developed, housing spread to Jan Juc, west of Spring Creek, in the 1970s, and new estates opened up to the north of the town after the 1980s. There was conflict between long-term residents and those behind some developments, in particular over the former Torquay Primary School site on Bristol and Boston Roads, which was sold by the government for luxury apartments and an expanded shopping centre,[9] instead of being retained for community uses.[10] In 2001, The Sands golf club and residential development commenced construction to the north west of the town on the site of the former Torquay Tip, which closed in the early 1990s. The resort opened in 2004.[11]


Torquay surf beach

The Torquay area is famous for its surf beaches, with Jan Juc and the world famous Bells Beach located on the town's south-west outskirts. Other popular beaches are Point Impossible Beach and Southside Beach. It was home to the popular Offshore Festival in the late 1990s. Many of the world's most famous surf companies have their home in Torquay, including Rip Curl and Quiksilver- all of which make up part of the Surf Coast Plaza, which provides shopping and eating, as well as the Surf World Museum.

Torquay's population usually triples between January and end of February, when the school holidays end; the town also hosts end of year Schoolies week celebrations, joint with Lorne, Victoria's most active Schoolies destination.


Torquay's local schools are Torquay Primary School (Torquay College), St. Therese Catholic Primary and Surf Coast Secondary College. Torquay Primary School was once located in the 'old town', being moved to beside St. Therese in October 2001. The same year a review on the provision of Secondary Schooling in Torquay was commenced, and in 2003 it was recommended that Torquay Primary School become a P-9 school (Torquay College) doing so in 2009, in 2012 it reverted to a standalone primary school. [12][13] The secondary years split from Torquay College in 2012 to form Surf Coast Secondary College which moved to a standalone campus in Torquay North at the start of 2014.[14] In October 2007, The new Torquay Police Station opened at the corner of the Surfcoast highway and central avenue. The new Police station was built at a cost of $7.8 million and is considered to be a state-of-the-art facility.[15]

Areas of Torquay

Frog Hollow

Frog Hollow is in the north west of Torquay.

The estate has been developed on the site of a water catchment which has been drained.

Ocean Views

Ocean Views is in the south of Torquay.

The area was developed from 2000 when the first homes were built. It was originally a sheep and cattle grazing and farming area, known as Hard Man's land because of its rocky and hilly landscape making it difficult to graze on.

It is now primarily residential, backing onto Spring Creek, where a proposed development with capacity for another 20,000 people was rejected in April 2009. It has a football oval and a golf club backing onto it.

The area has a V-line bus stop, the bus running to Warrnambool or to Geelong, three summer bus run stops, a post office box and a park, Spring Creek Play Park. Walking access across the river to the football ground used to be difficult until in 2007 the shire built a footbridge connecting the reserve and the edge of the suburb, which is only around a 1.5 km radius. Ocean Views also have a BMX park.

The area is known for its high number of families.

Wombah Park

Wombah Park is in the north east of Torquay and is home to about 1000 residents.

The Church Estate

Once owned by the Catholic Church, The Church Estate is bounded by Spring Creek Reserve, Spring Creek and Torquay Road and was developed in the 1960s.

Zeally Bay

Zeally Bay is east of Torquay. The bay and Zeally Point were named after Richard Zeally, a squatter who lived in the area from 1851 on his property named South Beach. Zeally Bay hosts a yachting club, a fishing club, Fishermans Beach, Taylor Park - a public 4-acre (16,000 m2) park and the Crowne Plaza Torquay, a multimillion-dollar resort and plaza which was built on the site of the old Zeally Bay Caravan Park.[16] In 2004 the Zeally Bay caravan park had been sold by the owners due to increasing land tax costs, to a developer who said they would build a retirement village.[17]


The town has an Australian Rules football team, the Torquay Tigers, competing in the Bellarine Football League[18] and 2 cricket clubs in both Torquay Geelong Cricket Association and Jan Juc Bellarine Peninsula Cricket Association. Being 12 junior teams and 9 senior teams in the town as well as junior Milo Cricket . There is also a soccer team, Surf Coast FC, playing at Banyul Warri reserve in the Victorian state league system. The club has submitted an expression of interest in joining the Victorian chapter of the new National Premier League, which will be one of the second tier leagues in Australia.

Golfers play at the course of the Torquay Golf Club on Great Ocean Road,[19] or at The Sands on Sands Boulevard, an 18-hole championship course designed by Australian golfer Stuart Appleby.[20][21]

Bells Beach, near Torquay, is the setting for the final part of the 1991 film Point Break starring Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves, although no filming actually took place there.[22]


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Torquay (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2007-10-15.
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics. "2011 Census QuickStats: Torquay (SSC)". Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  3. 1 2 "Torquay - Victoria - Australia - Travel -". Melbourne: 2008-01-18. Retrieved 2008-04-30.
  4. "Place Names - Coast of Victoria". OnlyMelbourne. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  5. Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Retrieved 2008-04-11.
  6. Shire of South Barwon - a brief history. Judy Laging. Accessed at the Geelong Heritage Centre
  7. "Torquay, Bells Beach, Jan Juc History - Intown Geelong". Retrieved 2008-04-30.
  8. "Torquay SLSC". Archived from the original on 2008-03-06. Retrieved 2008-04-30.
  9. "Gated way to the coast - Property - Domain -". Melbourne: 31 March 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-30.
  10. "Torquay Primary School: former site". Victorian Parliamentary Hansard - Parliament of Victoria. Retrieved 2008-04-30.
  11. "The Sands Torquay : Victoria Australia". Retrieved 2008-04-30.
  12. "Torquay College". Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  13. "Torquay primary school". Retrieved 2008-04-30. Archived 9 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. "Surf Coast Secondary College". Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  15. "Torquay Police station". Retrieved 2008-07-15.
  16. Total Travel. "Crowne Plaza". Retrieved 2009-04-30.
  17. Martin Boulton (13 January 2004). "`For Sale' - writing is on the wall for beachside caravan parks". Retrieved 2008-04-30.
  18. Full Points Footy. "Torquay". Archived from the original on 16 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
  19. Golf Select. "Torquay". Retrieved 2009-05-11.
  20. Golf Select. "Torquay". Retrieved 2009-05-11.
  21. Tourism Victoria. "Golf, Great Ocean Road". Visit Victoria. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  22. "Point Break Filming Locations". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
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