For world-famous surf and seafood, it doesn’t get better than the Victorian coast. The state’s beaches and coastline stretch for nearly 2,000 kilometres, dotted with lookouts, cliffs and plenty of places to enjoy the warm Aussie weather.
Plus, with a vast array of fishing opportunities, there’s always an abundance of delicious and fresh ocean delicacies on offer.
A surfer’s dream on the Great Ocean Road
Stretching for 240 kilometres, this National Heritage-listed road delivers travellers from the small town of Torquay all the way to Allansford. While it’s best known for breath-taking views and great campgrounds, driving the Great Ocean Road will also take you past some of the best beaches in Victoria.
Just past the Torquay launch-point is Bells Beach, one of the most iconic beaches in the country. Surrounded by towering cliffs offering stunning ocean views, it is most famous as the location of the annual Rip Curl Pro Surfing Competition, which attracts some of the best surfers from around the world. This competition is part of the World Tour, the oldest surfing competition of its kind.
The point break boasts great waves all year round (yes, it’s also the location of Point Break, the iconic 1991 movie starring Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves). Beginners may want to steer clear, as the surf here can reach unbelievable levels.
The next stop on this iconic roadtrip should be Fish by Moonlite, in the small coastal town of Anglesea which is only a short drive from Bells Beach. The owners purchase their seafood from the market every morning and use it in that night’s menu. While they sell fresh fish directly to customers, they’re also well known for their crispy and salty fish and chips, some of the best you’ll find in Victoria. There’s nothing better than watching
the sunset over a delicious meal.
Finally, your trip wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Fairhaven Beach, the longest beach on the Great Ocean Road. Fairhaven has several great point breaks, and the regularly patrolled area near the surf club is ideal for less confident swimmers. The beach is also a great spot for fishing, as tossing your line into the water near Spout Creek or the mouth of Moggs Creek often results in success.
Shearwaters and scallops on Phillip Island
Phillip Island is only 90 minutes from Melbourne, home to idyllic beaches and captivating wildlife.
While all 101 square kilometres of the island are worth exploring, Woolamai beach is as picturesque as it gets. You’ll be blown away by the golden sands and ancient pink granite cliffs that come to life at sunset. Declared a National Surfing Reserve, this beach is attended by professionals and beginners alike due to the high number of breaks. It’s also ideal for families, with several coastal walking tracks that will take you up to Cape Woolamai for panoramic views of the lush landscape. Kids will love spotting all the local bird species, including the island’s largest colony of short-tailed shearwaters. You may also see rabbits and wallabies along the walking trails.
On Phillip Island, the best place to sample seafood is Saltwater, located on the shoreline and surrounded by jetties and passing boats. The kitchen uses only the finest local produce straight from the morning fish markets. Its menu features many seafood delicacies from classic fish and chips to the more exciting fish tacos or a bowl of seafood linguine – the choice is yours.
Gippsland’s best kept secret
Gippsland is a region spanning from Melbourne to the New South Wales border, home to bushland, farms and coast.
Travelling through this diverse area, you’ll come across Ninety Mile Beach. At 12 kilometres long, this beach is one of the longest in Australia. It’s known as a local secret due to its unspoilt, off-the-beaten track feel, with plenty
of open space that will make you feel like you’ve got the place to yourself. The best surf spot is Red Bluff, which hosts consistent breaks thanks to the reef. Ninety Mile Beach is also a good spot for beach fishing, swimming and whale watching. The nearby camping and caravan grounds make it a great place to spend the night under the stars before starting the day with a refreshing ocean surf.
Nearby, Lakes Entrance is the location of a fine dining experience like no other. Sodafish is a floating cafe moored at the Lakes Entrance Wharf and housed in a converted ferry. The seafood is taken directly from the boats that moor nearby
and used for the next service. Their seasonal menu is constantly changing to showcase the best local produce, taking diners on a culinary adventure. Sodafish is all about creating beautiful flavour profiles that celebrate the fresh fish and shellfish on offer in Victoria. From museels and scallops to crabs and more, you’ll taste it all here.
For more to do in Victoria, check out our top tips here.
Travel to Victoria
Rex flies to Melbourne. Book your flights here.