Friday, August 27, 2010

Torquay and the Great Ocean Road

I’m sitting in the restaurant of the Crowne Hotel in Torquay overlooking Bass Strait. It brings back memories of surfing here in the mid 70s. Other than some puffy little white clouds, the sky is blue as the waves flow in to the beach. I'm down here for for a work conference and decided to duck out for a bit of a squizz. It's a bit of a sleepy beach town at this time of the year. When summer comes, the population of 10,000 will double with holiday makers and the surfing crowd.

Torquay is the home of Ripcurl

And Quicksilver - renown the world over
In our mid-20s we would put the surfboards in the car early in the morning and drive down to what now is well known as the Surf Coast and the start of the Great Ocean Road. Bell's Beach is down the road a piece, venue for many world surfing titles. Today its the home of the famous surf gear, Quicksilver and Ripcurl.
To my surprise, I've seen these labels being sold in the middle of France - do they surf there?

The morning sun rises over Bass Strait as I arrived in Torquay.
And at mid-day, the sun had warmed the day enough to walk out towards the beach.
I just had to get the Aussie flag in the picture.
These are about the only waves that I would ride these days, if any!!!
There are creepy things out there that I don't care to meet.

The Great Ocean Road was built after WWI as away of offering employment to the returned soldiers. This piece of scenic road takes in magnificent views of the southern coastline where many early ships were dashed upon the treacherous rocky cliffs. In fact it also goes by the name of the ship wreck coast.

Wikipedia has a good historical account of the Great Ocean Road - better that I can explain.

As I sit here Thursday night writing this, I wonder what the weekend will bring - the wind is howling outside and it looks like the rains will continue - we can still use a bit more to fill the reservoirs. With only a few more days left of August, daylight saving and spring are just around the corner.


  1. Leon, Super photos! Now you've made me jealous ... spring is just around the corner! D... overhere it's autumn is just around the corner, and these days it already feels like it here as it just doesn't stop raining.
    Btw, is there an Aussi version of Basil Fawlty lurking around Torquay? :)

  2. My son has a bunch of Quicksilver t-shirts and they are popular in France. When we went to the great barrier reef the first time we were there, our boat was named "Quicksilver".
    Gorgeous spot. I don't blame you for not going in the water. You guys have more sharks in your water than our coast I think.

  3. Diane - yes it was a magic moment with the sun rising over the ocean. Always carry my little Canon pocket camera.
    Martine - we are having our share of rain but it is very welcome with our reservoirs climbing to 40% capacity and water restriction loosening up a little. Water is a precious commodity. BTW, I'm sure we have our fair shar of Basils in Oz.
    Nadege - good to hear from you. I've not been to the great barrier reef but yes we do have our share of sharks and at the moment a great number of whales passing our southern shores with their young. Its a shame that the Japanese can't be stopped from hunting them.

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  5. Hi Leon & Sue,

    Just got my new car and guess what it's a special edition Renault Clio Rip Curl !!!! Makes me feel in with the "young set" !!!!!! So that probably begins to answer a question - yes Rip Curl is popular in France

    Love Carol & Michael

  6. Carol & Mikee - Congrats on the new car. I just read the review on the Clio Ripcurl, very coooool.
    You'll need to drive this wearing a cap and board shorts. The surfboard should look good on the roof.


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