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Travel in Australia and New Zealand

Does Torquay Have Anything to Offer Those Who Don't Surf?
By:Sidney Morgan

Everybody knows that Australia is a sports mad country. Australians especially love water sports and amongst those, thanks to being blessed with some of the best beaches in the world, Australians have produced some of the world's greatest surfers. A lesser known fact is that Australia has been the birthplace of some of the most successful surfing related brand names in the world. At least two of these brand names began in the little town of Torquay, Victoria, just sixty miles (ninety-five kilometers) away from Melbourne.

Back in the fifties and sixties, there really was no type of clothing that could be defined as strictly "surfwear." Surfers had to buy swimming trunks in large sizes or have their girlfriends sew them for them, since there was no type of swimwear that was designed specifically for surfing. The Hawaiian shirt became associated with surfing, but not only with surfing. It took a couple of upstart companies in Torquay Australia to invent surfwear as we know it today.

Quiksilve and Rip Curl are both huge international companies now, but back then they were just backyard businesses in Torquay. Rip Curl has been the primary sponsor of what is now one of the biggest professional surfing contests in the world, the Rip Curl Bells Beach Pro, since its inception. In the 60s, the Bells contest was a popular, but largely local phenomenon. In 1973, it made a bold move and was included on the pro tour, but in those days, surfing was "professional" in name only. The prize money was small and most surfers had to pay their own expenses. Today, the annual Torquay contest is a viewed by millions around the world and is attended by tens of thousands of surfing enthusiasts.

One example of just how big a part this Torquay contest has played in surfing history is Simon Anderson's 1981 win on his newly designed "thruster" in some of the most challenging conditions ever seen at Bells Beach.. He won the contest on this strange 3 finned board. After that, surfboard design was changed forever and these three-finned short boards are the norm to this day.

It will come as no surprise that a city with a surfing history as rich as Torquay would have a museum dedicated to the sport. The Surf World Museum in Torquay is not just any surfing museum: it is the largest one in the world and attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year.

With all of its surfing attractions, it would be understandable if you wondered if Torquay had anything to offer non-surfers. As the gateway to the Great Ocean Road, one of the world's most spectacular highways, the answer is yes, Torquay has a great deal to offer everybody. You don't even have to drive out of town to get a taste of the grandeur of the Surf Coast. You can experience its rugged beauty just by taking the Surf Coast Walk. Although the walk is almost 19 miles (30 kilometers) long and takes an average of eleven hours to complete, it is divided into several segments, so can be enjoyed in "small bites" if you prefer.

One of surfing's secrets is that the best waves in the world are located in some of the world's most scenic coastal settings. Torquay's Bells Beach, Jan Juc and other Surf Coast spots are no exception to this rule. The town itself enjoys a stunningly picturesque setting. Whether you're a surfer or not, if you love the sea, you will love staying in a Torquay accommodation and getting to know the area and its unique community.

Get away with the family for a few days, find accommodation in Torquay, activities and other travel related information about the area. Or visit our Australia blog http://ozblog.net.au/ for more Australian holiday ideas.

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