Welcome to Torquay
In the 1960s and '70s Torquay was just another sleepy seaside town. Back then, surfing in Australia was a decidedly countercultural pursuit, its devotees crusty hippy dropouts living in clapped-out Kombis, smoking pot and making off with your daughters. These days it's become unabashedly mainstream, and the town’s proximity to world-famous Bells Beach and its status as the home of two iconic surf brands – Rip Curl and Quiksilver, both initially wetsuit makers – ensure Torquay’s place as the undisputed capital of the country's surf industry. It's one of Australia's fastest-growing towns, experiencing a population increase of 67% between 2001 and 2013 that these days makes it feel almost like an outer suburb of Geelong.
It has some lovely beaches, plus a growing number of hip cafes, restaurants and one of Victoria's more innovative breweries.