Best months:
March to September


Travel article Surfing guide
LAST UPDATED 07/01/2008
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Snowdog: Map of Australia highlighting Victoria; 30 December 2005

Victoria is one of the states of Australia, located in the south-eastern corner of the country between South Australia and New South Wales. The capital of Victoria is Melbourne.

Melbourne is a little unusual from the perspective of an Australian state Capital in that it is not situated in close proximity to quality surf. Don't let that phase you however, it is only a short trip down the coast to the Torquay region, home of Rip Curl and quality breaks such as Bells Beach. 

Port Phillip Bay in which Melboune resides is a novelty wave factory during an enormous SE swell. Well worthy of investigation if you are in the area but you dont need to rely on this, multiple options right along the coast for those with a keen eye.


Triki-wiki: Bells Beach; March 2006

Don't let the cold water worry you, this entire coastline offers quality waves for the travelling surfer, with coastline facing the pacific and southern oceans. The west coast offers some of the more well known epic waves of the state and the mighty swells spiralling across on the roaring 40's will ensure that there is no shortage of waves, in fact you will often be waiting for the conditions to back of just a little especially throughout winter, but when it all comes together, you're in for a world class treat.


Robert A. Rohde: Annual Average Temperature Map, 15 February 2008

Surfing in Victoria become a bit of a challenge in the winter months, with cold air and water temperatures. The water temperature can dip below 14 degrees Celsius, whilst the average maximum air temperature is around the same. Add a biting westerly wind and it feels much colder. The minimum requirement in the winter months is a 3/4mm wetsuit. Booties and a hood are good optional extras.

In contrast summer time can see the temperature crack 40degrees, while the water temperature can push up to 21 degrees later in January and February. There can be sudden drops in temperature with the passage of cold fronts across the state, with the mercury sometimes falling 20 degrees in the space of two hours. This helps to give the state its’ reputation of having 4 seasons in 1 day. The average summer time maximum air temperature is around 24-25 degrees.

Autumn (March – May)

Autumn can be a fantastic time for surfing in Victoria. The water still has some of its summer time warmth while intense low pressure systems start to form more regularly over the Southern Ocean as things begin to cool down near the Antarctic Continent. Sea breezes also become less pronounced as the days become shorter and the sun sits lower in the sky. With the sub-tropical belt of high pressure migrating south at this time of year, lighter winds are often a feature.

Winter (June-August)

Winter is the time where the “Surf Coast” of Victoria comes into its own. The mid latitude westerly winds take hold, bringing offshore winds to breaks such as Bells and Winki. Larger swells are also more common at this time of year due to the proximity of the mid-latitude westerlies and polar lows forming off the Antarctic ice shelf. Bring your 4/3 wetsuit at this time of year though and also booties to make your surf session longer lasting and more comfortable.

Spring (September-November)

Spring doesn’t really stand out for surfing, although great waves can still be had along all coastlines. The water remains very chilly into spring, and sea breezes become more prevalent into October and November (as days become longer and solar heating more intense).

Summer (December-February)

The afternoon sea breeze is an almost daily feature at this time of year, so most of the best surfing occurs in the mornings.  The surf is generally smaller through the summer months, although large swells can still occur from time to time. The beach breaks along the Mornington Peninsula and around Phillip Island tend to come into their own at this time of year, although the crowd situation also escalates after the general solitude of winter.


Tarcus: Mobile speed camera in Victoria; 21 september 2007

There are two common ways of travelling in Australia: by car or by plane. Train can be an option, but not all states have a public rail network. Greyhound Australia provides a nation-wide (except Tasmania) interstate bus service. And there is a car ferry that departs from Melbourne and goes to Devonport in Tasmania.

The country is huge, so if don’t have enough time, take a plane. Fares are generally low, due to the amount of competition, and flights depart regularly. Main business travel corridor is Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane with flights leaving every 15 minutes. You’ll be able to get to every state with Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Blue or Regional Express. There also are some small state-based airlines that serve regional areas: Airnorth, Skywest, O’Connor Airlines and MacAir Airlines.   

Travelling by car is a great option as well, especially to those who want to see and feel the country from he inside. Australia has a well-maintained system of roads and highways and drives 'on the left'. Keep in mind that great distances separate its cities and after leaving one of them, you can sometimes expect to travel for hours before finding the next trace of civilisation. So it’s a good idea to hire a satellite phone in case of emergency. The shortest distance would be from Sydney to Canberra – just 3-3.5 hours (~300 km). But it is a truly magnificent experience to hire a car and travel around the coast of Australia (check the Great Ocean Road), which you won’t forget.

where to stay

Erwin1990: Flag of Hotel Formule 1; 7 July 2004

Your final decision really depends on your preferences and budget. If you like camping, there are a lot of those in every state of Australia. And there is a great option for those, who still prefers some comfort, but the budget is limited, – Hotel Formule1. These hotels have absolutely the same basic and very clean rooms (for 3 people) in all the cities (so you know what to expect) and can be found in Sydney (NSW), Coffs Harbour (NSW), Melbourne (VIC), Canberra (ACT) and Brisbane (QLD).  Rates can start from AU$59.00 per room/per night and conditions are usually better than in the numerous motels along the highways (where you will probably spend about AU$100 per room/per night).
There are nice caravan parks (van/trailer parks) with on site cabins in WA, as well as in most states (usually you will see the signs if you drive on the highway). Prices range from AUS$25.00 to AUS$50.00. They are very comfortable and have cooking facilities and a refrigerator. The extra price will provide you with some more comfort.
Cable Beach Backpackers is another nice place in WA with clean and spacious rooms, bathrooms and kitchens, just a few minutes walk from Cable Beach in Broome. Also try Augusta YHA – a very affordable and clean hostel in a brand new building.
And of course, there are all the luxurious hotels, where you can enjoy the best service. But basically for all the states the rule would be the same – there are numerous motels, hostels, caravan parks and camping sites near the surf spots, so you’ll definitely find something.

what to pack

Missie: LittleBlackDress; 1 August 2007

Going to Victoria, pack according to the season. The general rule will be to take somme loose cotton clothes for the hot weather and some warm things when it's a bit colder. An umbrella will be good if it rains. A small backpack makes a good carryon bag and will be useful in daily life. Women: remember to take a good flat pair of shoes.... And for everybody: pair of comfortable walking shoes will be great for walking.

Melbourne is a cultural centre of Australia, so definitely take some nicer clothing for more formal occasions.

Don't forget your camera and plenty of memory/films for it. 

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