Australians don’t need a Bells Beach map to show you what parts of this wonderful beach are best. Every few hours a Bells Beach Surf Report goes out on this internationally famous surfing beach in Victoria, Australia. This gem of down under is about 100 km southwest of Melbourne, off Great Ocean Road. Surfers come from all over the world to experience the different break Bells Beach has. The break is known as Bells Bowl, or simply Bowl.
Bells Bowl happens because there is reef directly below. But what is nice about the surfing at Bells Beach is that the Bowl can be surfed at almost any tide. And here is where you will find the famous Bells Beach SurfClassic. The first one was held in January of 1961. Since then, Bells Beach SurfClassic has been held at Easter. Bells Beach accommodations during this time can be real hard to come by although there are many of the “Bells Beach Cottages“, famous for lodging surfers from all cities of the globe. In fact, during Easter, you can hear so many different languages right on the beach.
And just how did this stretch of beach get its name? Back in the 1840’s the first family to settle in this part of the coast was named Bell. No one surfed back then, but around 1939, surfers from Torquay, a town nearby, started surfing this beach. It was so hard to get to and surfing wasn’t that popular.
But when surfing began to take hold worldwide, in the late ’50’s and ’60’s, Joe Sweeney, who had wrestled in the Olympics and loved to surf, hired a bulldozer to clear a road down to the beach. It was expensive, but Sweeney had an ingenious way of paying for it. He charged fellow surfers two dollars to use the road to the beach. You can still see this original road as the Torquay to Anglesea walking trail.
Now for non-surfers, don’t worry. The beach is great for relaxing and catching some sun. Don’t expect much at this off the beaten track beach. It’s mainly a surf haven. We thought it was fun just people watching.
There have been a few issues with shark off this beach. Ask the locals before you head out.
Bells Beach – Beach Index:
- Sand – tan colored with medium powder, sea grass along north end
- Facilities – full, even more when surfing event happening
- Shade – morning sun, shade from cliff in afternoon
- Sports – surfing is the only game in town
- Notes – try your luck at surfing, instructors abound