Southside Beach is just to the south of Winkipop, which is the most popular spot for surfing at Bells Beach.
Near perfect one-and-a-half metre barrelling waves roll in into Southside on a regular basis, attracting the best surfers from right across the world. It’s been a popular surfing spot for experienced surfers since the 1930’s and has become well known by people all over the world due to the Rip Curl Pro being held just hundreds of metres away each year.
The waves bring the surfers, but the landscape brings the tourists. Watching the surfers take on huge waves will keep you busy for a while, then day hikes go from here in either direction along the coast to keep you busy for the rest of the day (or weekend).
Getting to Southside from Winkipop
The main Bells Beach carpark and surfing spot: Winkipop, are a little to the north of Southside Beach.
Both Bells and Southside Beach face south, so when you get to the main area for watching surfers at Bells, you’ve got to walk to south-west or you can drive straight to the Southside car park, which is also signed as ‘Bells Beach car park’.
Coming direct from Melbourne, head to Anglsea and turn left at the Great Ocean Road, after a few minutes you’ll see a large green sign directing you to ‘Southside’, which is a right turn.
Other places to go Surfing near to Southside Beach
Southside Beach is in the heart of the Surf Coast and you’ve got dozens of incredible places to go surfing nearby.
Of course there’s Bells Beach just a few hundred metres to the north-east, but if you keep going past Bells for another few kilometres, you’ll reach Jan Juc Surf Beach, which also attracts decent surfers and can get pretty big and powerful waves rolling in. Just next to Jan Juc is Torquay Surf Beach, an ideal beach for beginners.
Beginners can also try Ocean Grove, which is another 15 minutes past Torquay or heading west, head to Lorne. Torquay, Ocean Grove and Lorne all usually have nice small waves and there are shops in each location where you can rent a surfboard and wet suit.
Some more places for experienced surfers would be 13th Beach at Barwon Heads (to the east, next to Ocean Grove) or heading the other direction, Urquhart Bluff, Sunnymead Beach and Fairhaven are all good options and close by to Southside Beach.