In Australia’s surfing capital, Torquay, where Quick Silver and Rip Curl were born is a bunch of surf company factory outlets all grouped together at Surf City.
At the start of the Great Ocean Road & Surf Coast, just near the world-famous Bells Beach, it’s an ideal place to pull into and grab some clothing or surf gear on sale.
At Surf City, you’ll find a lot more than just surf gear. Of course there are loads of brand new and second hand surf boards to chose from, then there’s all kinds of things from fishing gear, bike stores, paragliding equipment and really just anything for the outdoors.
There are some large stores for Quick Silver, Billabong, Roxy and Rip Curl right in the centre, yet a lot of the gear there will be full price. Your best option is to find the factory outlets where you can get some serious discounts. The factory outlets are mainly on the side and back streets in the area and this is where you’ll also find smaller retailers and second hand stores. At the factory outlets, it’s always worth asking for an even bigger discount and sometimes you’ll be shocked with how low they’ll go.
There’s a half pipe/mini ramp behind the main Rip Curl store.
For the best fishing tackle shop where you’ll also find snorkeling gear is at a small store on Beach Road, behind Ghanda on the otherside of the Surf Coast Highway to the main part of Surf City.
You can't miss Surf City as you enter Torquay on the Surf Coast Highway
As you’re entering Torquay from Geelong or Melbourne, you’ll be on the Surf Coast Highway.
Surf City is on the edge of Torquay, you can’t miss the huge Rip Curl signs. You don’t need to look for any signage saying ‘Surf City’ (even though is some), just look for the big group of stores. Strapper on the left, Rip Curl, Billabong and bunch of other stores on the right.
Make sure you walk the side streets and explore the nearby area. Some of the outlets aren’t easily visable from the highway, but tucked away in alleys and around corners.
Where to take your new gear
Once you’ve got some new gear, you’re in the perfect place to give it a try out.
There are several beaches in Torquay. Fishermans Beach and the Front Beach are quite calm and safe for a swim, then at the south of town is the Torquay Surf Beach which is great for beginner surfers. Just to the west and in walking distance from the Surf Beach is Jan Juc Beach, followed by Bells and Southside Beach which are all for much more experienced surfers.
If you’re to go east, back towards Melbourne or west along the Great Ocean Road, there are dozens more places to surf and swim.
There are also a great hike called The Surf Coast Walk, starting from Torquay all the way to Fairhaven Beach.