The Wathaurong people inhabited the land around Torquay before the first Europeans visited the region in the early 1800s. Today we acknowledge that we are respectfully living on Kulin land.
Torquay was originally named Spring Creek, until 1892, when it was renamed Torquay after the seaside town in England. When you visit our town you will come across Zeally Bay, which is named after Robert Zeally, one of the first European settlers in the area.
Historically, our beaches have always been highly sought after by tourists. Once cars became a popular mode of transport in the 1920s, people started to make their way to our coast to enjoy a day in the sun.
The Torquay Surf Life Saving Club was formed in 1946 and is the oldest and largest club in Victoria—a well-respected institution in our town. This club has led to safer beaches and has encouraged Torquay residents to maintain an energetic and healthy lifestyle, one that is in tune with the ocean.
The world-famous Bells Beach held its first Surf Classic in 1961. Today it is known as the Rip Curl Pro and is the world’s longest running surf competition, attracting surfers from all around the globe. Surf-lovers will enjoy Torquay’s Surfworld Museum, which charts the incredible history of surfing, tracing the changing nature of beach culture and plotting the search for the perfect wave.
And let’s not forget that the famous surfing brands Rip Curl and Quiksilver originated in our town and that boardshorts were invented here!
In the early days, Rip Curl and Quiksilver’s first shops were tiny beach shacks. Who could have imagined that these humble beginnings would lead to the large and expansive surf wear industry we know and love today. It is truly an incredible story. The success of these famous surf brands has permeated the culture of Torquay, giving our town a prominent spot on the map.
Today Torquay is one of the most popular places to visit on the Surf Coast. It is the gateway to the Great Ocean Road, birthplace of iconic surf brands and home to some of the world’s most picturesque beaches.
*Got a question about the history of Torquay? Post it in our forum http://torquay.com.au/ask-a-local/ and a friendly local will respond to you.