Surf’s up

The Bellarine Peninsula is home to a variety of surf breaks suitable for all standards, from beginners through to professionals.

As long as the wind’s anywhere from the north-east to north-west, ideal conditions can be found anywhere along the ocean-facing side of the peninsula.

Black Rock

The action begins at the very western extremity of the peninsula, where Black Rock provides an excellent right-hand point break in the right conditions.

Access is via the first small parking areas on either side of 13th Beach Road, about 400 metres east of the wind turbine at the road’s western end.

Black Rock works best on lower tides and north to north-west winds.

Reforms on the beach at the inside of the point offer excellent opportunities for beginners.

13th Beach

The long, sandy beach running east from Black Rock toward Barwon Heads offers numerous opportunities to catch a wave.

North and north-east winds suit 13th, with the best waves usually found in the second half of the beach toward Barwon Heads.

The beach’s south-west-facing orientation faces the predominant swell direction in Victoria, so 13th’s rarely flat. On the other hand, it doesn’t handle a lot of size, either, so it’s usually best in swells up to 1.5m.

Access is via several car parks along the beach.

The Beacon

Between the eastern end of 13th Beach and Barwon Heads Bluff is The Beacon, which can offer world-class waves on its day.

Charelmont Reef offshore tends to break up the swell as it marches in toward The Beacon, creating a variety of sometimes-shifty peaks that create opportunities to catch waves even on the busiest days.

Breaking on a variety of sand and rock, and best at low tide, The Beacon can produce outstanding barrelling waves. It’s a favourite haunt of visiting professionals and has hosted rounds of the Rip Curl Pro when conditions have been unsuitable at the event’s traditional Bells Beach site.

Left and right-breaking waves are available along the length of The Beacon, with ample parking available.

Ocean Grove

This long, sweeping beach offers numerous opportunities for beginners and intermediate surfers to find a wave away from the crowd.

Best wind directions range from the north-west to north-east, with low tides generally best.

At the western end, toward the mouth of the Barwon River, RAAFS works well on a moderate swell and can even handle winds a little more from the west.

Numerous left and right breaks are dotted along with beach, with the swell generally larger at the eastern end.

Plenty of parking is available, although it’s best to be early on sunny days when locals and visitors flock to this beach.

Point Lonsdale back beach

The power turns on again at Point Lonsdale, where experienced surfers can find some challenging waves.

North and north-east winds are best, along with a high tide.

The beach area near the lighthouse offers left and right-breaking waves, often with barrelling conditions.

Just to the west, a right-hand reef break also presents hollow conditions for surfers of a high standard.

Access is to park in the vicinity of the surf lifesaving club, then take the short walk over the dunes.

Point Lonsdale front beach

The waves at the front beach are actually inside Port Phillip Bay after travelling through The Rip.

A large swell is generally required to present worthwhile waves, with this area the only place on the peninsula still working well in winds from the west and even south-west.

The waves are mostly right-handers and weak, so they’re best-suited to longboards.

Access is simple: Pull up in the main shopping area and walk across the foreshore to the water.