Location: Point Impossible to Fairhaven
Surface: Mostly fine gravel or compacted earth with some sections of sand or sealed
Grade: Very easy (1) - Difficult (4)
Open: No seasonal closures
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
More information: surfcoastwalk.com.au
Wander through inspiring seaside landscapes interspersed with coastal villages on the world-class 44-kilometre multi-use Surf Coast Walk trail. The trail's easy access and 12 trail heads make it perfect for short, long or multiday experiences.
The Surf Coast Walk takes in the beaches near Australia’s surf capital, Torquay, including iconic Bells Beach, before striking out for Point Addis’ grand vistas of sweeping bays and impressive lookouts. Walkers can learn about local Indigenous heritage on the Koorie Cultural Walk and be wowed by more soaring cliffs at Anglesea and Point Roadknight. The Split Point lighthouse signals the trail’s end at Fairhaven.
A tailored walk for all abilities
Journey in either direction or break your walk into shorter sections according to how far you'd like to walk and what coastal features you'd like to see. Car park access points are dotted along its length, as well as plentiful public transport (coach) drop-off and pick-up points useful for getting on and off the trail.
The trail is shared-use for many sections. Cycling is permitted from the start point at Point Impossible all the way through to Ironbark Basin car park, to the north of Point Addis. Cyclists can rejoin the trail at Hurst Road car park (accessible via a dirt two-wheel drive road), and ride all the way into Anglesea to Point Roadknight. Other sections are walker-only designated, except for a short section from Split Point Lighthouse car park to the trail’s end at Fairhaven.
An Impossible beginning
Traditionally the starting point of the trail is considered the northern end at Point Impossible between Torquay and Breamlea. From Point Impossible the Surf Coast Walk tracks southwest along a gravel road behind the dunes of Whites Beach, through traditional Wathaurung Country, where Indigenous inhabitants camped for thousands of years.
The trail eventually reaches the outskirts of Torquay, the wellspring of Australia’s surfing culture. The town’s promenade skirts Torquay’s Front Beach and Cosy Corner to Point Danger, which features an expansive lookout back towards Point Impossible.
Wide, sweeping trails
Heading up and over Rocky Point, leave Torquay behind in favour of the wide, sweeping trails that weave between the village of Jan Juc and its impressive cliff-backed beaches and past Bird Rock to the famous Bells Beach clifftops.
The trail briefly leaves to coast to explore the coastal heathlands and delve into the Ironbark Basin, a unique patch of woodland wilderness. Spectacular lookouts over Addiscot Beach and a Koorie Cultural Walk are highlights before you join a short beach section, climbing up through the Great Otway National Park to the cliffs of Anglesea.
Breathtaking ocean views
At Anglesea River mouth the trail briefly tracks the inlet before once again climbing impressive cliffs for more inspiring ocean views.
Take the four-kilometre beach section from sheltered Point Roadknight Beach to Urquhart Bluff for a view of Split Point Lighthouse the entire way.
Twisting single trail leads away from Urquhart Bluff through coastal heathland and eventually to the cliffs leading to the foot of the lighthouse, which is worthy of a tour.
Following the headland, you drop over the side to the inlet for which Aireys is named, and from here it's an easy walk up and over the waterway to the trail's end (or beginning) at the Fairhaven Surf Life Saving Club.
Suggested shorter options
Torquay to Bells Beach, 8km one way
Walked in either direction, this short itinerary packs in a perfect balance of nature trails, surf and cafe culture. Excperience the iconic Bells Beach along with numerous big viewpoints along the cliffs of Jan Juc and the boardwalk inlet of Spring Creek. It also includes several beachside sections plus the leisurely stroll sections along Torquay’s promenade. Take a reward-for-effort approach and start at Bells, walking back into Torquay for some fine food and drink at walk’s end.
Bells Beach to Anglesea, 15km one way
This itinerary is a popular option with nature being the focus all the way. Watch the action on the waves at Bells Beach and head south towards Southside and into the Ironbark Basin forest, stopping at the lookout atop Addiscot Beach when you rejoin the coast. Make your way to Point Addis, then take a one-kilometre beach walk and a short climb through the Great Otway National Park and down some amazing natural steps to the Anglesea cliffs. As you descend into Anglesea, enjoy the views across town towards Point Roadknight, before sidling up the banks of Anglesea River and into one of the many eateries in town.
Suggested wheelchair accessible options
Yellow Bluff to Point Danger, 1.5km one way
This is an easy, flat section of trail that takes in the Torquay promenade from the playground at Yellow Bluff, past the cafes of Gilbert Street and the Norfolk pine trees of Front Beach and Cosy Corner, to the expansive views of Point Danger.