Prudence Caroline’s swishy, splashy watercolours draw inspiration from far and wide: street art, architecture, flora and fauna, and her sublime seaside surrounds. The artist and interior curator grew up on Victoria’s Surf Coast and still calls Torquay – an easy, breezy beach town leading onto the Great Ocean Road – home. Here she shares her must-sees and must-dos for a visit, whether a doable day trip 75 minutes from Melbourne, a well-deserved weekender or longer escape. Her insider tip: “Pack for four seasons – you’ll likely see them all in one trip!”
“This has delish healthy options – my favourite is the Nori Bowl! With a relaxed atmosphere and rustic fit-out, it’s also in an ideal location, a skip across the esplanade from the beach.”
39 The Esplande, Torquay
“This is a Japanese and sushi bar. Order the shrimp tempura rolls, made fresh. Need I say more?”
34 Bell Street, Torquay
“This is the perfect place to end a day at the beach – perched above the still waters of Fishermans Beach. Listen to live music, eat food truck snacks and watch the sun down.”
47 The Esplande, Torquay
Walk with wow-factor
“This trek is equally as gorgeous in winter as it is in summer. Pick a leg to walk, (you’ll see me on the Bird Rock to Bells Beach track, about 3km) or do the whole 44km!”
Where to stay
“Beach shack perfection! You’ll find everything you need within walking distance – theres even a mini golf course in the garden!”
Felix Street, Torquay
“Learn how to surf, kayak or SUP in one of Australia’s most iconic surf destinations. It’s suitable for kids and adults alike.”
1/15 Bell Street, Torquay
“This women’s clothing store stocks some of my favourite Australian fashion brands. I also love Torquay Merchant for gifts and fun finds. Make sure you visit on a Wednesday or Saturday, when the coffee bar gets a delivery of fresh sourdough bread and pastries.”
Argentina: Shop 13/6-4 Gilbert Street, Torquay
The Torquay Merchant: 2/21 Baines Crescent, Torquay
How to get there
Torquay is a 75-minute drive from Melbourne, or 35-minute drive from Avalon airport.
While you’re there
Torquay marks the starting point for a spectacular scenic road trip along the Great Ocean Road, finishing in Port Fairy (ideally allow three days, with plenty of stops, for the 9.5 hour drive).
Need to know
The birthplace of Roxy and Quiksilver, Torquay is the capital of Australia’s surf industry. Watch the world’s best surfers compete at the Bells Beach Rip Curl Pro (usually at Easter), or jump on a board yourself.