Vis­it­ing Aus­tralia, Adreen Nazi­rah crosses off the Great Ocean Road Run from her list – sort of.


Dis­cover this beau­ti­ful coastal stretch on four wheels and two feet.

Quite a num­ber of marathons around the world take place in a lo­ca­tion with an amaz­ing view, but per­haps the most fa­mous of them is the Great Ocean Road Run, held an­nu­ally since 2005 along the high­way it was named af­ter, in Vic­to­ria, Aus­tralia. Ac­ci­den­tally stum­bling upon an im­age of the Great Ocean Road dur­ing sun­set while surf­ing the In­ter­net, plans to one day run the marathon was im­me­di­ately added to the bucket list in my head, even though I was far from what one would de­scribe as a ‘run­ner’. None­the­less, I jumped at the chance to cross this off my list, much ear­lier than ex­pected, when I was in­vited by the or­gan­iser to join it ear­lier this year in May. Now re­branded as the Great Ocean Road Run­ning Fes­ti­val, there were more ac­tiv­i­ties to be en­joyed both by run­ners as well as their non-run­ning friends, in be­tween and af­ter the re­spec­tive events.


The Great Ocean Road is a long and wind­ing stretch of about 243 kilo­me­tres, run­ning along the coast­line of the Tas­man Sea be­tween the surf town of Torquay and Al­lans­ford town fur­ther to­wards the west. Landing at Mel­bourne air­port, I col­lected the rental car that was pre-booked for me, turned on my GPS app, and started to make my way to Pep­pers The Sands Re­sort in Torquay, my ac­com­mo­da­tion for the night.

Torquay seems to be one of those laid-back towns, where re­sort-like res­i­den­tial ar­chi­tec­ture is preva­lent and you just know that ev­ery­one’s favourite past-time here is to go to the beach. Even so, I was sur­prised to find out that it hosts the head­quar­ters of pop­u­lar brand Rip Curl, which had its start in this town, mak­ing surf­boards for the best surfers out there. It’s no sur­prise then that Quik­sil­ver also has its roots in Torquay.

While here, I had the chance to visit the Aus­tralian Na­tional Surf­ing Mu­seum and brushed up on its his­tory – re­al­is­ing just how big of a role Aus­tralian surf­ing, in par­tic­u­lar, has played in de­vel­op­ing and pop­u­lar­is­ing the sport, de­spite it usu­ally be­ing as­so­ci­ated with the Amer­i­can states of Cal­i­for­nia and Hawaii.

Af­ter the tour, I popped into Surf City Plaza just next door to browse and shop brands in­clud­ing Rip Curl, Quik­sil­ver, Bil­l­abong and oth­ers. On foot, I walked past the Rip Curl head­quar­ters and dis­cov­ered a surf brand out­let sell­ing off-sea­son items at dis­counted prices and, across from it, a cool lit­tle café with a cute gar­den where you can rest for a bit while en­joy­ing a cuppa.

Siz­ing up the waves at Bells Beach

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