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A Guide To The Australian National Surfing Museum

A Guide To The Australian National Surfing Museum

Picture of Monique La Terra
Updated: 5 August 2016
With a coastline that stretches 34,218 kilometres and more than 10,000 beaches, including Bells Beach, Crescent Head and the super bank at Snapper Beach, Australia’s surfing culture is enough to make anyone say, ‘cowabunga dude!’ Local salty surfers and international wax heads agree that Australia has had a significant impact on surf culture, and in no place does that ring truer than Bells Beach, Torquay. Not only is it home to the world’s longest-running surfing competition, the Rip Curl Pro, but it is also the location of Australia’s National Surfing Museum which celebrates the country’s surfing heritage.

Courtesy of the Australian National Surfing Museum

Dreamed up by surfers Peter Troy, Vic Tantau and Alan Reid, the museum opened in December 1993 with the support of Surfing Australia, the Torquay surf industry, and the Geelong Regional Commission. From the beginning, it’s been a place to commemorate Australian surfers and their achievements, as well as showcasing Australia’s deeply ingrained surf culture through exhibitions and memorabilia.

Located on Beach Road, Torquay, the Australian National Surfing Museum has been recognised by the International Surfing Association ‘as one of the most significant centres of surfing heritage in the world’ and with five exhibition spaces it’s easy to why ANSM is so impressive.


Courtesy of the Australian National Surfing Museum

The ANSM is home to the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame, which includes a display of surfboards ridden by surfing legends with facts about their careers and surfing milestones. See how surfboards are made as you peak into the Live Surfboard Shaping bay, where international shaper Eiji Shiomoto sculpts a range of boards from Malibu to high-performance shortboards. Once you’ve seen how a board is made, take a stroll through the Board Room and discover how board design has developed over the years from historic solid timber to hollow plywood, balsa and fibreglass. Dive head first into the Surf Culture exhibition and browse through artefacts and memorabilia, including Kombi vans, wetsuits, vintage photographs, trophies, artwork and more. The ANSM also has its very own theatre where you can relax in blue director’s chairs surrounded by historic surfboards while watching a classic surf flick.


Courtesy of the Australian National Surfing Museum

School groups across years Prep to Year 12 can take part in the ANSM Education Program and the public can participate in group tours, as well as education-based or casual walking tours of Bells Beach – one of the best surfing destinations in the world. This weekend take a break and discover just why ‘life’s a beach,’ at the Australian National Surfing Museum.