Whether you chase big or small waves, the iconic Bells Beach has some of the better and more consistent wave conditions to offer in the Victoria, Australia area. Bells is a right-hand rocky point break which will hold anything from 2-15 feet, often becoming a world-class performance wave anywhere from the 6 foot and above range. If an open face right-hand wave is what you’re looking for then this spot can give you everything you need. The water is usually a bit chilly and I typically recommend a long steamer; even if the water is a little warmer, the southerly winds tend to add the cold right back into it. Even on the coldest days, it’s hard to turn down a perfect right-hander. During summer the afternoon sea breeze usually kicks in around 20 knots with typically smaller waves on offer, around the 2-4 foot range, which means a fun session without much risk involved.
CLOSEST AIRPORT: Melbourne, Tullamarine (MEL).
DISTANCE TO LOCATION: Bells Beach is about an hour and 20 minutes from the airport.
TRANSPORT TO LOCATION: I recommend renting a car for this spot; to get the most out of this trip, driving around is a must. There is so much on offer here and without your own form of transport, you will find much of it is unreachable. You can hire a car for $21/day at Melbourne Airport.
BEST SEASON: December-January is the best kitesurfing season.
WIND RANGE: Generally averages 15-25 knots.
WATER TEMPERATURE: The water averages 61-66°F and the air hovers around 77°F.
LOCAL RULES/SAFETY HAZARDS: Stay clear of surfers, they have the right of way.
LODGING RECOMMENDATIONS AND COSTS: You can find local campsites for $28/night, all with public toilets, showers, laundry kitchen and some with power hookups. Apartments and townhouses on Airbnb start around $60-70/night, featuring double beds, showers, wifi, parking, laundry and a short walk to shops. For luxury accommodations, the RACV Hotel for $600/night features oceanview rooms, a pool, spa, restaurant and golf links.
THE ONE THING EVERYONE MUST DO: Take a drive on the Great Ocean Road to see everything this spot has to offer.
WHY JAMES CAREW RECOMMENDS THIS SPOT: It’s important to get the best conditions I possibly can and Bells and the surrounding area offers some of the best conditions around. No two places are the same and if you’re looking for something a little different, or if the wind direction is just a little wrong, you can always venture around the corner and find the perfect spot. There’s always a wave firing somewhere in the area providing the wind is blowing and that is what’s most important for me.
Tkb’s Getaway Travel Guide is chock full of destinations like this. Whether you’re looking for a kite mecca, flat water spot, wave spot, best of both worlds or trips, tours and clinics, we’ve got you covered with a collection of locations to satisfy any type of kiteboarder no matter what they are looking for on their next vacation. If you’re already a Tkb subscriber, log into your account to view the entire Tkb Getaway Travel Guide for free.