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The Bells Track Walk (Jan Juc to Bells Beach)

Home > Torquay > Lookouts | Outdoor | Views | Walks
by KJ (subscribe)
Published June 24th 2017
A beautiful coastal walk on Victoria's Great Ocean Road

The Bells Track is a 3.2km coastal walking track that runs between Jan Juc and Bells Beach.

It is walk number 4 on the iconic Surf Coast Walk (a track which consists of 12 separate walks, and stretches for 44km from Point Impossible, near Breamlea to Fairhaven, just past Aireys Inlet).

There are carparks at both the Jan Juc and Bells Beach ends, so the walk can be started from either end, or if you have a group with two cars, you can leave a car at one end, if you just want to do one-way. (I started the walk at the Jan Juc end, at Bird Rock Lookout Carpark and did the walk as a 'return' walk).

One thing that struck me about the track straight away was how open it was. The vegetation is quite low due to the coastal winds, so the cliffs and ocean are in view for most of the walk.

In terms of difficulty, the track is classified as an 'easy' track, and it is quite wide, with gentle slopes along most sections. Seats are also provided in a couple of places, for those who want to sit down for a moment and have a rest or have a bite to eat.

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Sections of the track. There are also several signs on the track advising of the distance to certain points

The track is unsealed, yet well-maintained, with good drainage systems in place and clear of fallen branches and overgrown vegetation. Parts of it are fenced, and there are several lookouts and beach access tracks along the way.

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There are a couple of lookouts along the way

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Some flowers amongst the native vegetation

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There were also lots of birds in the trees along the track

An information sign at Bells Beach Surfing Reserve Carpark describes how the area is being regenerated after suffering from years of trampling by people and vehicles.

jan juc, Bells Beach, Surf Coast Walk, bird, birdwatching, surf coast, great ocean road, SANESurfers, Bush regeneration, Surfers, conservation,
The sign at Bells Beach Surfing Reserve Carpark

It explains how group called SANE (Surfers Appreciating Natural Environment) have been working with the Surf Coast Shire and Parks Victoria to replant indigenous species, remove weeds, and lay brush material to prevent any further trampling and erosion.

Another important part of the coastal environment are the Moonah trees, which are currently classified as 'threatened', and measures are being taken to protect them.

The sign reads:
Coastal Moonah Woodland Protected Area - Keep Out

Accessing the Coastal Moonah Woodland Reserve is prohibited under Surf Coast shire local laws and penalties apply.

Moonah Woodlands are listed as 'threatened' under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1998. This plant community is vital in preventing cliff erosion and provides habitat and food for many native animals.

A short distance from Bells Beach, the track meets up with the Bells Beach Recreation Reserve Carpark, before returning back into the bush, and then running alongside the road for the last stretch.

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One of the points where the road meets the track at Bells Beach Recreation Reserve (just before Bells Beach)

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The track runs alongside the road as it approaches Bells Beach

At the end of the walk, there's a roundabout with a sandstone 'Bells Beach' sign, where the track turns in towards the carpark. Once you're there, there's a lookout and a bit further along, a path which leads down to Bells Beach, a Lookout, and Winkipop Beach.

jan juc, Bells Beach, Surf Coast Walk, Bells beach path, Bells Beach lookout, Bells Beach warning sign, information sign, beach warning sign,
Bells Beach

The track is very popular and is used for a variety of different purposes, such as running, cycling, dog-walking, family walks, photographers, bird-watchers, etc. I visited on a weekday in Winter, and the track was still quite busy all the way along.

Overall, it's a nice walk and offers a great view of the coast. If you're keen to do one of the other walks along the coast you can download the Surf Coast Council's Walking Map from here.

Extra Tips:

There isn't much shade along the track, so in Summer make sure you bring a hat and sunscreen.
Keep a look and listen out for cyclists, as they can come around the corner very quickly.
Check the weather before you go. It wasn't very windy when I visited, but most of the track is very exposed so I imagine it'd get very cold and windy some days.
There are signs warning that snakes may be active on the tracks.
Dogs are welcome, but must be kept on leads and all dog waste must be collected and taken with you to dispose of (there are dog waste bags and rubbish bins at a couple of places along the track).

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Dogs are welcome, but must be kept on leads and all dog waste removed

Toilets: There are toilets located at the start of the track (Jan Juc) and the end of the track (at Bells Beach).

Rubbish Bins: There are rubbish bins at the start and end of the track, and at a couple of points along the way.

Things to Bring:
Sun protection
Rain protection
Insect Repellant in the warmer months
Sturdy, closed-toe shoes are recommended.
A mobile phone is also recommended in case of emergencies (coverage may vary).

Parking: There are carparks with free parking at Jan Juc, Bells Beach, Bells Beach Surfing Reserve, and Bones Road (which is about half-way along the track, if you'd prefer to do a shorter walk).

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Why? To explore the beautiful coast at the beginning of the Great Ocean Road
When: Any time
Where: Bird Rock Lookout Carpark, Princes Terrace, Jan Juc, Victoria
Cost: Free
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