Waves and Wheels Exhibition

In the late 1950s and early 1960s surfing became part of a youth movement that swept the world, as music, fashion and language became centered around the beach. Surf adventure became a central part of the surfing experience as surfers and their friends started exploring the Australian coast in wagons, vans and other surfmobiles in search of fun times and perfect waves.

Car companies released surfing themed models , Sandman, Sundowner and Drifter panel vans were soon hitting the road, featuring over the top graphics and advertising that made real surfers cringe. For many surfers van life was reality, greeted by a wide open road, very few rules, and new horizons around every corner .

Surfers invented skateboards (miniature wheeled surfboards) to maintain their stoke on flat days, invading footpaths, roadways and carparks to go sidewalk surfing . The skateboard influence found its way back to the beach, with modern surfers adapting skateboard moves into their surfing repertoire.

Through the Waves & Wheels exhibition we are celebrating the relationship between surfers and their cars from the 1950s through to the 1980s. Featuring vintage surf photographs, interactive panel van experience, historic surf film footage, model cars, skateboards, roof racks and Great Ocean Road game visitors can immerse themselves in the surfing road trip and experience surfing’s epic sense of adventure.


  • review rating 5  Not that into surfing but the museum is really interesting and clearly thoughtfully curated.

    thumb Joel Evans

    review rating 5  A long overdue visit ...

    thumb Elaine V. Hare

    review rating 5  Love this museum! Small but everything about australian surfing you can find here!!! wnjoyed watching the surf board maker too!

    thumb Frances Salazar
  • review rating 5  We loved it. It's a small museum but full of history. I really recommend going and spending a couple of hours watching all the surf boards, surf suites, etc reading the history behind each item.

    thumb Walter Simonazzi

    review rating 5  History and heritage. Brilliantly covers all aspects of surfing culture since the beginning.

    thumb Luke Grounds

    review rating 5  Fabulous displays, indepth history of early days of surfing in Oz, boardmaking and designers, champions, vans, memorabilia, gr8 value for money, a worthy detour THANKS!

    thumb Drew Payne

Australian National Surfing Museum

77 Beach Rd
Torquay VIC 3228


9am – 5pm
7 days a week
364 days a year
(Closed Christmas Day)


Adult $12,
Student/Pensioner Concession $8
Child (aged 16 and under) $8
Family $25.

PLEASE NOTE: General admission prices are for self-guided tours with no time limit.

Group Discounts
Please see Education / Group Tours for details.


03 5261 4606
77 Beach Road
Torquay Victoria 3228