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.


  • Stopped in on a weekend away. I was really impressed with the items in the collection and didn't realise surfing was such an old craft. I learned a lot about the history of surfing, the evolution of the boards and the technology that goes into making a great board. We spent about 1.5 hours in the museum but there us a 90 minute feature film that shows in the theatre, so allow more time if you want to watch the whole thing.

    Annie Lamb Avatar Annie Lamb

    Wenn Surfing interessiert, dann ist dieses Museum ein Must, das Thema wird spannend präsentiert und mit Viedos untermalt

    Ruedi Vogt Avatar Ruedi Vogt

    Well worth the few bucks to head in and see, fantastic service at the counter on the way in which sets the mood for the whole experience

    Robert Bridge Avatar Robert Bridge
  • Great place to go.

    Janet Williams Avatar Janet Williams

    A must see in Torquay

    murat oldaç Avatar murat oldaç

    Really well done, although the entry fee of ~$12.50 was a little steep I thought. If they don't have government funding they definitely deserve it

    Asher Middleton Avatar Asher Middleton
  • Great History of Surfing

    Michael Lappen Avatar Michael Lappen

    Très bien mais je pense qu'il faut être fan de surf pour l'apprécier d'autant plus car il y a beaucoup de chose à lire et de références.

    Hugo Llorens Avatar Hugo Llorens

    Absolutely awesome history on Australian surfing. Highly recommended!

    Alex Wadsworth Avatar Alex Wadsworth

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