Torquay's Fishermans Beach car park upgrade

An arial view of Fishermans Beach and the existing carpark. Image via @shananphotos Background and purpose

The Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority is planning upgrades to the Fishermans Beach car park, boating facility and beach access that adjoins the Torquay Marine Rescue Service and Salty Dog Café in Torquay.

Proposed upgrades were identified in a draft Masterplan developed in 2020 by the former Great Ocean Road Coast Committee for Torquay’s foreshore areas between Point Impossible and Jan Juc.  

For the popular Fishermans Beach recreational area, suggested actions in the draft Masterplan were to “Reconfigure Fishermans Beach car park including safe and efficient layout, sealed surface and a short-term vehicle drop off area. Include shade trees and water sensitive urban design.”

Community Consultation

From 19 September – 21 October 2022, the Authority gathered feedback on proposed concept designs to upgrade the Fishermans Beach car park, boating facility and beach access that adjoins the Torquay Marine Rescue Service, Torquay Angling Club and Salty Dog Café in Torquay.

The information gathered through this engagement will inform the next design iteration for the proposed upgrades.


The findings from this report will inform the next iteration of the design. The next design will be made available for community input, expected to occur in late February/early March 2023.

After receiving a great response to the proposed upgrade designs (shown below), there are a few popular questions we can provide further clarity on…

Why is the larger car park area providing designated parking for cars with boat trailers?

Under the Victorian Boating Facility Design Guidelines, boat ramps located in rural areas are recommended to provide 20-30 car parks designated for cars with boat trailers (CTU) per boat ramp lane. The current setting offers approximately 30 CTU parks, Option 1 offers 27 and Option 2 offers 30.  

Is the larger car park area intended to be used exclusively for cars with boat trailer parking?

The proposed plans don’t intend to give exclusive use of the larger car park area to cars with boat trailers. Through community consultation we want to determine the best way to balance the needs of all user groups’, factoring in peak use times and understanding it is not feasible for car with boat trailers to park elsewhere in the area. 

Will there be parking restrictions for regular cars in the larger car park area?

There will be a continued use of parking restrictions during peak boating periods to ensure appropriate parking is available for cars with boat trailers. Currently parking is restricted to cars with boat trailers on weekends and public holidays between October and May. We are seeking community input on the most effective use of parking restrictions going forward. 

During 2022 we consulted with key stakeholders to better understand issues and areas for the upgrades and the following criteria have been developed to inform the designs: 

  • Improve the existing accessibility, circulation and movement of all users (pedestrian, vehicular, boat trailer) in the existing car park and adjoining areas
  • Maintain current capacity of the carpark if possible
  • Improve the general amenity for all users, with proposed improvements to:
    • reduce windblown sand
    • increase vegetation and shade
    • provide additional paved areas
    • add stairs for beach access
    • add board walk structures and seating
    • include an outdoor shower
    • increase the size of the fish cleaning table 
    • provide a DDA* compliant ramp (*The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 ensures public spaces are accessible to all members of the public)
  • Reduce risk associated with operational and user safety, e.g., separating café customers, dog walkers, Surf Coast Walk users, and boat launching and retrieval
  • Improve environmental outcomes through water sensitive urban design, drainage upgrades and installation of pollutant traps
  • Seal the car park and provide at least one DDA compliant beach access point (ramp) close to the boat ramp to deter pedestrian use of the boat ramp and improve accessibility. This will also facilitate separate access to the south of the ramp to formalise this access point, decrease windblown sand and facilitate revegetation of the dune
  • Consider a suitable path surface, crossings and access points for the Surf Coast Walk (including surface treatments for edges to improve landscape amenity)
  • Consider potential inclusion of a fish weight gantry and historic winch.

We are working closely with Better Boating Victoria, Surf Coast Shire, Salty Dog Café, Bomboras pop- up bar, Torquay Angling Club and Torquay Marine Rescue Service to inform the concept design.

The design stage of the project is funded by the Victorian Government and is part of the $18.197 million Great Ocean Road Visitor Experience Uplift grant to deliver improvements to the visitor experience along the iconic Great Ocean Road. The proposed designs are yet to be costed, and additional grant funding may need to be obtained for construction of all project elements. A staged delivery of works over multiple financial funding years may also be considered.