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Australian National Surfing Museum Torquay, Victoria

Australia’s largest surf and beach culture museum. The first fully accredited surfing museum in the world.

The Australian National Surfing Museum in Torquay celebrates the story of Australian surfing. It also charts Australia's significant contribution to the development of surfing around the world. Through colourful and exciting permanent displays and temporary exhibitions the ANSM commemorates Australia's fantastic surfing heritage and rich beach culture.

Contact Information

location
77 Beach Road Torquay Victoria 3228 (map)
phone
+61 (03) 5261 4606

Contact

Opening Hours

Open 9.00am - 5.00pm 7 days a week (closed Christmas day)

Entry Fee

$8.00 students/concession $12.00 adults $25.00 families

Location

77 Beach Road Surf City Plaza Surfcoast Highway Torquay Victoria

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This collection is owned and managed by the Australian National Surfing Museum and is based in Torquay, Australia’s surfing capital. The museum came about through the vision of Peter Troy who along with his surfing friends Vic Tantau and Alan Reid drove the idea forward, supported by Surfing Australia, the Torquay surfing industry, local businesses and the Geelong Regional Commission. The museum opened its doors in December 1993. The collection documents over 100 years of the Australian surfing story and commemorates Australia's surfing heritage and rich beach culture. It also charts Australia's significant contribution to the development of surfing around the world. The collection includes artifacts and memorabilia relating to many surfing themes: surfboards, clothing, historical images, surf movies and music, and archival materials.

Significance

This collection documents and preserves for future generations, the history and culture of surfing, one of Australia’s most popular sports and recreations. It also charts Australia's significant contribution to the development of surfing around the world. The collection is a key resource for the activities of the Australian National Surfing Museum, recognized by the International Surfing Association as a one of the world’s most significant centres of world surfing heritage.

Rod Worthington 15 November 2018 9:12 AM

I was looking for the CREST logo that Bruen Finey had put on his longboards when he had his own business. Thanks. Rod

Craig Baird 15 November 2018 9:16 AM

Hi Rod, I am unfamiliar with that manufacturer or label. Perhaps you could try www.surfresearch.com that has a manufacturers index. Cheers,

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70 items

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70 items

Book - Early Surf Safaris

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Brown Tudor 100 sheet duplicate book. top copy of each page has been removed, duplicate pages remain

Historical information

Snowy McAlister's stories collected for newspaper articles he wrote?

Inscriptions & Markings

Snowy McAlister's handwritten stories - Surfing Safaris, Surfers and where you find 'em, Learners Pens, Back Loading, Surfing with Snow, Birth of Australian Surfing, Birth of Australian Surfing, A Pleasant

Book - Gidget

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Soft cover book, aqua wash artwork featuring colour photograph of Kathy Kohnner Zuckerman (aka the real Gidget) wearing an orange one piece swimsuit holding a malibu surfboard on cover.

Historical information

GIDGET was written by Frederick Kohner the father of the real Gidget, Kathy Kohner Zuckerman. The book is based on Kathy's experiences as a 15 year old girl at Malibu Beach, Southern California during the summer of 1957 discovering Moondoggie, the Big Kahuna and surfing. The book was made into a highly succesful feature film of the same name, released in 1959 with Sandra Dee playing the star role of Gidget.

Significance

GIDGET is socially and culturally significant because it was one of the first mainstream books to explore the surfing sub-culture of Southern California. The book was made into a feature film which played a significant role in popularising the surfing sub-culture around the world.

Inscriptions & Markings

Main title GIDGET on cover. One line testimonials at the top of the book cover. Publishers logo on spine. Barcode on back of book. Inside cover personally signed by Kathy Kohner Zuckerman.

Photograph - Rabbit wave ride, 1977 Stubbies Contest, Gold Coast

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Black and white photograph of Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew free surfing at the 1977 Stubbies Contest held at Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast.

Photograph - MR and Rabbit Check Out The Sheets

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Black and white photograph with chemical discolouration across top.

Historical information

Professional surfers from Australia Mark Richards (centre) and Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew (right) scrutinize judges tally sheets, possibly at Bells Beach in Victoria.

Significance

Rare photograph featuring MR and 'Rabbit' two of the world's most competitive surfers during the seventies read what appears to be a judges tally sheet.

Photograph - Jack McCoy and Lightning Bolt Surfboard

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Black and white photograph of surf film maker Jack McCoy holding a Lightning Bolt surfboard.

Historical information

Jack McCoy is a famous surfer and surf film maker from Hawaii. In this photograph he can be seen holding a brand new Lightning Bolt single fin surfboard.

Significance

Jack McCoy is recognised as one of the world's great surf film makers.During the seventies Lighting Bolt were one of the most famous surfboard companies in the world. The fact both 'were' born in Hawaii makes this photograph interesting and significant.

Inscriptions & Markings

Lightning Bolt logo on surfboard

Photograph - Reno Abellira Holding Twin Fin Surfboard

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Black and white photograph of Hawaiian surfer Reno Abellira holding the tail of a twin fin surfboard.Abellira is wearing an O'Neil full length wetsuit.

Historical information

Reno Abellira was one of the top surfers to come out of Hawaii during the seventies. He was noted for his speed and style on the wave culminating in success on the early professional surfing circuit. The twin fin fin surfboard was a natural progression from the single fin and one of the most popular types of surfboard ridden during the mid-seventies.

Significance

Reno Abellira was one of Hawaii's top surfers and one if its first professional surfers during the seventies. This rare photograph shows Reno holding his 'tools in trade' a twin fin surfboard.

Inscriptions & Markings

O'Neill logo on wetsuit

Photograph - Peter Townend and three surfboards

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Colour photograph

Historical information

This is a rare colour photograph of Australian surfer Peter Townend in Hawaii with three of his surfboards from his World Championship Year, 1976. Townend shaped the two surfboards he is holding.

Significance

Two of the three surfboards Peter Townend is holding appeared on the cover of American surfing magazines - SURFER vol 15 #5, January 1975 and SURFER vol 18 #1, May 1977.

Book - The Encyclopedia of Surfing

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Colour photograph on the cover featuring backlit surfer riding a longboard.

Historical information

The most concise encyclopedia of surfing produced to 2004 featuring over 1500 entries from the world of surfing including places, people, events, gear, culture and terminology. Illustrated with over 300 photographs plus a comprehensive surfing bibiography, discography and filmography.

Significance

One of the most significant surfing books ever produced. Broad and concise coverage of surfing and surf culture by Matt Warshaw, former editor of SURFER magazine

Inscriptions & Markings

Book title and author's name

Programme - 1970 Fifth World Surfboard Riding Championships, Bells Beach, Victoria

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Colour cover depicts an aqua/white background with a surfer going left. Text in black and red.

Historical information

This souvenir program from the 1970 World Surfboard Riding Championships at Bells Beach, Australia includes information about the contest, organisers, Bells Beach and competing surf teams from around the world.

Significance

The 1970 World Titles were the first international surfing event held in Victoria and the first international surfing contest to be held at the world famous Bells Beach. The contest was shrouded in controversy from day one with poor surf, drug busts and other inappropriate behaviour from competitors.

Photograph - Gary Birdsall 'Midway', Cronulla 1959

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Black and white photograph of Sydney surfer, Gary Birdsall leaning against a car with his back facing the ocean at 'Midway' Cronulla Beach, Sydney.

Historical information

This photo by Jack Eden shows Gary Birdall leaning against his car at Cronulla Beach in 1959. Gary was a favourite with photographers during this period. A photograph of him charging huge Cronulla Point featured on the cover of The Atlantics record BOMBORA.

Significance

This photograph is of natiuonal significance showcasing one of the most talented young surfers to come out of Cronulla in the early sixties. Gary Birdsall competed in many of the first surfing contests around Australia and today is an accomplished artist.

VHS Movie - The Green Iguana

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

VHS surf movie with colour cover art featuring Mark Occhilupo surfing and a green Iguana.

Historical information

The Green Iguana is one of the most creative surf films ever featuring Australian surfers Mark Occhilupo, Luke Egan, 'Munga' Barry and 'Margo'. All Australian soundtrack by the best independent bands of the time and stunning cinematography by Jack McCoy made this a cult classic when it was released in 1992.

Significance

One of the most influential surf films of the nineties by world renowned surf film maker Jack McCoy.

Inscriptions & Markings

Sponsors name in title.

Photograph - Surfboat at Bondi Beach 1923

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Black and white photograph

Historical information

Surfboats have played an important role in saving lives on Australian beaches since the early 1900's. This boat at the famous Bondi Beach can be seen riding a wave to the beach with the standard five man crew. Many early Australian surfers were members of Surf Life Saving Clubs regularly riding the waves in surfboats, surf ski's and other surf rescue craft.

Significance

Rare image of an Australian surfboat riding a wave at one of Australia's most iconic surf beaches in Sydney during the 1920's.

Inscriptions & Markings

'Donated by John Pettigrove' on the back

Book - MP - the life of Michael Peterson

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Soft cover book featuring a photograph by Marty Tullemans of Michael Peterson with one of his surfboards under his arm. Quote from Kelly Slater. 342 pages.

Historical information

For three years during the 1970's, 'MP' was the best surfer in the world, winning every surfing contest he entered. MP was an enigmatic competitor and master surfboard shaper during this significant period of growth and opportunity in Australian surfing.

Significance

This biography tells the story of one of the most dynamic surfer/shapers in Australia during the 1970's. His contribution to world surfing is significant in both the contest arena and the shaping bay.

Inscriptions & Markings

ISBN - 978 0 7322 8588 3

Musical Instrument - Snowy McAlister's Ukelele

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Handcrafted Hawaiian, Kumalae ukelele, light brown in colour,missing one of the four original tuning knobs.

Historical information

This ukelele was owned by Snowy McAlister one of the most famous surfers to come out of the Manly surf scene during the 20th century. Snowy won eleven surfboard 'display' contests in Sydney and Newcastle from 1923-1936 including the first 'Australian Championship at Manly Beach in 1924.

Significance

This ukelele belonged to one of the most influential surfers during the 20th century. It was made by Jonah Kumalae of Hawaii during the early part of the 20th century. It represents the connection between surfing and music as personified by this musical instrument made popular in Hawaii during this period.

Inscriptions & Markings

Kumalae logo on the top of the neck of the ukelele.

Book - Layne Beachley - Beneath the Waves

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Colour cover with a close up photographic image of a smiling Layne Beachley paddling into a wave.

Historical information

Authorised biography on Australia's Layne Beachley the most successful female surfer in the history of the sport. This book follows her story as she strives to overcome the obstacles of injury, chronic fatigue and family tragedy to achieve success in the male dominated sport of surfing.

Significance

The first biography on seven times, World Surfing Champion Layne Beachley, one of the most succesful female athletes in the history of modern sport. Written by award winning journalist and surfer Michael Gordon.

Inscriptions & Markings

Book title, author name.

Brochure - Bobby Brown Contest 1969

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

One page sheet folded to make a 4 page brochure. Black and white photograph of Bobby Brown on the front page.

Inscriptions & Markings

List of sponsors names on back page.

Photograph - 1958 Wanderers Surfboard Rally, Long Reef Beach

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Black and white photograph of surfboard sign on Pittwater Road, north of Dee Why, Sydney.

Historical information

Photograph showing early promotion for the first surfboard contest (rally) in Sydney in 1958. A surfboard has been used to create a unique roadside sign promoting the contest at Long Reef in the winter of 1958.

Significance

This photograph is a rare example of early promotion for Sydney surfing contests.

Video Clip - Torquay Surf Beach Family Movies

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Black and white 8mm home movie transferred to VHS and digitised to AVI file. Duration - 1 minute and 16 seconds.

Historical information

This home movie features people enjoying summer by the beach. It was filmed at Torquay Surf Beach, Torquay, Victoria circa 1947. The last shots of the film show a surfer riding a hollow wooden plywood surfboard to the beach and stepping off onto the sand.

Significance

Torquay Surf Beach was a macca for surfers in post-war Victoria. This is one of the earliest movies to show surfing at Torquay and in Victoria. It also features very early images of the Torquay Surf Life Saving Club which is the oldest in Victoria.

Inscriptions & Markings

Museum logo at the start of the video clip.

Magazine - Surfer Magazine Vol.3 No. 3 1962

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Colour cover featuring cartoon of a surfer by Rick Griffin. Inside magazine 52 pages of black and white text and photographs.

Historical information

The first SURFER magzazine to feature Murphy a cartoon creation by Rick Griffin on the cover.

Significance

SURFER was one of the first international surfing magzines. Created by John Severson the magazine is still in print today. The cartoon on the cover is drawn by Californian artist Rick Griffin who during the sixties and seventies was one of the most influential artists in the world of surfing and later music. This issue was also one of the first international surf magazines to feature images of Midget Farrelly surfing Hawaii and the first pictorial on New Zealand.

Inscriptions & Markings

Surfer logo on the cover

DVD Movie - Surfing 50 States

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Colour cover art of an American flag over a sand, movie title and colour photograph of Johnno and Stefan with the infamous Hurley Van.

Historical information

Cult Australian surf travel documentary made by Stefan Hunt and Jonno Durrant as they endeavour to surf 50 states of the United States of America in 50 days (32 without an ocean). Music by Spiderbait, The Wahas and many more. World Premier at the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace, Cremorne, Sydney on 15th October, 2008.

Significance

On of the most popular independent surf travel documentaries ever made. Unique insight into surfing and popular culture.

Inscriptions & Markings

Movie title, one line synopsis

DVD Movie - Morning Of The Earth

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Black text on red with iconic black and white photograph of Michael Petersen cutback.

Historical information

Morning Of The Earth tells the fantasy of three exotic lands: Bali, Hawaii and Australia, where surfers made their own houses, surfboards and lived in harmony with nature. Featuring Nat Young, Terry Fitzgerald, Gerry Lopez, Stephen Cooney, David Treloar and Michael Petersen. The movie soundtrack featured Terry Hannigan, Taman Shud, Brian Cadd , G. Wayne Thomas and many others. The film premiered at the Manly Silver Screen Theatre in 1972.

Significance

Described by many as the greatest surf film ever made in Australia and one of the most influential surf films ever made, Albert Falzon's stunning surf footage captured the spirit of a timeless period in Australian surf history.

Inscriptions & Markings

Film title, Jonas Mekas quote.

DVD Movie - Evolution

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Black and white photograph on cover of Wayne Lynch cutback.

Historical information

Evolution captures Australian surfing at a pivotal moment in 1969 when the shortboard revolution was in full swing. The old long board era was to be consigned to history as Wayne Lynch, Nat Young and Ted Spencer re-wrote the surfing rule book on a 1969 world tour. Music soundtrack by Taman Shud and Tully.

Significance

This film had a significant influence on world surfing when it as released. The surfing images of Lynch, Young and Spencer had a profound influence on the way that surfers rode waves and the surfing equipment they used. The film remains a true reflection on a pivitol moment in surfing history.

Inscriptions & Markings

Classification (G), movie title and synopsis

DVD Movie - Bustin' Down The Door

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Cover photograph of Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew hand raised with inset image of Mark Richards surfing Sunset Beach.

Historical information

Feature length surf documentary which looks at events leading up to the clash between Hawaiian surfers and Australian surfers on the North Shore of Oahu in the early seventies. Includes interviews with Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew, Shaun Tomson, Mark Richards, Peter Townend, Ian Cairns and others.

Significance

Award winning documentary that focused on a pivotal moment in world surfing history as Australian and other surfers strove to 'bust down the door' in the surfing Mecca of Hawaii.

Inscriptions & Markings

Certification (M) and Madman logo

DVD Movie - The History of Australian Surfing

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Colour cover art including barrel background and images of surfing and beach culture forming the films titles.

Historical information

In 1984 Nat Young released his ground breaking documentary The History of Australian Surfing. This DVD of that film tells the story of the evolution of surfing in Australia from its origin in Sydney through to the development of wooden, fibreglass and short surfboards. The film features footage of Australia's greatest surfers including Midget Farrelly, Mark Richards, Tom Carroll, Wayne Lynch and many more.

Significance

Groundbreaking documentary that for the first time attempted to tell the unique history of Australian surfing on film.

Inscriptions & Markings

Distributors logo

DVD Movie - Storm Riders

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Cover artwork of film poster featuring film title, surfing images and faces of featured surfers.

Historical information

Feature length surf film described as one of the slickest and most professional ever made featuring the worlds top surfers Mark Richards, Gerry Lopez, Simon Anderson plus Wayne Lynch and many more. The film featured a rocking soundtrack with music by The Doors, Australian Crawl, Split Enz, The Church, Sunnyboys and many more. Special features on this DVD include the cult short surf film KONG's ISLAND.

Significance

One of the best surf films to be made in the eighties featuring outstanding cinematography by Jack McCoy including Big Bells in 1981. The film broke box offices records around Australia during its theatrical screening.

Inscriptions & Markings

Film Title , 25th Anniversary Special Edition

DVD Movie - The Endless Summer

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Colour art of the cover featuring surfers holding longboards against a setting sun.

Historical information

The ultimate surfing adventure as Robert August and Michael Hynson travel around the globe in search of the perfect wave.

Significance

Iconic surf film by Bruce Brown that led to a significant increase in interest of surfing world wide. THE ENDLESS SUMMER was initially released on 16mm during 1964 receiving world wide acclaim. The film was re-released in 1966 with a new 35mm print and mainstream theatrical release. The film was hugely popular in the USA, Australia and Europe becoming one of the most popular surf films of all time.

Inscriptions & Markings

Movie Titles

DVD Movie - First Love

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

DVD cover features a colour photograph of the three stars of the film, Jess Laing, Nikki Van Dijk and India Payne.

Historical information

FIRST LOVE tells the story of three passionate young girls from Phillip Island who aspire to make a career out of surfing. The film stars Jess Laing, Nikki Van Dijk, India Payne. Also appearing Stephanie Gilmore, Coco Ho and Alana Blanchard.

Significance

The first feature length Australian surf film which tells the story of a group of young female surfers. The film has screened at a number of major film festivals and won two major awards at the X-Dance Film Festival in 2011.

Inscriptions & Markings

Rip Curl Logo, film festival logos

Magazine - Shred Betty

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Full colour A4 gloss magazine with a feature photograph of Serena Brooke on the cover

Historical information

SHRED BETTY was the first surfing magazine in Australia dedicated to female surfers. The magazine features articles and interviews with Layne Beachley, Zane Harrison and colour photographs of key female surfers of the time.

Significance

First female surfing magazine in Australia and one of the first in the world. The magazine only ran for three issues but laid the groundwork for future all-female surfing magazines during the first decade of the twenty first century.

Inscriptions & Markings

Shred Betty, Volume 1, Issue 1 (1998)

Photograph - Lorne surfers 1920

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Black and white photograph

Historical information

This photograph shows Louis Whyte from Geelong and friends on Lorne Beach in 1920 holding two redwood timber surfboards. In the background can be seen the Lorne foreshore.

Significance

One of the earliest group photographs of surfers in Victoria. The surfboards and surfers are believed to be the first in Victoria.

Photograph - Louis Whyte surfing Lorne 1920

Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay

Black and white photograph of Louis Whyte riding a wave at Lorne in 1920 on a solid redwood timber surfboard.

Historical information

This photograph shows Louis Whyte from Geelong riding a solid redwood timber surfboard at Lorne Beach in Victoria, Australia. Whyte travelled to Hawaii in 1919 spending 6 months at Waikiki learning how to surf. He purchased 4 solid redwood timber surfboards on the beach at Waikiki and brought them back to Australia. Whyte is the first documented surfer in Victoria.

Significance

One of the earliest photographs of a surfer riding a wave in Victoria.

Inscriptions & Markings

None