Saturday, 28 January 2012

Phillip Island

Phillip Island is located approx 1.5 hours drive from Melbourne and is famous for its beaches, motor racing circuit and wildlife.

Penguin Parade

The highlight of any visit to the Island is the iconic Penguin Parade where you can watch the little penguins make their way across the beach heading towards their nesting areas after spending their day hunting in the ocean.

Penguin Parade
Tourism Victoria

Once upon a time, you could sit on the beach in the evening and the penguins would wander past quite close to you.  It was an amazing experience, but as crowds grew the need to protect the penguins and their habitat meant viewing platforms and walkways were constructed. Today there are a range of experiences that you can purchase including having a Park Ranger guide you to a private area to view the penguins on the beach (Ultimate Experience) or enjoying the penguins in the comfort of a Sky Box (VIP Experience) where you’ll also have fantastic views across the beach and help the Ranger count the penguins as they return for the night.

Sky Box
Phillip Island Nature Parks
Koala Conservation Centre

The Koala Conservation Centre is set up to show you how koalas live in the wild with very little human intervention. You can wander along an elevated boardwalk and see these amazing furry mammals in their natural habitat and have the opportunity to ask questions of the Rangers who manage the Centre.

There is also an interactive Visitor Centre where you can learn about the koala and purchase gifts from the gift shop.

Koala Conservation Centre

Churchill Island Heritage Farm

Churchill Island Heritage Farm provides insights into what life was like living on a farm in the early 1900’s. The farmhouse has been beautifully restored and there are a range of interesting outbuildings that give the impression that you’ve travelled back through time. You can also see a range of farm animals and beautiful views across to the mainland. For more information see our blog on Churchill Island Heritage Farm

Parks Victoria manage these 3 tourist attractions and you can purchase tickets individually or buy a 3 Parks pass which provides great value. See Phillip Island Nature Parks


The Nobbies Centre showcases Australian fur seals and the marine life of the Southern Oceans. Entry is free and there is a large cafe. information centre and gift shop. From the centre and boardwalks you can look across to Seal Rocks; a breeding ground for over 20,000 Australian Fur Seals.  

If you want to see the Seals up close you can organise a boat tour of Seal Rocks from a range of operators.

This attraction provides activities for people of all ages. Fish for a trout in the outdoor or indoor ponds and you can take your fish home with you or have it cooked and eat it for lunch. 

Take a walk around the Bush Tucker Trail and learn about the 22 varieties of bush tucker that are grown on the property. Paul Mannix and his family have re-vegetated the area with 22,000 trees which has converted pastures into an amazing natural bushland wonderland.

Or take a Tea Trail walk and pick leaves that you can later drink as tea with some lovely home-made wattleseed  scones. The licensed cafe also sells a range of products that are made from   the bush tucker or trout caught on the lake. We enjoyed a delicious smoked trout and smoked trout dip with some mountain pepper and chilli chutney.


Phillip Island has a range of beaches suitable for swimming, fishing and surfing.  Woolamai is the longest beach on the Island and the site of the only Surf Life Saving Club.  When visiting the beaches you should be aware that Australian beaches can be dangerous so you should always swim on a patrolled beach and between the flags. To learn more about  beach safety.

Cowes Beach

Cowes is a relatively calm beach and popular with families. Cowes is also home to the Island's main shopping strip with a range of specialty stores, supermarkets, pubs, restaurants and other stores.

Smiths Beach

Smiths Beach caters for both sufers and families and is located between Woolamai and Cowes.

Beach near Forrest Caves

Forrest Caves are part of eroding red basalt cliffs located between Woolamai and Surf Beach. You can wander through the caves at low tide and swim on the adjacent beach care should be taken as high waves and rips are common. 

Newhaven and San Remo (on the mainland) are popular for fishing.

National Vietnam Veterans Musuem

The Island is also home to the National Vietnam Veterans Musuem which has displays of photographs, memorabilia, vehicles and aircraft that detail the history of Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War from 1962 to 1972.

Phillip Island Racing Circuit

Celebrating 60 years in 2012 the Phillip Island Racing Circuit is home to car racing and motor bike racing drawing large crowds to the Island for major events.

Other regular activities include go carts, hot laps and team building. To learn more Phillip Island Racing Circuit

Phillip Island Chocolate Factory

Another popular attraction is Panny's Phillip Island Chocolate Factory where you can buy or taste Belgium chocolates and learn about chocolates in the Amazing World of Chocolates.

Phillip Island Wildlife Park

The Phillip Island Wildlife Park is set over 60 acres and home to more than 100 species of animals and birds. Its a little tired and in need of work but popular with visitors as you can feed a range of animals as you wander through the park.


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