Phillip Island is located 125km southeast of Melbourne
and is a fabulous holiday destination with many attractions. This popular island is just a short drive across The Narrows from San Remo and is known for its beautiful sandy beaches and coastal scenery, fur seal colony, little penguins, koala conservation centre and Grand Prix Circuit.
Cowes is an ideal place to base yourselves, as it offers most of the accommodation options and is the hub of the island. There are plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants and the centre of town is usually bustling with activity, particularly in the warmer months and school holidays. Cowes Beach on the Esplanade is just gorgeous and the calm aqua waters offer a safe swimming environment, perfect for families. The Cowes Jetty attracts many fishermen trying their luck, with scenic views back to the foreshore. Flathead is a common catch in these waters. A cruise booking office for the seal colony is also located on the foreshore.
Cowes West Beach
is located directly behind the Cowes Caravan Park. Accessible to both park guests and the general public this is a beautiful beach with calm shallow waters. Dogs are permitted here off lead and also allowed at the caravan park.
Ventnor Beach, just west of Cowes, is a quiet and secluded beach suitable for fishing and swimming in the protected waters. This beach is an off-lead exercise beach for dogs and is an ideal spot for pet owners to give their animals some freedom away from the crowds.
Smiths Beach on the southern coast of the island is a popular surf and swim beach attracting crowds in the summer. The picturesque beach is bordered by prominent headlands and has a wheelchair access ramp. Dogs are permitted here strictly on lead.
Surfies Point, as the name suggests, is another of Phillip Island’s surf beaches with fabulous southern coastal views from the lookout point. This is a less crowded beach for surfies to enjoy.
Woolamai Surf Beach at the eastern end of the island is blessed with scenic headland to the south and pumping waves for the surfies. This long stretch of beach has a surf club and kiosk and is patrolled by lifeguards. Dogs are prohibited.
Pyramid Rock South Coast Lookout offers stunning views of coastal cliffs and headlands, with a prominent pyramid shaped rock formation lying just off the point. Bright yellow and pink flowers teamed with green ground cover and rocky headlands make a delightful picture against the brilliant blue ocean.
The Nobbies Centre
at the far western-most point of Phillip Island at Summerlands, is a viewing centre for the Australian Fur Seal colony
1.5km offshore. You can zoom in across the Bass Strait to the Seal Rocks and watch these intriguing marine creatures in action. The coastal headlands here are a Penguin and Seabird nesting habitat and a boardwalk winds its way through the breeding ground to a naturally formed Blowhole and Archway. The rugged coastline is incredibly scenic with brilliant yellow and pink blooms bursting on the hillsides. Entry to the Nobbies Centre and boardwalk is free, however costs apply to use the viewing apparatus. Opening times are from 10am during summer and 11am during the remainder of the year.
The Penguin Parade in Summerlands begins each evening at sunset as the Little Penguins return from a big day out feeding and cross the beach to return to their colony. Theses penguins cannot be seen without participating in the guided tour, which starts from $10 per child and $20 per adult. Many different tour options are available and can be booked at the Penguin Parade Visitor Centre which is open daily between 10am and 3pm. Photography is prohibited to protect the penguins.
The Koala Conservation Centre in Rhyll operates a koala breeding program to manage the diminishing koala population the region is facing. A koala proof fence provides a safe habitat for a select few breeders and segregates them from the free range koalas in the surrounding woodlands. A tree-top boardwalk winds through the koala sanctuary where visitors can see these gorgeous native marsupials up close. Many other native Australian fauna also inhabit the woodlands, however touching of the animals is prohibited. Entry fees apply and the centre is open daily from 10am to 5pm.
The Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on Back Beach Rd is another of the islands major attractions. Not only is this track famous for the Moto GP, V8 Supercars and World Superbikes, but it holds many other events throughout the year. When the track is quiet visitors are welcome to enter the track for a fee and take a guided tour of the place where Australian road racing began, race go-karts or race around the track in hot laps. The track is open daily from 9am to 5pm.
The Phillip Island Chocolate Factory in Newhaven is a chocolate lover’s paradise. The factory is open daily from 9am and offers free samples, factory tours, make your own chocolate, indulge at the chocolate café and choose from a huge range of chocolate delights to take with you. Now isn’t that sweet.
Across the bridge at San Remo, on the Marine Parade foreshore, is pelican feeding at 12pm daily. Fish carcasses are supplied by the local fishermen and volunteers have been feeding the birds for over 20 years, it’s a fabulous tourist attraction. Giant Stingrays often come along for a feed too. If you’re feeling hungry after all the action the Fisherman’s Co-Op is right on the foreshore and offers fresh seafood and fish ‘n’ chips.
Phillip Island is such a beautiful place with so much to explore in a small area and so close to Melbourne. No need to travel far and wide to get a variety in your holiday experience. Philip Island has the beaches, the scenery, the wildlife and the action all on one island.
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Destinations in Victoria
Great Ocean Road
Return from Phillip Island to Victoria