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Phillip Island

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Phillip Island [7] is a large island at the mouth of Western Port Bay, located less than two hours drive from Melbourne in Victoria. Because of its proximity to the state capital, it's a popular weekend tourist destination, especially during the summer months. The island is separated from the mainland by just a channel and is connected by a bridge. It is part of the Bass Coast Shire of Gippsland.


Cowes is the main town on the island, and in addition there are other smaller towns such as Rhyll, Cape Woolamai, Ventnor (closest town to the Penguin Parade) and Newhaven. The principal source of income is tourism, and there are many cafes, restaurants etc. to cater to the appetites of the tourists.

The island is steeped in motorsport history. Australia's first ever international Grand Prix was held in 1924 on the original circuit comprising the still existing roads on Phillip Island. The annual Australian Grand Prix [8], an official round of the World MotoGP plus a round of the World Superbike (WBSK) is currently held at the 1950s purpose built Motor Racing Circuit [9], and draws a massive contingent of motor sport fans (colloqially known as "petrolheads") every year.

Get In[edit]

By car[edit]

  • Phillip Island is connected by bridge so you can drive there. A trip from Melbourne's CBD should take about 90 minutes along well maintained highways.


A range of companies offer tours of Phillip Island if you don't want to self drive. These typically include the Penguin Parade and a range of other wildlife experiences. [Grayline ], [APT ] and [AAT Kings ] all offer Big Bus tours down to the island daily. [Posh Penguins ] offers Private Tours down to to the island.

By bus[edit]

  • V/Line coach from Southern Cross Railway Station in Melbourne's CBD stops at San Remo, Newhaven, Cape Woolamai and Cowes daily. [10] Or phone 136 196
  • Bus from Cranbourne or Dandenong. Bus Timetable
  • Bus from Frankston. Bus Timetable

By ferry[edit]

Take the diesel train from Frankston to Stony Point and then take the ferry either directly to Phillip Island or via French Island. Stony Point Train Timetable

See[edit][add listing]

  • Penguin Parade, Summerland Beach (near the south western end of the island), [11]. At sunset the little penguins walk up from the sea to their nests. This is Philip Islannd's biggest attraction and is unmissable. Adult $20.60, child $10.30, family $51.50. ("Penguins Plus" offeres better seats and includes a free hot drink. There is no doubt you're closer to the action but the additional $16 may no be worth it for everyone. In winter or with bad weather "Penguins Plus" may be reduced by 20% - it's definitely worth it then) Note All viewing areas are unprotected from rain and wind. (The newer "Sky box" allows VIP treatment from the warmest seat in the house! The cost of $62 per adult means you get to enjoy penguin viewing with your very own ranger and in comfort. Children under 16 years are not allowed in the Skybox).

Your ranger will guide you through the penguin colony to the Skybox where you'll have fantastic views across the beach.

  • The Nobbies and Seal Rocks (near the southwestern end of the island, past the Penguin Parade). From the boardwalks here you can see penguins for free, as well as gull rookeries. You might even see a snake in the grass. The Seal Rocks are too far away to see much of the seals with the naked eye but you can look through the pay binoculars. If nothing else, there are fantastic the views of coastal scenery.
  • Koala Conservation Centre, At the centre you will see wild koalas in their natural habitat via a Koala Boardwork. You can also talk to the Rangers who look after the Koala's and manage this centre with is dedicated to koala conservation. There is also stroll through Australian bushland on the Woodland Boardwalk. Cost Adults (16yrs+) $10.80 Children (4-15yrs) $5.40 Located Phillip Island Rd.
  • A Maze'N Things (mini golf, a giant maze, and a 'hall of illusions')
  • Vietnam Veterans Museum, 5 Churchill Road South, Newhaven 03 5956 6400 [email protected], fax 03 5956 6406), [12]. M-F 10AM-4PM, Sa-Su 10AM-5PM. Dedicated to preserving and exhibiting memorabilia from Australia’s longest war. It is run by volunteers and does not have the quality of presentation of a big museum. There are over 5000 items though and there are videos playing. Go out the back to see the tank, helicopter, howitzer and vehicles. Entry by donation.
  • Churchill Island, Churchill Island is a working Heritage Farm that can be accessed from Phillip Island. The 57 heactare Island was originally inhabited by the Bunurong people with the first European inhabitants finding remains of canoes and fires. European settlement started when Lieutenant James Grant sailed the Lady Nelson to the island in 1801. He planted seeds he'd been provided, felled trees and built a hut making this the first European agricultral pursuit in Victoria. The Island forms part of the Churchill Island Marine National Park and is maintained by Parks Victoria. From an Indigenous cultural perspective Aborigianl middens and the remains of stone foundations are also preserved with the area of Western Port surrounding the island listed under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (RAMSAR Convention). Admission is $10 for adults, 5 for kids.
  • Rhyll. a small,pretty, peaceful fishing village located at the north-eastern tip of Phillip island.To the west of Rhyll is the Rhyll Inlet and Conservation Hill Reserve. This network of waterways and wetlands is a significant feeding and breeding area for resident and migratory birds. A pathway which features several sections of boardwalk extends along the coast from Rhyll's town centre and along the southern side of the inlet, then heads inland to the Rhyll Wetlands.  edit
  • Rhyll Trout and Bush Tucker Farm, 30 Rhyll-Newhaven Road Rhyll, +61 3 5956 9255, [1]. . A family-friendly and eco-friendly attraction where you can catch rainbow trout in a picturesque tree-lined lake and the all-weather indoor “Rainforest Pool.” Or walk the bush tucker trail. There's a cafe onsite who will also cook your fish for your lunch.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Cape Woolamai. There are several loops of walking tracks of various lengths. Doing all the walks might take up to 3 hours. Most of the cape is a huge mutton-bird or shearwater colony and the birds’ burrows are everywhere. There are few trees in much of the area but there is a section of regenerating bush. The first part of the walks is along the beach, starting near the lifesaving club.
  • Beaches. There are a large number of beaches (both sheltered beaches on the inland side and surf beaches on the ocean side of the island)
  • Scuba Diving. Phillip Island is home to some of the most spectacular scuba diving destinations in Victoria.
  • Phillip Island Helicopters, 03 5956 7316, [13]. Take a helicopter flight and see this fantastic Island from one of our new helicopters.
  • Phillip Island Chocolate Factory, 930 Phillip Island Rd Newhaven, +61 3 5956 6600, [2]. 9am to 5pm. A chocolate factory with a difference. Consists of a large retail store and cafe (free entry to both) and a paid tour of Pannys Amazing World of Chocolate. This consists of 6 rooms of interactive displays, games and exhibits all dedicated to chocolate. It includes the world's largest chocolate waterfall, robots that dispense chocolates and a squirl machine that creates chocolate patterns on a conveyor belt which can be eaten after they set. Every visitor gets a free chocolate on entry  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are many and varied accommodation options available for the visitor to Phillip Island. These range from hostel accommodation, caravan parks, motels to "bed and breakfast" and private short-term holiday home rental.

  • Cliff Top Boutique Accommodation, 1 Marlin St, Smiths Beach, VIC, +613 5952 1033, [3]. checkin: 3:30PM; checkout: 10:30AM. 130- 230.  edit
  • Phillip Island Waterfront House (Accommodation Phillip Island), 144 The Esplanade Surf Beach VIC (Drive onto Phillip Island, turn left on Dunvegan Cres then right onto The Esplanade.), +61 3 9005 5220, [4]. checkin: 3:00PM; checkout: 10:00AM. 199- 499. (-38.510042,145.290046) edit
  • Silverwater Resort (Phillip Island Accommodation), Silverwater Resort, Phillip Island Tourist Road,17 Potters Hill Road, SAN REMO VIC 3925 (Drive towards Phillip Island, travelling on the Phillip Island Tourist Road leads directly to the bridge, the Resort is up on the left about 2km before San Remo. If you get to San Remo or the bridge to Phillip Island, you have gone 2km too far.), +61 3 5671 9300, [5].  edit
  • Verandah Retreat, 3A Gordon Street, COWES, [6]. checkin: 2pm; checkout: 10am. Luxury accommodation 200m from Cowes Beach. Features open fireplace, hanging swing chair, WIFI + linen  edit

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