Phillip Island is famous for having the world’s smallest penguins (and therefore the cutest!) as well as Grand Prix glory. But there’s more to this little island just outside of Melbourne
than that! Expect all kinds of fascinating wildlife (hello seals!), gorgeous coastal scenery, brilliant clifftop walking trails and some fine surf on its shores. And you know what’s even better? It’s connected to the mainland by road! So get a road trip happening and book some Phillip Island accommodation below.
Cowes is the most obvious destie on Phillip Island, a fab spot to stay and the island’s commercial hub. This is where you’ll find the most famous sights, like the iconic Penguin Parade, where you can catch a glimpse of these gorgeous little creatures, as well as the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit Visitor Centre. Clearly no trip to Phillip Island is complete without checking out Cowes! But you can also check out the local museum, join a cruise, do a bit of shopping, swim on the protected foreshore, drop into a day spa or hit a round of golf around Cowes. It really goes off in holiday season.
Rhyll and Ventnor are also fab spots just six kilometres either side of Cowes. Cute little seaside villages, they put you on the cusp of the action but with all the peace and quiet an island escape requires! They also have lovely calm beaches for swimming. Rhyll is a bit more secluded though, and set near the scenic Ryhll Inlet. You can explore it along the mangrove boardwalk around the inlet, where you’ll likely spot pelicans, black swans, gulls and ibis.
Away from Cowes, Newhaven is the gateway to the island for those arriving by road – and the views around the bridge are quite pretty! You can catch a few waves here, picnic on the shores, and get stuck into a few shops (because who could resist?). This is also the best spot to explore historic little Churchill Island, home to the National Vietnam Veterans Museum and a perfectly timed café stop – either drive over the bridge or paddle across the water! Also just up the road is Cape Woolamai, a famous surf destie! An absolute must in Newhaven though is the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory – the perfect souvenir.
Back on the mainland, on the opposite side of the bridge to Newhaven, San Remo is a great little authentic fishing village and puts you just as close to the Phillip Island sites. It’s a fab spot to either buy fresh seafood and indulge in sea views, or catch your own by joining a fishing charter or throwing a line off the jetty. There’s also a drop dead gorgeous walking trail from San Remo to Kilcunda, the George Bass Coastal Walk, which winds past breathtaking views of deserted beaches, sweeping bays and an old quarry.
Getting to Phillip Island
Phillip Island is about an-hour-and-forty minutes from the Melbourne CBD
if you drive all the way around through San Remo and Newhaven. If you’d prefer to make it a ‘real’ island experience though, you can also get the ferry from Crib Point on the Mornington
, which is just an hour from the CBD.
Phillip Island is a brilliant spot for wildlife sightings, has some totally gorgeous scenery, and is full of bustling seaside vibes that come with great swimming and surfing. It’s also a historic piece of Victoria
! So whether you come for the penguins, the Grand Prix, or just to escape the city life, you’ll love every corner of Phillip Island. Suss out our hotels in Phillip Island and get your buddies in for the ride!
Image credit Madeleine Holland
under Creative Commons