Phillip Island Sand Sculpture

things to Do on Phillip Island this weekend



Escape Melbourne this weekend! Phillip Island is a small island connected to the main land by a bridge just under 2 hours’ drive from Melbourne in the state of Victoria. Home to the famous Penguin Parade, there’s so much to see and do on this tiny Island. Coastal walks and surf beaches await. Great restaurants and iconic Australian animals to see. There’s even a mini island off Phillip Island. This is called Churchill Island and is the top place to see koalas in the wild in Victoria.

Quick Index

echidna vs wallaby Philip Island Only1invillage


How to Get to Phillip Island

Phillip Island is best explored by car and on foot when you’re there. Public transport options are not great. You can get tours from Melbourne, but you won’t get a real feel for the place in one day. Buses will get you to the main towns, but then you’ll have to use taxis.

Melbourne to Philip Island map is a 2 hour drive Only1invillage
Phillip Island is a 2 hour drive from Melbourne. It can be a day trip, but, you’ll only catch a glimpse of the place. Better to stay a few days.


The Penguin Parade on Phillip Island

Penguin at home on Philip Island Only1invillage
A famous penguin coming in after sunset on Phillip Island. The Penguin parade is a nightly spectacle of returning penguins from the ocean onto the beach at Phillip Island.

This is the most visited attraction in the whole of Phillip Island. Viewing platforms enable you to watch this evening spectacle of cuteness. Every evening, fairy penguins head in from the sea without fail and waddle onto the sand and to their homes amongst the rocks and sand. The viewing of the tiny little birds has become so popular that there is a limit of people, each day and you must book your day in advance.

3 parks pass savings Philip Island Only1invillage
The 3 parks pass lets you see the penguin parade, the koala conservation centre and the Churchill Island heritage farm.

Prices start from Au$27.25 per adult. You can buy various packages and save when you see other Phillip Island attractions. These are the koala conservation centre and the Churchill Heritage Farm. In our opinion it is very worth it. See below if you buy separately. You must book your Penguin Parade day, but the other two site are valid for 6 months from date of purchase.

attraction attraction cost if you buy separately You save with a 3 Parks Pass
Penguin Parade 27.25  
Koala Conservation Centre 13.50  
Churchill Island Heritage Farm 13.50  
  54.25 (total of 3 above) 8.05

OK so you save AU$8, better than a kick in the …….don’t you think?!


Koala conservation centre Rhyll

Enjoy a lovely walk amongst typical Australian bushland and look up to the tree tops. This is the place to see koalas on Philip Island. It’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll see three or four on your boardwalk stroll. You can buy a separate ticket or you can enter as part of the “3 parks pass”. These iconic cute fur balls are just adorable.

cute koalas koala conservation centre Philip Island Only1invillage
OMG cute koalas are everywhere at the koala conservation centre on Phillip Island.


Cape Woolami Walk and The Pinnacles

The Pinaccles in Philip Island on the Cape Woolami walk Only1invillage
The Pinnacles on the Cape Woolamai Loop Walk. There’s pinnacles all over Australia!

A stunning coastal walk taking in rugged landscapes and a granite quarry! This is a very windy walk, being coastal, but very rewarding. On our walk we saw an echidna and a wallaby. It’s a medium grade walk and should take about 3 hours to do the whole loop. This is the one which takes in The Beacon.

Panoramic view towards the ocean near the Old Granite Quarry, Cape Woolamai Walk, Philip Island Only1invillage
Panoramic view towards the ocean near the Old Granite Quarry, Cape Woolamai Walk, Phillip Island.
spectacular scenery on the Cape Woolami walk Only1invillage
The spectacular rugged coastal scenery on the Cape Woolamai Walk. It’s windy!
Cape Woolamai walk Philip Island Only1invillage
Cape Woolami takes in the ocean and cliff views. Phillip Island is an island off the south east of Melbourne.
Granite Bay Cape Woolamai walk Philip Island Only1invillage
Granite Bay. Don’t let C get too close, she’ll want it for the kitchen!


Nobbies Walk

The Nobbies rocks Philip Island Only1invillage
The Nobbies are cobblestone rocks which act as an important breeding ground for Australian Fur seals. Spot them here on Phillip Island.

This is a lovely boardwalk of 1 km in length to see some fantastic rugged coastline from the Nobbies Centre. The Nobbies themselves are a collection of rocks, which provide an important breeding ground for Australian Fur seals. Yes, first you didn’t think Australia has penguins and now seals?!! As you stroll along the boardwalk to see the blowhole and hopefully the seals, there is also a majestic carpet of wildflowers.

pretty wildflowers near the Nobbies Philip Island Only1invillage
A pretty carpet of flowers covers the conservation area near The Nobbies. You can view this from the boardwalk.
Nobbies boardwalk is windy Philip Island Only1invillage
The Nobbies walk is a lovely stroll along a boardwalk. It’s very windy though!


Chocolate Factory

Penguin chocoalte display 100 per cent chocolate chocolate factory Philip Island Only1invillage
This display is 100 % chocolate! A fascinating insight into everything chocolate at the Chocolate Factory on Phillip Island. If you have a sweet tooth, don’t miss this place.

A very enjoyable and informative place where you get to make your own chocolate. The highly prized cacao bean has been elevated to its rightful place as the number 1 ingredient for chocolate lovers.

CHocolate factory Philip Island great displays prizes to be won Philip Island only1invillage
The Chocolate Factory brings in bus loads of excited tourists. Tour the facilities, witness some amazing displays and make your own chocolate creation! This whole display, apart from the train, is made from chocolate!


Churchill Island Heritage Farm

If you have your 3 parks pass you are obviously coming here to Churchill Island. It is a fascinating glimpse into history and settler life. You have the whole island to yourself to walk around. You can even bring your bike along for the ride!

Inside a historical house on Churchill Island Philip Island Only1invillage
Inside a historical house on Churchill Island.


Surf at Smiths Beach

Smiths Beach Philip Island Only1invillage
Smiths Beach is a great surf and family beach with a lovely crescent shape.

One of many lovely relaxing beaches on Phillip Island. This is a popular surf beach and has some prime real estate just metres back from the beach. The sand is 1 kilometre long and it draws surfers because of its consistent wave quality. Children can explore the awesome rock pools at low tide. These are located at either end of the beach. During high tide, snorkellers can enjoy the rock pools too. Something for everyone! Toilets and cold outdoor showers are available here.


Stroll along Cowes Beach

Cowes Beach Phillip Island Only1invillage
Cowes Beach Phillip Island is a calm and wide family friendly beach. Perfect for a stroll along the beach or the impressive walking track behind the beach. Make sure you check our the pier as well. This is the place boats depart for the seal colony at Nobbies.

Cowes is the main town of Phillip Island. It has plenty of accommodation, shops and places to eat. Eating options range from fish and chips to fine dining and wine bars. The beaches on this side of the island are sheltered and family friendly. 


Rhyll Inlet Walk 1.5 hours return

A gentle walk starting with flat boardwalk, suitable for all ages. The Rhyll Inlet walk is a great opportunity for bird spotting along the boardwalk. There are many places to start this walk. You can start at Conservation Hill, mangrove boardwalk or Harbison Road carpark at Oswin Roberts Reserve.

Outlook from Conservation Hill overlooking the Rhyll Inlet Philip Island Only1invillage
Get good views of the Rhyll Inlet from Conservation Hill on the Rhyll Inlet Walk, Phillip Island.

Now if you fit this all in on one weekend, we’ll be amazed!

The next three places are not strictly on Phillip Island, but are nearby and you can make a separate weekend to do these.


San Remo Coastal Walk 1 Hour return walk 4kms

San Remo Coastal Walk near Philip Island Only1invillage
San Remo Coastal Walk near Phillip Island. Prepare to get your feet wet. There’s sand, gravel, stones, stairs and concrete path along this walk!


Wonthaggi State coal mine

Ride the coal mine train from deep underground at Wonthaggi State Coal Mine before Philip Island Only1invillage
Big and little kids get to ride the coal train! Wonthaggi State Coal Mine runs underground tours twice a day. The above grounds are all free for you to explore at your leisure.


This place is fantastic. Completely run by knowledgable volunteers who will give you the full mine tour. Go underground and get dirty! Just kidding, it’s very clean. The guides are fantastic and on the day we went, our guide had us in stitches with his anecdotes. You also get to ride on a coal train. Now all the big kids in you…steady on.

Underground tours run twice a day and are very informative and entertaining. Wonthaggi State Coal Mine was operational until 1968. Don't go if you don't like confined dark spaces Only1invillage
Underground tours run twice a day and are very informative and entertaining. Wonthaggi State Coal Mine was operational until 1968. Don’t go if you don’t like confined dark spaces.

George Bass Coastal Walk

Click here for our separate blog on this amazing must do walk near Phillip Island.



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