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.
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.
The Penguin Parade on 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.
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|
|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.
Cape Woolami Walk and The Pinnacles
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.
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.
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.
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!
Surf at Smiths Beach
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 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.
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
Wonthaggi State coal mine
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.
George Bass Coastal Walk
Click here for our separate blog on this amazing must do walk near Phillip Island.