Located approximately 140 kilometres south of Melbourne, Phillip Island has become a flourishing island getaway for Victorian locals and international travellers alike. Considered to be one of Australia’s top natural attractions, Phillip Island covers an area of around 10,000 hectares and measures roughly 26 kilometres in length and 9 kilometres in width, at its widest point. The Island boasts a mild climate, a landscape of flat countryside and a main town known as Cowes. Reputedly known as a superb traveller’s destination, Phillip Island has a permanent population of approximately 6000, but is astonishingly visited by over three million visitors each year.
Thought to originally be occupied by the Bunurong tribe of Indigenous Australians, Phillip Island European history is thought to begin with its discovery in 1798, by a gentleman named George Bass. This discovery, ten years after the landing of the first fleet, eventuated in the Island being named in honour of Captain/Governor Arthur Phillip. Later, officially declared the Shire of Phillip Island in 1928, the first bridge to link the Island to the mainland was constructed in the 1940’s. That bridge was then replaced in 1969, by a 640 metre long bridge, originating at San Remo.
From then until the present day, and predicted to continue on well into the future, Phillip Island has been a popular destination on Victorian travellers’ itineraries. Hosting a fantastic range of accommodation, restaurants, activities, attraction and being famously known for its fairy penguin parades every evening, Phillip Island is such a special place to visit.
Phillip Island Accommodation
Located within close proximity to the Victorian capital city of Melbourne, Phillip Island is considered a prime holiday location boasting a spectacular range of activities, natural attractions and fantastic accommodation. Enjoyed by international travellers and visiting locals, this special Island has a range of accommodation to suit all budgets and requirements.
The main town known as Cowes is where the majority of accommodation, restaurants and shops are believed to be situated. Visitors can choose from a selection of accommodation including hotels, motels, hostels, guesthouses, bed & breakfasts, holiday homes, units, cottage, eco cottages, caravan parks and designated camping grounds.
Once a place of accommodation has been chosen, travellers to Phillip Island are recommended to join a tour group, rent a bicycle or hire a private car, as there are no public transportation services currently operating around the Island. Access to Phillip Island is via a 640 metre long bridge from San Ramo.
Phillip Island Activities And Attractions
Phillip Island is home to a large array of interesting activities and natural attractions, aimed to entertain and amuse all ages. Commonly known for the fairy penguin march at dusk, Phillip Island guests can also enjoy discovering a magnitude of art exhibitions, magnificent year round festivals and events, beautiful towns such as Cowes and Newhaven, the famous race track and the features of the adjacent islands, just to name a few things.
The most common attraction on Phillip Island is its sunset penguin parade. Various tours lead intrigued travellers to the shores of Summerland Beach, approximately 20 kilometres from Newhaven Bridge, to watch the little penguins emerge from a day of fishing in the Bass Strait. Returning to their burrows at dusk, the penguins are the most visited natural attraction on Phillip Island.
There are plenty of activities and attractions available on Phillip Island. Natural attractions include The Nobbies, The Blowhole, Cape Woolamai, The Colonnades, Forrest Caves, Smith’s Beach, Pyramid Rock and Seal Rocks. Wildlife discovery is also a readily available natural activity, with a notorious mutton bird colony residing at Cape Woolamai and various bushwalking tracks scattered across Phillip and other adjacent Islands. A few other activities close to nature, available to island visitors include rock climbing, fossicking, bird watching, walking and cycling the tracks on Oswin Roberts Reserve and Conservation hill, bird watching and photography. Places recommended to visit on Phillip Island include the Heritage Centre, Koala Conservation centre, the Clock Museum, Maritime Museum in Rhyll, the Phillip Island Wildlife Park and Wildlife Wonderland, the vineyard and winery, and the Seal Rocks Sea Life Centre. For all motorcycle and car racing enthusiasts, a trip to Phillip Island would not be complete without a visit to the Grad Prix Race track.
From attractions and activities on land, to the shoreline and beyond, Phillip Island has it all. Visitors will find beautiful secluded beaches to the north and some wonderful surfing beaches to the south, including Berry’s Beach, Smith’s Beach, near Waratah Bay, Summerland, Cat Bay and Woolamai. Alternately, Phillip Island is the base of many cruises and tours to adjacent islands. Explore the koalas on small Churchill Island located to the north-west of Newhaven settlement, or take a solar powered eco tour discovery of French Island. Other available sea or beach based activities on Phillip Island include fishing trips, Duck tours, sea kayaking, windsurfing at the renowned Sandy Point or taking a boat charter. There are plenty of activity and attraction options readily available to all Phillip Island guests.