One of my favourite childhood memories is going to Phillip Island to see the penguins. I would sit on the sand for what felt like a lifetime, then watch the little creatures pop their head out of the water and waddle their way up to shore. For a kid that was pretty damn spectacular, and everything else kind of faded from memory.
So this weekend I decided to head back to Phillip Island and explore the region as an adult. From wineries to wildlife cruises, there were plenty of amazing things to do. And I’ve decided to document some of my favourites so you can experience the magic for yourself.
Here are 10 ways to make the most of your Phillip Island road-trip.
Feed the pelicans in San Remo
At 12pm a colony of pelicans make their way to San Remo bridge for lunch. Stop by to witness these wild and wonderful creatures gobble flake whole, while munching on your own scrumptious fish and chips from San Remo Fisherman’s Co-Op.
Cruise through the Bass Strait
Departing from Cowes Jetty, Wildlife Coast Cruises help you see the island from a whole new perspective. Take a two-hour trip on the Seal Watching Cruise to meet Australia’s largest fur seal colony. Thousands of playful pups frolic in the water while their parents sun themselves on rocks – it’s a sight you will never forget!
Head out to a winery
Gippsland is one of Victoria’s premier wine regions, so take a detour to visit the incredible cellar doors on the island. With lush vineyards and panoramic views of the water, Purple Hen Winery is my favourite. Lifted, lively and full of flavour, their award-winning wines are the perfect present to bring home for the family. And dogs are allowed to come too.
Navigate the Nobbies
Forget Bells Beach, Phillip Island is home to some of the best surf beaches in Australia. So, hit the waves or watch the pros carve it up from the boardwalk. The 1.5km track provides spectacular views of Phillip Island’s South Coast, as well as the thundering blowhole that makes Point Grant an international icon.
Visit the Penguins
While you’re at the Nobbies, head down to Summerlands Beach, home to 32,000 Little Penguins. Here you will experience the magic of watching these tiny creatures return home after a day of fishing in the ocean. You can watch them huddle together in groups, and sprint across the shore. But the highlight is meandering down the boardwalk and watching the penguins up close as they find their way to their burrows.
This mesmerising experience wouldn’t be possible without Phillip Island Nature Parks; a self-funded, not for profit conservation organisation. They carry out an enormous amount of research to protect wildlife and habitat on Phillip Island. So, by purchasing a ticket, you are supporting these beautiful animals and helping them thrive.
Take a helicopter ride around Cape Woolamai
Interested in seeing Phillip Island from above? Take a scenic flight on Phillip Island Helicopters for a truly unique (and surprisingly affordable) experience on the island. Walk ins are welcome, so you can jump in a helicopter at any time – how crazy is that!
Zip around Phillip Island’s Grand Prix Circuit
You don’t have to be a rev head to enjoy the thrill of speeding around a world famous grand prix circuit. Get the adrenalin pumping in a French made go kart while taking in gorgeous views of Bass Strait.
Check out the Koala Reserve
Navigate the Koala Reserve’s unique tree top boardwalks and come face to face with these incredible (and sleepy) marsupials in their natural habitat.
Cross over to Churchill Island
Want to claim you went island hopping on your weekend adventure? Finish your trip by crossing a one-way bridge and exploring the tranquil scenery on Churchill Island. Here you can enjoy a glass of wine while meeting some of the island’s shaggy wildlife.
What’s your favourite things to do in the area? Let me know in the comments below so I can add it to the list.