Phillip Island is a popular vacation getaway, just eighty-seven miles away from Melbourne. The island is only thirty-nine square miles in area, making it easy for the visitor to make stops at all the interesting places. A bridge connects Phillip island to the mainland. The main draw here are the penguins and seals, and some surf beaches par excellence.
Things to do in Phillip Island
Penguin Parade, Summerlands: Armies of cute little penguins come waddling from the sea to their nest. They start doing so at around nine o’ clock in the night, but guest need to be seated at seven in the evening, if they need a good view. Lights are low and photography is prohibited. Charges are at around $21 an adult. Special VIP tickets get you the best seats and also a ranger guide.
The penguin parade is arguably, the most popular attraction here.
Phillip Island Nature Park: Famous for the Penguin Parade, the Phillip Island Nature Park is also a great place for some excellent views and pictures. Even if you do not wait around for the Parade, you may still chance upon a penguin in its burrow upon a closer look. Entry to the park is free.
National Vietnam Veterans Museum: The museum built by Vietnam war veterans is a symbol of the recognition of Australia’s contribution to the Vietnam war. It not only preserves the legacy of the war in the form of war artifacts like helicopters and ground vehicles, but also conveys to visitors the significance of the event in the lives of the war veterans in the form of light-and-sound shows and audio-visual recordings of the war veterans themselves.
Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit: The Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit offers visitors a chance to go-kart on a 760 meter replica of the real Grand Prix Track. To make the experience more real, go-karters are also handed their individual lap-time print-outs. Guided circuit tours of the real Grand Prix Track are also available with simulated MotoGP sound simulation and access to behind-the-scene areas.
Kolaka Conservation Centre: Here, visitors can view koalas in their natural habitat. Long treetop boardwalks have been constructed from where visitors can get real close views of these little creatures. Baby koalas, trying their hand at surviving by themselves, are a treat to watch as well. Other wildlife species such as wallabies, possums, echidnas and snakes, can also be seen.
Churchill Island: A visit to this island is like a walk back into Australia’s pastoral past. Sheep-shearing and cattle-mustering are on display and youngsters are even allowed to milk cows. A peacock by the name of Gregory struts around displaying his shimmering plumage. Heritage gardens, ancient Moonah trees and ancient buildings complete the experience. None of the activities start till 1:00 p.m. though. So, it is always a good idea to reach around afternoon.
Nobbies Centre: At the western tip of Phillip Island, Nobbies Centre is famous for its colony of seals and variety of birds. Long boardwalks take walkers through some very amazing views. Hi-tech cameras are available at different spots that allow users to zoom in on the colony of seals and get a real close view. This feature is great for disabled people who cannot walk up all the way for a close view. Going early is recommended since the place gets really crowded as the day progresses.
Besides visiting these landmark attractions, and watching wildlife at parks and conservation centers, visitors can hit up the beautiful beaches, golf-courses, cycling tracks, local markets, art galleries and museums and cafes,restaurants and wineries, for a number of things to do.
Tours: Various kinds of tours are available. Helicopter tours for some great aerial views, kayaking tours to explore the island waterways and the coastal waters surrounding the island, pillion-riding on a Harley Davidson whose guide-rider is informative and entertaining at the same time, bus-tours of the island-all these options are available for anyone wishing for a guided tour of the island.
Accommodation options here are numerous. From eco-friendly farm-stays, to holiday homes, pocket-friendly hostels, caravans, holiday parks and self-contained, pet-friendly apartments, Phillip Island has it all. Some good B and Bs are Hilltop Apartments, Holmwood Guesthouse, Black Dolphin Beach Penthouse, Clifftop Boutique Accommodation, Genesta House B and B.Among hoteld and resorts you have Coachman Motel and Holiday Unit, Comfort Resort Kaloha Phillip Island, Seahorse Motel, the Avenue Apartments, the Waves Apartment, to name a few. Good holiday parks are A Maze N’ Things, Anchor Belle, Cowes Caravan Park, San Remo Holiday Park, and Amaroo Park.
Phillip Island Map
Facts about Phillip Island
- The modern name of Phillip Island was given to it after its discovery by the western world. George bass was the British explorer who discovered it in 1798.
- The island was named after Governor Arthur Phillip, the founder of Sydney.
- Chicory farming has been a primary industry here.
Where is Phillip Island
Phillip Island is located at the mouth of Western Port Bay. It lies eighty-seven miles to the south-east of the Victorian capital, Melbourne. A concrete bridge connects San Remo in mainland Australia to Newhaven in Phillip Island.
How to Reach
Reach by Air: The nearest international airport is the Melbourne Airport. From there it is a hundred miles to the Phillip Island. A car will take about two hours to travel from the airport to the island via the S Gippsland Highway and M420.
Reach by Bus: Vline coaches run from Southern Cross Railway Station to Phillip Island daily that make stops at San Remo, New Haven, Cape Woolamai and Cowes.
Reach by Ferry: A diesel train runs from Frankston to Stony Point. From Stony Point, ferries ply directly to Phillip island.
Best time to visit Phillip Island
The best time to visit Phillip Island is during the summer months of November to February. However, since the major attraction here is the Penguin parade, and penguins keep coming here all through the year, the island is good to visit at any time, if penguins are what you have in mind.
- Carry some warm clothes, especially if you plan to see the Penguin Parade or visit the Nobbis Centre, as it gets really windy there.
- Many places come to life only after a certain time of the day. Be sure to check when most of the activities are scheduled so that you may make economic use of your time.
- Cafes are costly. So carry a little something on your own.
Also Read : Places to Visit in New Zealand
Image credits : Frankzed
PT20150919Published On: Monday, February 16th, 2015