Best Things To Do On Phillip Island

things to do

Are you looking for a quick getaway from Melbourne or planning an Aussie road trip? Phillip Island is a popular destination for Melburnians and interstate travellers alike.

While Phillip Island is most famous for its penguins, there are plenty of things to do on this island.

We’ve put together this handy Phillip Island guide including:

– Where to stay

– When to go

– What to do

– Where to eat

Where is Phillip Island?

Phillip Island is located off the Victorian southern coast and is famous for its coastal scenery and bushland. The most popular tourist attraction is the Penguin Parade. The first farm in Victoria started on Phillip Island and pioneered the country’s 19th century farming techniques.

How far is Phillip Island from Melbourne CBD?

Phillip Island is about 140 km from the Melbourne CBD. It takes around 2 hours to drive there, depending on traffic.

When is the best time of the year to go to Phillip Island?

The best time to visit Phillip Island is during the warmer months between November and March. While it can get quite hot during the day, the ocean breeze tends to cool the island down in the evening, so it’s recommended taking a jacket even in summer. You’ll also avoid freezing winds and rain during these months.

How many days do you need to spend on Phillip Island?

If you’re visiting Phillip Island for the first time, three days should give you plenty of time to see the main attractions. Many Melburnians enjoy coming down to Phillip Island for a day trip, so it just depends how much time you have.

What is the best accommodation on Phillip Island?

Coast & Country Getaways has Phillip Island holiday homes and rental properties available. Whether you’re travelling with your family, friends or your significant other, Coast & Country has the right sized property for you.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re looking for accommodation that is pet-friendly or has a swimming pool. We’ll be able to find the right place to suit your needs.

We have plenty of options that are:

– Walking distance to the shops and beach

– Multiple bedrooms and bathrooms for big groups

– WiFi

– Air conditioning

– Kitchen and laundry facilities

– Outdoor entertainment area

What can you do for free on Phillip Island?

On a budget? Luckily there are plenty of fun things to do on Phillip Island that won’t cost you a cent! Below are some of the highlights.


Swimming at the beach is free and there are lots of nice beaches on Phillip Island where you can go for a dip safely. Phillip Island was the first National Surfing Reserve and has four big surfing spots including: Cape Woolamai, Summerland, Cat Bay and Smiths Beach. There are plenty of big waves, but also spots that are suitable for beginner surfers.

If you don’t own your own surfboard, there are shops to hire gear or sign up for surfing lessons.

Pinnacle Lookout at Cape Woolamai

After the drive to Phillip Island, you’ll definitely need to stretch your legs. Take a stroll to the Pinnacle Lookout, which is an hour’s walk from the beach carpark. You’ll get some beautiful views at sunrise or sunset.


You don’t have to buy wine at a winery (although it’s certainly encouraged). Walking through the vineyards is free and you’ll get some lovely views. Many wineries also offer free tastings.


Phillip Island has plenty of great fishing spots including Cowes, San Remo, Rhyll and Newhaven. Got a boat? Even better. Get out on the water for the day and cook up what you catch. It’s a fun day out and you’ll have dinner sorted out.

Didn’t get a bite? San Remo Fishing Co-operative does the best fish ‘n’ chips, so either way you won’t go hungry.

What are the best family activities on Phillip Island?

Penguin Parade

A visit to Phillip Island isn’t complete without seeing the famous Penguin Parade. The colony is the smallest species of penguin in the world and Phillip Island is one of the few places you can see them in the wild. The penguins spend most of their day out at sea hunting for fish, but at sunset they come back to nest on Summerland Beach.

There are lots of spots to watch the penguins from including the standard viewing platform, underground, or the deluxe viewing section. This penguin facility welcomes over 3.5 million people every year and during lockdown you could even live stream the penguins returning to their burrows from your computer.

Koala Conservation Centre

As if penguins aren’t enough, you can check out some more cute, furry friends at the Koala Conservation Centre. Only a 7-minute drive from Rhyll, the centre has a number of fun treetop boardwalks where you and the kids can look out for koalas eating or napping up in the top branches. The centre covers six hectares of bushland with plenty of other native wildlife to look out for including echidnas, wallabies and birds.

Seal rocks

Still want to see more wildlife? Catch an eco-boat out to Seal Rocks, which some 35,000 fur seals have made their home. It’s Australia’s largest seal colony located two kilometres offshore from Nobbies. The seals love this spot as it’s great for hunting, swimming and resting. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a few of these curious creatures swimming up to the boat and showing off in the water. Between May and October, it’s even possible to sometimes spot dolphins and humpback whales.

Churchill Island Heritage Farm

This is the site of the first farm in Victoria and it’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. There are lots of animals wandering to keep the kids entertained including ducks, geese, chickens, horses, sheep and cows. Make sure you check out some of the farm shows that are held daily including whip cracking, sheep shearing and cow milking.

Best places to eat and drink on Phillip Island

Grenache Wine Bar

A great place to check out for people looking for both excellent food and wine. Grenache Wine Bar uses local Gippsland ingredients and the food is Mediterranean. Not only do they have an extensive international and local wine list, but Grenache also stocks over 100 different types of gin. This place is sure to please everybody.

The Cape Kitchen

Are you looking for a brunch spot with a view? Check out The Cape Kitchen, which supports regional Victorian producers especially from Gippsland. The food is beautifully presented, and you can even book high tea or a picnic by the sea. It’s also the perfect backdrop for weddings and festive occasions.

Rusty Water Brewery

Try some local Phillip Island Brewing Company beers at Rusty Water which is located at Cowes. They’ve got beer tasting paddles for people who like experimenting, as well as local wines. Lots of food options on the meu including steaks, fish ‘n’ chips, share platters, pastas and much more.

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