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Phillip Island is an absolute must in Australia. Just over an hour from Melbourne, it’s the perfect break from the bustling city for a chance to spend some time with nature and get a bit outdoorsy. So stick on your decent shoes and explore Philip Island! It’s so easy to get around by car and there are things to do for all abilities and interests. And what’s even better is you don’t have to start the day crazily early!
The gateway to Phillip Island is San Remo, but don’t bypass this spot! Arrive here around midday to catch the pelicans being fed on the shore. A huge amount of conservation and research goes into protecting these magnificent and huge seabirds so it’s your chance to learn about them and see how you can play your part.
After this, finally make your way onto Philip Island and head to the Tourist Information centre to book tickets to see what the island is most famous for – the Little Penguins who come onto the shore every night. Make sure you know what time you need to get there for.
Now it’s time to get your teeth into this stunning island. Drive along Back Beach Road to Storm Bay and take an easy stroll to the Pyramid Rocks Lookout. The name is as you would expect – large triangular rocks protruding from the ocean. You will get a great view of the rugged coastline all around from here too.
Carry on the main road and pull in to Swan Lake for a chance to see more beautiful seabirds that call Phillip Island their home. You will walk through the forest and end up in huts at the end of the boardwalk where you can peer out and observe without disturbing them in their habitat.
Right at the end of Phillip Island are the Nobbies. Take the boardwalk that goes all along the cliff edge for amazing views of the Nobbies Islands. Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for some penguins too – I saw a few of these little fellas right under the walkway!
The penultimate stop of the day is a visit to the town of Cowes on the north of the island. It’s such a cute place to walk around and a stunning beach to chill out on.
There are also lots of campsites in and near to Cowes which makes it a great place to head to. There are no free camping available on Philip Island but for an absolute bargain head over to Anchorage Campsite. Not only was it the cheapest campsite but it also has great facilities.
Wrap up warm and prepare yourself for the main attraction! From Cowes, Penguin Parade is just a short 10-15 minute drive. Be sure to double check the time on your ticket and get there with time to spare. Seating is on a first-come-first-serve basis and no photos are allowed to protect the Little Penguins. But what a better way to watch the sunset, distraction free, before these beautiful animals come onto shore. Be sure to watch them waddling under the boardwalks to their nests, too!
Have a chilled start to the day and have a good breakfast at the campsite. Second to the Little Penguins, Phillip Island is famous for its stunning surf beaches. Make your way down to Smiths Beach and watch the surfers do their thing. Why not have a lush morning stroll along the beach while you’re there too? Unless, of course, you’re in the water too!
Because I love beaches so much, spending time at Cape Woolamai is a must. It’s another surf haven and another stunning beach to relax on.
It’s almost time to leave Phillip Island but not before you indulge your sweet tooth at Panny’s Chocolate Factory. Grab your free sample of their delicious chocolate and grab a bite to eat at the café there. What an indulgent way to wrap up your trip!
Other budget tips for visiting Phillip Island
- Phillip Island offers a variety of other paid attractions and has a great ticket bundle called the 4 Parks Pass. This ticket gets you access to the Koala Sanctuary, Antarctic Journey at Nobbies, The Heritage farm on Churchill Island as well as general viewing at Penguin Parade. If you know you want to visit these then make sure you get this ticket rather than paying for individual entrance.
- If you’re a fan of hiking then make your way to one of the many tracks all over the island. A great cheap way to spend an afternoon!