VictoriaPhillip IslandNature and wildlife abound on Phillip Island, a family-friendly getaway less than two hours from Melbourne and home to the famed Penguin Parade.
San Remo is the gateway to Phillip Island, and the last town before leaving the mainland. The local fishing co-op is hard to resist, with its fresh lobsters and just-caught fish. Greet local pelicans as they come in to feed at the wharf at the same time every day. The first town on the island is the small fishing village of Newhaven, a popular place for fishing from the pier. Cape Woolamai is a stone's throw away, with its rugged clifftops and excellent surf beach, and Churchill Island is a living local history lesson. On the south-east tip of the island is the quiet village of Rhyll, where koalas can be viewed at close range. Wander along the boardwalks at the Rhyll Inlet wetlands as exotic migratory birds stop by on their way around the globe. Cowes, the main commercial centre on Phillip Island, is home to the world-famous Grand Prix circuit and hosts the annual Moto GP and V8 Supercars. The town's cafes, pubs and restaurants buzz over summer and during events. The north-facing main beach is an enticing place for the whole family to swim, picnic, or cycle around. No trip to Phillip Island is complete without a visit to The Nobbies to see seal colonies lolling on the rocks, and to Summerland Beach, for the famous Penguin Parade to witness little penguins as they make their way up the beach at sunset. Phillip Island is around 125 kilometre from Melbourne or an hour-and-a-half by car along the M1 and the Bass Highway.
Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit Visitor Centre and Go Karts
Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit Visitor Centre and Go Karts is your chance to experience the iconic venue in the flesh. Situated alongside the 4.445-kilometre circuit overlooking Bass Straight, the 750-metre replica Go-Kart track is the ultimate go-karting destination. Individual lap time printouts and Tandem karts are available. Buckle in for the real deal; an adrenalin-amping triple Hot Lap ride around the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. Follow in the footsteps of the champions on a Guided Circuit Tour. With exclusive access to Race Control, Media Centre and where every racer would love to finish - the winner's podium. Take a step back in time in the History of Motorsport Display. Marvel at the inspirational story of Phillip Island’s racing heritage. Featured in the display is the superb collection of 25 Grand Prix motorcycles from the two famous Italian marques, Aprilia and Cagiva. Race on Australia’s largest four-lane GP slot car track or get behind the wheel of the Race Simulators, you can test your skills or challenge your mates. The Champions Cafe delivers with its fresh menu with plenty of choices. A wide range of stylish apparel, merchandise and souvenirs are available in the gift shop.
Have Koala encounter
Come ‘face to face’ with koalas in their natural habitat along the treetop boardwalks through the Australian bushland at the Koala Reserve. The two elevated boardwalks bring you closer to the koalas as they go about their daily business of sleeping, eating, and sleeping some more. Look for the clues at the base of trees and listen for the laugh of kookaburras while you soak up the scent of eucalyptus. Wander the extensive trails through the natural Australian bushland and enjoy the abundant birdlife. The woodland is home to many animals including wallabies, echidnas and bats. Learn about the life of the koalas and their history on the island in the interpretative centre. Located only 90 minutes from Melbourne, the Koala Reserve offers fantastic koala viewing in their natural habitat.
Visit Churchill Island
Take a step back in time and explore the heritage and tranquil scenery of Churchill Island’s extensive farm grounds and beautiful gardens. The Cape Barren geese greet you, honking and showing off their bright green beaks as you wind your way up through the paddocks. The Highland cattle lift their heads from their green pastures, idly acknowledging your presence, and the windmill blades turn slowly in the breeze. Churchill Island was the site of the first farm in Victoria and its pioneering history is still evident today in the restored 1850s homestead, original cottages and beautiful heritage gardens and orchards. Discover the ways of the olden days and look on as our rangers and farmhands carry out the daily heritage farming activities like sheep shearing, working dogs, cow milking, and whip cracking. Activities start at 2:10 pm every afternoon, and during school holidays and long weekends, you can also enjoy wagon rides from 1:00 pm.
Antarctic Journey at the Nobbies
Take a virtual journey to the world’s most extreme continent at Phillip Island's exciting Antarctic Journey at the Nobbies, a joint venture between WWF and Phillip Island Nature Parks. Enjoy the ‘hands-on’ fun and interactive experiences in The Lab. Feel the freeze in the Antarctic Chill Zone then compare your thermal image with an Emperor penguin. Visit the Research Station and Sound Lab, check out the sustainable menu in the virtual café, or maybe try and sink a bowling ball. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking multimedia experience in The Chamber, surrounded by creatures of the deep. The audiovisual spectacle puts you right in the heart of the action with whales, seals, sharks and more. Stand on an ice floe and see yourself up on the giant screen, reaching out to stroke a seal or pat a penguin, all thanks to incredible augmented reality technology. The fascinating array of activities ensures that the unique wildlife, the ongoing research activities, and the critically important conservation values of this remote continent come alive to make this a truly fun and enjoyable learning adventure. Located just 90 minutes from Melbourne and five minutes from the world-famous Penguin Parade.
See the penguins parade
Home to the world-famous Penguin Parade and other popular wildlife attractions - all only 90 minutes from Melbourne. The Penguin Parade includes numerous tour options for any taste and budget - from self-guided general viewing and the exclusive Penguins Plus and Underground Viewing, to a variety of ranger-guided tours. Take a virtual tour to the world's most extreme continent at the new Antarctic Journey at the Nobbies Centre. Enjoy the hands-on family fun of the interactive activities, and immerse yourself in the spectacular multimedia attraction. The augmented reality technology will let you pat a penguin or stroke a seal, in a 'virtual' experience. Enjoy a fast and fun boat ride on the Wild Ocean EcoBoat Tour to Australia's largest fur seal colony. Take the 90-minute Adventure tour to get up close to the seals and witness their playful antics at Seal Rocks, against the backdrop of the rugged cliffs of Phillip Island's south-west coast. Get up close to one of Australia's most loved animals at the Koala Reserve and journey back in time to explore the heritage and tranquil scenery of Churchill Island.
Discover more in Victoria
- Arthurs Seat
- Barwon Heads
- Daylesford & the Macedon Ranges
- Falls Creek
- Great Ocean Road
- Great Otway National Park
- Halls Gap
- Main Ridge
- Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
- Mornington Peninsula
- Mount Buffalo National Park
- Murray to Mountains Rail Trail
- Ocean Grove
- Phillip Island
- Point Nepean National Park
- Red Hill
- Tarra Bulga National Park
- The Bellarine Peninsula
- The Goldfields
- The High Country
- Wilsons Promontory National Park
- Yarra Valley & Dandenong Ranges