Naturally Playful

Phillip Island is a natural wonderland located an easy, 90 minute drive from Melbourne.  The Island (as locals refer to it), is famous for its spectacular, world-class surf beaches, for being home to the adorable Little Penguins and also the most picturesque motorsport Grand Prix Circuit in the world. But there is much more to love about this pristine paradise beyond sweet waves, cute birds and fast bikes! Nature’s beauty is in abundance along the entire Bass Coast and close encounters with wildlife may be readily experienced on Phillip Island. As you descend into the seaside village of San Remo, rolling paddocks give way to the sparkling sea. Black swans are often to be sighted on the waters of the bay. Around midday at the San Remo jetty the hilarious pelicans waddle up with huge mouths gaping ready to be fed. The local fishing co-op is happy to oblige their feathered friends with a fish or two brought in by local fishermen that morning from Bass Strait, to the delight of all in view.  Over the bridge to the island and enter into the quaint little township of Newhaven. Run along the golden beach on the south side of the bridge or throw a line in to see if you can catch your dinner. Launch a boat from the local ramp and explore the mangrove forests along the coast to the north, in the calm waters of Western Port, or head for the open sea and experience the abundant marine life and stunning coastline of Cape Woolamai. Swing into the chocolate factory for a tasty little souvenir that will be lucky to make it home as you venture further onto the island.    Churchill Island is a precious treasure just off the coast of the island that’s not to be missed. Accessible via a small bridge, the island is a stunning spot with an historic farmhouse and working heritage farm which captures the charm of yesteryear and is home to friendly farm animals. Fragrant cottage gardens and lawns provide the perfect place to picnic beneath the ancient Moonah trees.  For a taste of the entire best local produce visit the lively Churchill Island Farmer’s Market, held on the fourth Saturday of every month. Set on the grassy hill overlooking the water, you can shop the stalls and chat with farmers while taking in breathtakingly beautiful views of the bay.  Surfers know that the island has breaks for days… And being an island, when the swell is onshore at one break, all you need to do is take a quick drive across to the other side of the island to find a wave worth pulling on your wetty for.  The southern surf beaches on the island are recognised as part of the Phillip Island National Surfing Reserve and are almost untouched, spare a handy boardwalk or step down from the cliffs. The natural sea grasses and shrubs give way to vast white sandy beaches where lines of surf roll in.  Cape Woolamai is home to the Woolamai Surf Life Saving Club with the beach patrolled in Summer time only. If you’ve dreamed of experiencing the exhilaration of catching a wave, Phillip Island is the place to try, with world-class surf schools and friendly local instructors who know where to find the perfect small breaks.  The legendary Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit is infamous for its challenging curves and renowned for its beauty. Beyond being part of the excitement of a racing event as a spectator, year round you can let rip in a Go Kart on the 750 meter scale replica Grand Prix track or on non-race days buckle in for the real deal; an adrenalin-amping triple Hot Lap lightning ride around the circuit. See why Corner 3 is three-time MotoGP champ Casey Stoner’s all-time favourite!  The Penguin Parade is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Australia and it’s not hard to see why. What could be more delightful than sitting by the ocean at sunset watching tiny Little Penguins waddle up the beach after a big day at sea? The boardwalk meanders through the dunes meaning even those on wheels can get incredibly close to these little charmers.  The township of Cowes is a thriving, cheerful seaside hub. In town there is lots of fun to be had for families – a playground, rock pools to explore, putt putt golf (as well as a real golf course) and, during summer, a range of events. The main street is lined with cafes, restaurants and boutique stores, as well as all-important ice-cream and gelato shops. Grab your ice-cream or treat and head down the hill to the Cowes foreshore where sandy beaches and calm waters provide the perfect place for families to play during warm weather.  Rhyll is a pretty, quiet, fishing village with its own calm, sandy beaches and an active boat launch. The local award-winning winery is nestled amongst lush farmland and is a tranquil spot to enjoy a glass of cool-climate chardonnay. Nearby enjoy a farm-to-table experience with  the fish for your dish experience at the  trout and bush tucker farm. Then spend a night in luxury bed and breakfast accommodation. Exploring the beauty of the island on foot or bicycle offers the chance to breathe in the fresh ocean air and absorb the striking beauty of the island’s rugged coastline in all its glory. The advantage of being a small island means that pedal power can take you oh-so-many places in one day.  By foot you have the option to adventure along the coastline trails where undulating hills meet shimmering ocean or take an inland journey through temperate bush land to freshwater lakes.  The island viewed from the water is a magnificent sight. Take a sea kayak tour around the coast and through the wetlands or jump on a cruise boat – at certain times of the year you’re sure to see whales and year long, you can visit Australia’s largest wild fur seal colony. Ocean Eco Boat tours even have underwater cameras so you can spy on the crazy antics of the seals as they play around in the water.  The vibrant community of the island welcomes you to share in all the wonders of their little slice of heaven.    

Phillip Island