The best detailed guide on things to do in Phillip Island

Phillip Island is a natural wonder on the Victorian coast. It encompasses both a nature preserve and recreation area, with rolling hills and wide-open spaces. Visitors can enjoy the vast variety of wildlife, beautiful coastline and sandy beaches when they visit Phillip Island but what are the top things to do in Phillip Island for visitors?

Many local Victorians would have visited the Phillip Island attractions at least once in their lifetime but with Phillip Island being one of Victoria’s most popular tourist destinations some of the smaller activities get lost. In this post, we will give anyone planning a trip to Phillip Island plenty of options so they can see as many Phillip Island spots as they can.

Sunset at a beach is one of the best things to do in Phillip Island
One of the many amazing beaches at Phillip Island

Things to do in Phillip Island

There are so many things to do in Phillip Island from free activities all the way up to the most popular Phillip Island tourist attractions. Your time on the Island will determine what you can do but there’s no need to rush, you can always return to visit Phillip Island.

Seal cruise

Trips out to Seal Rock to see the local seal colony are a great way to spend an afternoon.

a boat with people going on a cruise to see seals at Phillip Island
Heading out on a popular Seal cruise from Cowes

Companies like Wildlife Coast Cruise offer a brilliant, comfortable boat ride out to the rocks most afternoons. The large cruiser suits everyone from singles, couples to large families and is a relaxing afternoon. Onboard commentary keeps you entertained as well as snacks and drink available from the onboard bar make for a wonderful adventure. Book a Phillip Island wildlife cruise today.

Hot lap

Adrenaline seekers will love this! Phillip Island is the premier destination in Victoria for all who love motorsports. Holding the Moto GP every year has cemented Phillip Island as the destination for anyone wanting to be fully immersed in the race.

The track is able to be used if you are racing motorbikes and for anyone wanting a hot lap in a fast car. If you love thrill-seeking adventures, this is the best thing to do in Phillip Island.

Helicopter ride

Taking a helicopter ride for epic views over Phillip Island will have to be one of the top things to do on Phillip Island as well as one of the most expensive.

A red helicopter flying over the bridge that seperated Rhyll and Newhaven at Phillip Island.
Fun things to do in Phillip Island include a helicopter ride

There are a few different flight paths you can take. There is an 8 minute Cape Woolami and Grand Prix circuit flight, Rhyll, Cowes, GP circuit 12-minute flight and full Island 25 minute flight. One thing is for sure, this is an unforgettable Phillip Island experience. Search available dates for your Helicopter flight.

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Jetboat ride

If cars and motorbikes aren’t your things maybe a jetboat ride with heart-stopping twist sand turns is for you instead. The jet boat will take you on a magnificent but fast tour of the Phillip Island coastline. Book your thrilling Jetboat experience.

Kayak through caves

This one may be for nature lovers who visit Phillip Island. A kayak through caves only accessible by kayak is a wonderful way to see Phillip Island from a different perspective.

Phillip Island attractions

There are some top Phillip Island attractions that everyone knows about and are the main things to do in Phillip Island. These are the most popular tourist attractions on Phillip Island and have to be mentioned in any things to do on Phillip Island post.

Penguin Parade

Watching the Little Penguins waddle ashore is some things for all ages.

Seating platforms at the Phillip Island Penguin Parade
Seating platform at the Phillip Island Penguin parade

There are different levels of viewing from the grandstand seating all the way to a private spot on the beach. All tickets must be purchased before you arrive and there are sections for all budgets. The Penguin Parade is one of the best things to do in Phillip Island. There is multiple options for seeing the Phillip Island Penguins. You can sit in general admission or Penguin Plus, you can do a guided tour with a ranger and more. See all your Phillip Island Penguin options or look at a 4 Park Pass that includes Penguins, Koalas, Arctic Journey and Churchill Island entries.

Koala Conservation Park

One of the most iconic Aussie animals, the koala is now under threat due to decreased native habit. Places like the Phillip Island Koala Conservation Park is where you can see these amazing animals and help protect our amazing furry friends. Book your entry ticket to Koala Conservation Park or look at a 4 Park Pass that includes Penguins, Koalas, Arctic Journey and Churchill Island entries.

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Churchill Island

Step back in time to Churchill Island. Once a summer retreat you will now find the Island is a small working museum. Here you can see farm work displays, beautiful gardens and the Homestead is still full of old-time necessities. You may even get to milk a cow if you are lucky. Churchill Island also has a farmers market held on the 4th Saturday of each month from 8 am to 1 pm. Book your entry to Churchill Island or look at a 4 Park Pass that includes Penguins, Koalas, Arctic Journey and Churchill Island entries.

The Nobbies

The Nobbies is a free lookout into Bass Straight and onto Seal Rock. Here you can walk the boardwalks for free and see the local Cape Barren geese roaming freely. There is also an abundance of birdlife here as well.

walking platforms for scenic views at the Nobbies
The Nobbies is a scenic Phillip Island attraction

*The Nobbies is also home to the Arctic Journey

Go on an Arctic journey

Located at the Nobbies you will find the Nobbies Center, Arctic Journey. While aimed at kids visiting Philip island if you want to discover more about Antarctica, climate change and the impact humans have on this then a trip to the Nobbies Acti journey is a must. Book-entry tickets to the Arctic Journey or look at a 4 Park Pass that includes Penguins, Koalas, Arctic Journey and Churchill Island entries.

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Free things to do on Phillip Island

While on holiday in Victoria all activities on Phillip Island can add p quickly. It is always a great idea to incorporate some of the free things to do in Phillip Island to even out your holiday on Phillip Island.

Pelican feeding at San Remo

At 12 noon daily the co-op sends down a bucket of fish to feed the local pelicans. You will know it is going to happen when suddenly you will see a large number of pelicans making their way to the shore.

Pelican birds on the beach at Rhyll waiting to be feed
Pelican feeding is a family friendly free thing to do in Phillip island

*While you are there spend some time watching the giant stingrays glide through the water from the banks in the shallows or from above on the jetty

S.S. Speke Shipwreck

This is a low tide activity on Phillip Island. The S.S. Speke ship was caught on the rocks of Kitty Millers Bay back in 1906 (although some say 1905) and now only a small amount remains.

You can park in the car park at Kitty Millers Bay and walk either over the rocks or along the headland before heading down to see the wreck.

Phillip Island Beaches

For some visitors to Phillip Island, the only thing they are worried about is the Phillip island Beaches. Whether you want to sunbake, swim or learn to surf there is a beach on Philip Island for you.

  • Kitty Millers Bay (kid-friendly)
  • Smiths Beach (surfing, kid-friendly)
  • Cowes Beach (kid-friendly)
  • Ryhll (fishing, kid-friendly)
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Oswin Roberts reserve

Getting back to nature in Phillip Island is easy and the perfect place to do this is the Oswin Roberts Reserve. This amazing, dense section of the Australian bush is the last remain on Phillip Island.

Here you will find plenty of wildlife life wallabies, birds and possibly a koala high in the treetops. If you want to escape the crowds this is one of the best things to do in Phillip Island.

Cape Woolamai Walk

The Cape Woolamai walk will give you outstanding views. The rugged coastline along Phillip Island is an amazing sight and is one that can produce some of the most stunning photographs on your trip to Phillip Island.

Cape Woolami at Phillip Island
The rugged coastline at Cape Wollamai

If you decide to do the Cape Woolamai walk be aware that it is an 8.5k walk that can take upwards of 2.5 hours. On this walk you need to make sure you are physically capable of completing the walk, let someone know where you are and take water or snacks with you.

Fishing on Phillip Island

Casting a rod is one of the best things to do on Phillip Island. Many will take a fishing rod to Phillip island with them and try their luck with either surf fishing, off the shore or off a jetty. This is one of the best things to do in Phillip island that is free and possible catches you dinner!

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Check out some street art

Street art and street murals are gaining momentum all around the state of Victoria with many small towns inviting artists to paint some of the walls. Phillip Island is no different and you will find some large walls painted in Cowes and at the Nobbies

Places to see wall art in Phillip Island

  • Nobbies visitor centre
  • Anglican Church in Cowes

Phillip Island activities for kids

Phillip Island is the perfect place for a family holiday and there are heaps of things to do on Phillip Island with kids. While plenty of the above activities on Phillip Island is appropriate for children these are aimed right at them.

Amaze ‘n things

Spending an afternoon or a morning at Amaze n things is a great way for the kids to get the best out of their child to Phillip Island. Here you will find a maze, mini-golf, a house of tricks and a sky trail for you to enjoy.

Phillip Island amaze
Amaze ‘n’ things in Phillip Island with kids is fun

Panny’s Phillip Island Chocolate factory

Don’t think this is just for the kids this is one place everyone young and old will love. You can do a tour of the Chocolate Factory and then spend time in the cafe tasting the amazing chocolate products they have on offer or you can buy up big at the onsite shop.

Maru Koala and animal park

The iconic Australian animals are known the world over and seeing them in real life is one of the top things to do in Phillip Island. For many, hand-feeding a kangaroo is a wonderful experience and here at maru animal park, you can do just that.

Phillip Island Wildlife Park

Phillip Island Wildlife park will give you an up-close and personal animal experience on the Island. For anyone visiting Phillip Island that wants to get close to the iconic Australian animals, this is the place for you.

Phillip Island go kart track

Thrill-seekers of all ages will find this one of the best things to do in Phillip Island. At Phillip Island Go Karts you get to have fun on a 750m Phillip Island Go Kart track that is a replica of the world-renowned Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.

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Where to eat on Phillip Island

There are so many places to eat on Phillip Island that all cuisines are catered for. You will find plenty of variety with some places even able to cater for a picnic if this what you prefer.

When is the best time to visit Phillip Island?

Summer in Phillip Island sees most of the towns packed with holidaymakers.

How to get to Phillip Island

Driving to Phillip Island from Melbourne is the best way to see the island and all the Phillip Island tourist attractions. Phillip Island is located approximately 90 minute drive from Melbourne. While there is a V/Line (Victoria’s rural transport operator) bus that runs daily to Phillip Island there is no regular and reliable public transport to get you around Phillip Island to see all of the tourist attractions on Phillip Island.

Phillip Island accommodation

There are just so many Phillip Island accommodation options for everyone and every budget. You can either decide to stay on Phillip Island or you can stay in San Remo, whatever works for you there is the accommodation on Phillip Island

Luxury accommodation: The Waves is a luxurious apartment complex located in Cowes on Phillip Island. It offers stunning ocean views and easy to restaurants, cafés and more in Cowes. The Waves is the perfect place to stay if you are looking for a relaxing holiday by the sea. See more pictures, reviews, and availability at The Waves

Midrange Accommodation: Ramada Resort Phillip Island is the perfect place to stay for an idyllic holiday. With its on-site pool, restaurant and gym, guests will have everything they need within the resort. Ramada is ideally located near Cowes with great access to the Penguin Parade and the Nobbies. For more information and booking click here.

Budget accommodation: The Youth Hostel Association (YHA) Phillip Island is a great place to stay when exploring the area. The hostel has a roof top lounge, kitchen, and dining area as well as a cafe that sells light snacks and drinks. Bike hire is available on site, making it easy to explore the island. Accommodation options include dorms and ensuite rooms. The hostel is located in the town of Newhaven, close to the beach and other attractions. Search reviews and availability at this Phillip Island hostel.

Caravan Parks: If you’re looking for a place to stay on Phillip Island Ingenia Park is the perfect option. The park offer cabins and powered and unpowered sites. Facilities at Ingenia Holiday Parks include a games room, camp kitchen, jumping pillow, go-carts and free wifi. Search your stay at Ingenia Holiday Park on Phillip Island

The island is also home to an array of interesting tourist attractions, including a world-famous race track, a colony of adorable penguins, and plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. So if you’re looking for an amazing Australian holiday destination, be sure to put Phillip Island on your list!

If you are looking for more amazing and best places to visit in Gippsland, Victoria or more travel in Victoria destinations Explore Victoria has some more articles below for you to check out. If you have an idea, attraction or top spot feel free to leave us a comment or email us at contact@explorevictoriaaustralia.com


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