Just 140 kms south-east of Melbourne dividing Western Port Bay and Bass Strait lies Phillip Island, a jewel surrounded by sea. The island is one of the most scenic natural hotspots in all of Australia and is known for its wildlife parks, nocturnal sight of penguins walking home, motorsport history and sandy, sun kissed beaches.The 2 hour journey from Melbourne to Phillip Islands packs enough time for exploring all that the island has to offer, making for an ideal day trip destination. With feeding kangaroos by hand, enjoying the view of breath-taking coastal scenery and surfing in the tranquil beaches, Phillip Island is just the escape you need.
Why You Must Take A Day Trip From Melbourne To Phillip Island
Over 3.5 million people visit Phillip Island annually and it has made a name for itself. It contrasts Melbourne’s busy and sophisticated lifestyle with idyllic seaside means of living. Drive over San Remo Bridge, which is not only the gateway to Phillip Island but a charming seaside town, a scenic start to your day. It is home to exciting activities like penguin parades, the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit and a whole lot of Kangaroos. Catch spectacular views of the south coast of Victoria, traverse the many nature parks and trek the steep mountains of Phillip Island on your day trip from Melbourne.
Best Thing To Do In Phillip Island - Watch The Penguin Parade
You’ll witness hundreds of burrows as you pass by this part of the Island. Wondering what that is? They are the smallest species of penguins, the Little Penguins, not more than 32 centimeters in height waddling together in colonies from the sea to their burrows. Catch this heartwarming sight as these penguins emerge from the waters to the safety of their homes at the Phillip Island. You may even get to watch the penguins feed their waiting young ones!
If this sounds interesting , choose from these Phillip Island tours to experience Australia’s most loved attraction along with exploring Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation and the most colorful captivation of the continent, Brighton Beach Boxes. Hear from the expert guides and explore with like minded travellers to make the best of your time at Phillip Island.
Phillip Island Penguin Parade Tour
- Watch colonies of Little Penguins return from the sea and waddle their way to their burrows.
- Visit the Brighton Beach Boxes - Melbourne’s most colorful attraction.
- Go on a guided wildlife walk and hand-feed native Australian animals such as kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, Tasmanian devils, emus & more.
Phillip Island: Penguin Parade Afternoon Wildlife Tour
- Explore the Victorian coast and spend your afternoon in the company of Australia's most iconic wildlife.
- Travel in a comfortable coach with your expert and informative guide as you are lead to all the attractions on the day's itinerary.
- Take your seat and watch the amazing penguin parade unfold in front of you.
Phillip Island Itinerary- Things To Do On Your Day Trip
Churchill Island Heritage Farm
Churchill Island is 19th century farm in Western Port, Victoria connected to Phillip Island by a bridge. Learn farm activities such as whip cracking, cow milking, sheep rearing while you play with the working dogs, Clydesdale horses, highland cattle and baby animals. You can enjoy the farm activities from 1 PM to 3:20 PM.
Phillip Island Wildlife Park
Rush to the largest wildlife animal sanctuary in Phillip Island after your time with the farm animals. Spread across 60 acres, Phillip Island Wildlife Park is home to over 100 different species of Australian animals. Experience close encounters, hand feed and pat kangaroos and wallabies. Be amazed by the enormous birds such as emu and encounter various species of owls.
Phillip Island National Surfing Reserve
Begin your day at the southern coast of Victoria, a world-class destination with great surfing history. The Phillip Island National Surfing Reserve is the first of its kind in Victoria and the reserve comprises of four breaks, Woolamai, Smiths, Summerland and Cat Bay. Some are notable for their strong tidal waves, and others for their history and importance in providing safe breaks for the surfers of the future. Do your homework about the tides, wind and the swell of the break if you are planning to surf. A walk and swim at any of the beaches of the island also makes for a wonderful time if you are not into surfing or should the weather not be in your favour.
The Nobbies Centre
This ecotourism attraction located at Point Grant, on the western tip of Phillip Island is a feast for the eyes with a great view looking out to Bass Strait. Get to experience Seal Rocks, The Nobbies and The Blowhole with a visit to the centre. With an estimated 16,000 fur seals inhabiting the area, the Nobbies Centre is home to Australia’s largest colony of fur seals.
Phillip Island Penguin Parade
This parade of these treasured little creatures brings tourists from all over the world to watch their nightly routine. Watch the sunset on the Summerland beach while thousands of Little Penguins come home to their burrows after a long day of fishing. Book your seat now to catch the best views of this attraction.
Phillip Island Weather- Best Time To Visit
The climate of Phillip Island is Mediterranean, moderated by a coastal location. The towns are crowded from the November to April as the island sees the peak in penguin numbers that waddle back to the shore.The island is less busy during the cooler months from May to September and the accommodations are reasonable. If you are travelling on a budget make sure you book tickets online to save a few dollars.
Melbourne To Phillip Island - Day Trip Transport Options
The journey from Melbourne to Phillip Island takes only about 2 hours by road. San Remo Bridge connects Phillip Islands to mainland Victoria and is only 120 Kms from Melbourne. Take the Monash Freeway (M1) to either South Gippsland Freeway (M420), Clyde Road (C407) or Koo Wee Rup Road (C422) exit. Follow the M420 and B420 sings to get to South Gippsland Highway over to Bass Highway to reach Phillip Island Road.
There is no car ferry to Phillip Island. If you wish to bring your own or rented vehicle, you must pass by the bridge at San Remo.
Many buses from V/Line services run to towns in Phillip Island including Newhaven, Cape Woolamai, Cowes from Melbourne and back. There is no direct bus to the island, hence the travel needs a change of bus at Koo Wee Rup and takes 2 hours to get to the bridge. The journey from there to the town gets around 20 to 25 minutes.
There is no direct train to the island from the mainland and hence will need a transfer via ferry or bus. If you prefer to take the bus, catch the train to Dandenong then take a V/Line bus to the Phillip Island. The bus journey from Dandenong to the Phillip Island bridge takes around one hour and 45 minutes, and a further 20 to 25 minutes to Cowes
If you want your make your travel more exciting, catch a suburban train from Melbourne to Frankston, then get to Stony Point from there. At Stony Point Jetty, board the Inter Island Ferries passenger catamaran which docks at the Cowes Jetty. The entire journey takes only about 2 hours.
If you are willing to spend lavishly on your experience you can also travel by air as Phillip Island has its own airfield. Facing the Phillip Island road at Newheavens are Phillip Island Helicopters who also offer charter services. In about 30 minutes you will be flown from a suitable landing location in Melbourne to Phillip Island.
Melbourne To Phillip Island Tour- Handy Tips For First Time Travelers
- As Phillip Island is visited by many travelers around the world, plan your trip on a weekday for solace and less tourist hordes.
- Book your seats in advance if you wish to catch the Penguin Parade. If you don’t manage to snag the good seats, you may just see the shadow of the waddle.
- Don’t miss out the gorgeous view from the lookout point over the famous blowhole along the Nobbies boardwalk.
- As the island gets visitors in all seasons, make sure you book your hotel or townships in the town as early as possible.
Other Day Trips From Melbourne
Melbourne To Yarra Valley
Take an exciting day tour to the Yarra Valley to experience the countryside lifestyle of Melbourne. Enjoy sampling local produce at Yarra Farm Fresh, wine-tasting at the iconic DeBortoli Wines and Yering Station and savor fresh cheeses at Yarra Valley Dairy. Indulge in a scrumptious lunch at the Rochford Winery, offering a choice of four meal options and a glass of Rochford’s premium wine.For the adventurous and reckless thrill, try skydiving over the Yarra Valley. Freefall from 15,000 feet for more than a minute before opening the parachute and landing. Rejoice the bird’s eye view of Victoria, Melbourne, and it's beautiful beaches and glide through the Yarra Valley. Forget the concerns of safety with an expert skydiving team and highly trained tandem jumpmasters by your side. Take this perfect trip to experience the zest of living in the valley and enjoy the stories from the local.
• Yarra Valley Full Day Gourmet Tour
Great Ocean Road Day Tour
Travel the 243-kilometre stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Allansford. The overwhelming joy of driving along the sea has given the road its rightful name. Visit the picturesque seaside village of Anglesea and Lorne, and the Cape Otway Lighthouse. Drive through the Great Otway National Park and watch birds and koalas in their natural habitat. Skydive over the Great Ocean Road if the thumping of your heart gives you a kick. Float through the sky for 5-7 minutes and appreciate the views of Melbourne, the surfing mecca Torquay, and the golden beaches of Great Ocean Road from your aerial vantage point. With so much fun and adventure packed in one tour, this is an experience you’ll never forget.
• Great Ocean Road Tour From Melbourne