Phillip Island Destinations
Located just a short drive from Australia’s second largest city Melbourne, and yet seemingly worlds away, Phillip Island makes an ideal escape for travelers who enjoy a little bit of everything while on vacation. Phillip Island destinations are as diverse as the charming fishing village of San Remo, the sailboat-lined marina at Newhaven, the swimmable beaches of the Bass Coast, and the majestic pink-granite cliffs of Cape Woolamai. But one of the top reasons to travel here has to be the Phillip Island penguin: colonies of Little Penguins that come ashore each evening at sunset on Summerland Beach to nest for the night. Have your cameras ready for the most adorable parade you’ve ever seen.
And while two koala centers are another draw for animal lovers, Phillip Island tourism is also about human creature comforts. You’ll find terrific food and wine, since Victoria’s nearby Yarra Valley produces some of Australia’s top wines and there are several wineries on the island itself, as well as an array of shopping options, from small artist’s galleries to surf shops. If you are partial to active vacations, you can hike, bike, golf, kayak, surf and more. And since island life is centered on the sea, fishing and other water-based day trips, such as a car ferry ride from Queenscliff to Sorrento, located along Australia’s famed Great Ocean Road, are also possible. And perhaps unexpected is the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, which also features a smaller scale replica Go Kart track that will delight kids of all ages.
But back to those Little Penguins, which just might be the reason you’re looking to vacation on Phillip Island. The nightly penguin parade is a mix of not-for-profit ecotourism (locals first brought visitors to watch the tiny aquatic birds in the 1920s and today viewers buy tickets as the number of visitors is controlled) and conservation (the penguin colony is protected on a reserve). The same group also runs the Koala Conservation Centre and the Nobbies Centre, dedicated to Australian fur seals. So if you and your family are nature fanatics, Phillip Island has plenty of it.