Summer’s here and surf’s up! So, if you’re ready for a well-deserved relax on the beach, visit to Penguin Parade, a few surfing lessons to brush up your technique (or better still, a combination of all three) – it’s time to get those tyres checked and on the road to destination Phillip Island.
One of Victoria’s well-loved locations on the state’s south coast, and only 90 minutes from Melbourne (give or take – we all know what Melbourne traffic can be like!), you can do it in a day or weekend or treat yourself to a longer stay. Along with the iconic Fairy penguins and views that just go on and on, there’s a whole lot to see and do — so if you’re keen to join us and check it out for yourself, let’s buckle up and be on our way.
The all-important question of vehicle and tyres
Arriving in comfort and style is all part of the fun – with a Mazda CX5 fitted with StreetLife tyres, a great choice for this ride! If your drive isn’t a Mazda, the good news is that there’s a Vitora tyre suited to a wide range of vehicles, so you’ll be sure to find something that’s just right for you and your load.
A few directions to get you on your way
Take the Monash Freeway (M1) and South Gippsland Highway (M420), the Phillip Island Road (B420) to San Remo — where you may like to stop off at The Fisherman’s Co-op for some freshly caught fish and chips. Then make your grand entrance over the bridge on to the island! It’s worth taking the time to check ahead for any events being held on the island, which could increase the traffic on the way and your travel time.
When on Phillip Island … What to see and do
When it comes to variety – Phillip Island pulls out all the stops. Family surf-and-sun activities, getting back to nature with Australian wildlife or finding a quiet spot to sit back and enjoy amazing ocean seascapes … there are no end of opportunities on offer to get you into the holiday frame-of-mind. The team at Vitora have put a few suggestions together to get your stay started:
Penguin Parade Paradise
A must do and unforgettable experience — book in for an incredible sunset viewing at Summerland Beach to see Phillip Island’s world-renowned parade of Fairy penguins heading home at the end of their day.
Maru Koala and Animal Park (and pirate-inspired Mini Golf!)
Great for families, see koalas and other Australian native animals up-close-and personal! Also on site, test your skills over a truly unique adventure of 18-holes of pirate-themed mini golf, through an assortment of Australian landscapes — all set around a 30m pirate ship!
Nobbies Centre Boardwalk
From the Nobbies Centre (an ecotourism destination with an on-site café) take in the magnificent Bass Strait ocean vistas and breezes as you stroll along Nobbies Boardwalk. Enjoy the sounds from the mighty Nobbies blowhole (a sea cave that literally thunders) and don’t forget to look out for “Seal Rocks” – home of Australia’s largest colony of fur seals, just off-shore. Remember to bring your binoculars for a close-up encounter.
Beaches, swimming and surfing
There is some great swimming and surfing to be done at Phillip Island, with renowned beaches including Woolamai, Smiths, Cowes, Red Rocks, Berry’s, Shelly, Ventnor and Summerland – suited to a variety of activities and waves for differing levels of surfing experience. If you’re up for a bit of snorkelling Kitty Miller Bay has you covered. Remember to stay safe, only swim at patrolled beaches between the flags and consider downloading the Beachsafe App to find out more about the beach and conditions!
Whale, seal and dolphin watching
Along with its famous penguins, Phillip Island is also well-known for its seal colony, dolphins and whales that can be spotted in the Bass Coast’s waters during their annual migration (so you’ll need to time your visit to get this one right!) Follow the Bass Coast Whale Discovery Trail, book a cruise or just keep an eye out for what can be a once-in-a-lifetime sighting!
Phillip Island Chocolate Factory
In case you thought Phillip Island was all about the beach – a visit to the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory will set the record straight! Brimming with chocolatey treats and surprises (including a giant chocolate waterfall) it’s a chocolate lover’s paradise.
Grand Prix Circuit Visitor Centre
It goes without saying that if motor sports are your thing, you’ll know that Phillip Island’s Motor GP is an annual calendar highlight. And if you can’t make it for the race itself, Phillip Island’s Grand Prix Circuit Visitor Centre has the island’s motorcycle racing history on display, along with guided circuit tours and go karting where you can do as the experts do, and test out the track for yourself.
What to eat and where to stay?
With the ocean on its doorstep, fresh local seafood is a Phillip Island winner – available from many of the island’s eateries and take away outlets, some complete with amazing views! If you’re hoping to try a locally brewed ale, you’re also in luck with the island’s very own brewery (Phillip Island Brewery Company) based in Cowes. And with accommodation available throughout the island – from luxury apartments and lodges to a little bit of caravanning or camping-with-a-view – there are lots of options for every budget!
Anything else I need to know?
When on Phillip Island you’ll be excused for feeling like time slows – allowing you to really wind down and relax. Surrounded by some wonderful birdlife and pristine coastline, penguins, seals and maybe a whale or dolphin (or two) – all that’s missing right now is you! So, as the year starts to wind up, pack your sunscreen and sunnies, set that date in your calendar and get those Vitora’s checked for a run on the open road. Safe travels!