How to Spend 1 Day on Phillip Island
Less than two hours’ drive from Melbourne, Phillip Island is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. One day leaves just enough to time to squeeze in the highlights, but plan ahead and book a guided tour to maximize your time. Here’s how to spend one day on Phillip Island.
Morning: A Taste of Australia
Public transport is limited on Phillip Island so unless you plan to hire a car, it’s best to opt for a private or group tour that transports you between island highlights with ease. Most tours cover Cape Woolamai, the rocky promontory at the southernmost tip of the island, and the Pinnacle Lookout for dramatic ocean views.
You’re also likely to stop at the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory before visiting the nearby Churchill Island Heritage Farm, a typical Aussie working farm located on a tiny island. After watching a sheep shearing display, head to one of Phillip Island’s food hotspots, the Rusty Water Brewery Restaurant, for lunch.
Afternoon: Ocean Views and Wildlife
Start the afternoon with a visit to one of Phillip Island’s most popular attractions, the Koala Conservation Centre. A stroll through the natural bushlands offers plenty of opportunities to spot koalas, wallabies, and echidnas in their natural environment; nearly all Phillip Island day tours visit the park.
Afterwards, head over to the southwest coast, where a walk along The Nobbies boardwalk affords views across the Bass Strait and Seal Rocks, home to Australia’s largest colony of fur seals. If you want to get a closer look at the animals, wildlife-watching cruises set sail from Cowes Jetty and offer the chance to spot whales from May to October.
Night: Watch the Penguin Parade
The star attraction of Phillip Island is undoubtedly the nightly Penguin Parade at Summerland Beach. The beach is home to thousands of Little Penguins—the largest colony in Australia —and each night at sunset, the penguins waddle back to their burrows on the beach after a day at sea.
To avoid disappointment on the day, pre-book a package that includes tickets to the general viewing area and round-trip hotel transfers, or upgrade to secure a spot on the Penguin Plus Viewing Platform, which offers unobstructed views of the natural phenomenon.