Phillip Island was named after Governor Arthur Phillip.
Over half of its land area is farmland where cattle and sheep are raised.
It is a busy tourist island providing hospitality to over 3.5 million visitors every year.
Phillip Island is not a heavily populated island during the off season.
According to census reports the permanent population is only 7,071 people. However in the summer months the number of people can rise to approximately 40,000 !
Tourists come to Phillip Island for the world famous Penguin Parade, the wildlife and the tranquillity, but also for some major events like the Australian Motor Racing Grand Prix and the Pyramid Rock Festival.
How to get there
Phillip Island is located south-east of Melbourne, approximately 140 km from Melbourne CBD. It sits in the midst of Western Port Bay. From the mainland town of San Remo, you can access Phillip Island via a concrete bridge.
The drive to Phillip Island offers you, closer to the island, some nice bay views and that feeling of envy when you think “why do I not live here!?”. It immediately makes you want to stay there for longer. If you wish to do so, it is good to know there is plenty of Phillip Island accommodation available.
World famous attraction of Phillip Island is the Penguin Parade. The penguins that claim Phillip Island as home, return from the sea and waddle to their homes in the sand dunes each day at sunset. These penguins are the world’s smallest and are often called Little Penguins or Fairy Penguins.
They spend the day fishing and come home at night. Phillip Island has set up raised boardwalks and stands from which to view this wonderful natural phenomenon without bothering the penguins or the dunes they call home.
They are truly beautiful little creatures. Even after seeing them a number of times now, I keep on being intrigued by them. And you too will find it hard to walk away from them.
When you go to visit the penguins, please be aware that they arrive when it gets dark.
And that you will be sitting on a concrete seating area right by the sea.
It gets chilly or downright cold quickly, so put on some warm clothing and bring a rug !
And when you get there on a wet day, make sure to bring a plastic sheet or bag to sit on !
The latest project, Nobbie’s Centre, is a new attraction that will allow visitors to view the natural wildlife in their setting and have high tech cameras to zoom in on them without disturbing their habitat. A learning center, kids zone, caf’, meeting center, and gift shop are among the additions for this facility featuring the penguins, koalas, seals, and various species of birds.
Australian Motor Racing Grand Prix
Phillip Island is also home to the Australian Motor Racing Grand Prix. The very first race was held on Phillip Island in 1926. It was called the 100 Mile Race. There is a History of Motorsport display there that lets you check out all the cars, motorcycles, and items pertaining to racing going back to the first race and concluding with recent racing momentos. Champions Cafe has refreshments to enjoy and the Visitors Centre is available for purchasing gifts for the racing fan.
Pyramid Rock Festival
The Pyramid Rock Festival is a 2 day event held on Phillip Island. It is on New Year’s Eve and features various rock bands. People camp out and there are market stalls supplying food and keepsakes to mark the event. It was first held in 2004 and has become more professional and better organised over time.
Cowes is the main township of Phillip Island. A huge number of people visit the town during the tourist season. The town is a just a 2-hour drive from Melbourne. You can also reach Cowes by ferry from Stony Point on the Mornington Peninsula. Cowes offers great accommodation facilities. Check out here to find out more.
When you visit Melbourne and Victoria, you really need to try to make Phillip Island part of your itinerary. It is a great place to relax, whether it is just for a short weekend break or a longer holiday. And there is plenty of New Haven accommodation available to make you feel right at home. Visit here for more information.
The small village of Rhyll lies on the north-east tip of Phillip Island, Victoria. It is well-known for its great fishing spots. Established in 1826, Rhyll is one of the most well visited tourist locations in Victoria. Read this page to find out a bit more about what to do in Rhyll and which accommodation you can choose from.
Phillip Island has much to offer for the out of town or out of the country visitor.
Exploring the wildlife in a natural environment is a great experience for adults and children.
It’s a great place to dream away, feeling you are far away from the big, bad world.
However, if you go to Phillip Island for the tranquillity, make sure to check your calendar to avoid the Australian Grand Prix or the Pyramid Rock Festival !