The island is connected to the mainland by a bridge so it’s easy to get to. It should take you just over 90 minutes to drive from Melbourne, depending on the traffic. You can catch a bus from the Southern Cross Central Railway Station or a ferry from Stony Point.
The main town is Cowes and there’s a variety of accommodation available. A dorm bed will cost you $30 a night, a double room from $80-$100 and if you want to splurge then a luxury room overlooking the ocean will set you back around $200. If you want to be where the action is then stay in Cowes , if you want laid back and away from civilisation then try Smith’s Beach or Newhaven.
The number one thing to do on Phillip Island is to see the Penguin Parade. At sunset all the little penguins head back to their homes and it’s a sight not to be missed. If you head to Nobbies and Seal Rocks then you can view them for free. You can visit the Koala centre and get up close to one of the Australia ’s most iconic animals or the quiet little fishing village of Rhyll . Try surfing or just relax on one of the many beaches around the island.
Walk the tracks around Cape Woolamai and view some of the local wildlife or the Churchill Island Herritage Farm which is still a working farm. If you love chocolate then you should stop by the chocolate factory and see the biggest chocolate waterfall in the world! And yes you get a free chocolate.
The diving around the area is very interesting but the water is cold and visibility can be a little touch and go, usually between 5-10 metres. You’ll find a few centres around the island. The sea life is quite diverse in these cold waters and you’ll find lots of crayfish, nudibranchs, kingfish, abalone, trevally, sea dragons, leopard sharks and the cutest animals to dive with. The most exciting underwater adventure here is diving with the seals!
Advanced divers will enjoy the wreck dive George Kermode, which is probably one of the best wreck dives in Victoria . Seal Rocks is the place to see the cute little seals but you’ll need to be a certified diver to do this dive. For an abundance of sea life head to Pyramid Rock and macro photographers will love Honeysuckle Reef.
If you’re used to cold water diving then you’ll really enjoy diving off Phillip Island. Make sure you have the right exposure suit for this kind of diving. Snorkelling is available off the coast as well but it’s best to go with a guide or dive operation as swells and currents can be quite strong.
Phillip Island is waiting for your visit. Be sure to visit if you happen to be in the area and say hi to the penguins for us!
(By Kelly Luckman)