SITCHU

Escape the city for a taste of island life with Sitchu’s round-up of the best things to do on Phillip Island.

Just a short 90-minute drive from Melbourne, Phillip Island has a lot going for it besides the incredible motorcycle Grand Prix circuit and its adorable penguin community. Stunning beaches, coastal hikes and exquisite local food offerings are enough to keep anyone coming back weekend after weekend. Here’s how to spend a few days on the island, be it in the sand, surf or on land, with our list of the best things to do on Phillip Island.

EAT

The Cape Kitchen

The Cape Kitchen is an Instagram haven, and it’s suitably located at the gateway to the island, in the town of Newhaven. The floor-to-ceiling windows provide breathtaking views of the southern coastline and the wholesome food is just as beautiful. The menu and the restaurant is designed with sharing in mind and highlights the best seasonal local and Victorian produce.

215 Phillip Island Road, Newhaven

Phillip Island Winery

Gippsland is fast becoming known as one of Australia’s premier wine regions, so whilst visiting the island, why not stop into the Phillip Island Winery, where food, wine, and a little extra are all on the menu? The exquisite cellar door has wines and ciders available for tasting and to take away. While you’re there, be sure to visit ‘The Yards’ – the island’s go-to florist.

414 Berrys Beach Road, Ventnor

Isola Di Capri

Run by the Fumagalli family, this popular island restaurant has been serving up quality Italian food – along with its adjoining gelateria – for over 27 years. The restaurant is BYO, so it’s the perfect place to enjoy, antipasti, pizza or pasta, all year round.

2 Thompson Avenue, Cowes

Ocean Reach Brewing TapHouse

Ocean Reach Brewery  is one of the first brewers to actually brew their handcrafted ales and ciders on the island. The golden nectar is brewed and poured at their brewpub in the centre of Cowes in a compact operation. The owners have a special philosophy: “made on the island, for the island”, using only the freshest, locally sourced ingredients, combining them with a passion for craft beer.

47 Thompson Avenue, Cowes

EXPLORE

Hike Cape Woolamai

Head to Cape Woolamai to check out one of the most popular surf beaches in Australia, and to take in the scenery. If you’re feeling adventurous, head out on a coastal hike along the pink granite cliffs to the top of the cape, where you’ll get a picture postcard view back along the sparkling coastline.

Learn some history at Churchill Island Heritage Farm

Churchill Island sits just off the shore of Phillip Island but holds a special mark in the area’s history. It was the site of the first European agricultural pursuits in Victoria and is now a historic working farm with restored farmhouse and cottages, that gives visitors a glimpse into the early lives of Australian settlers.

246 Samuel Amess Drive, Churchill Island 

Head on an Antarctic Journey

Facing out onto the Southern Ocean, Nobbies Centre features an interactive experience for all the family. The multimedia installation will take you on a real-world sensory trip across the Antarctic, all the way to the great southern continent. An augmented reality feature can also show you standing on an ice sheet petting a penguin or stroking a seal.

320 Ventnor Road, Summerlands 

Laze about Summerland Beach

Summerland Beach isn’t only a place for quirky animal encounters, it’s also one of the most picturesque beaches on the island. It’s a famed surfing spot that introduced surfing on the island in the 1920s, and thanks to its flat sandy bottom it’s also a haven for day swimmers.

Watch the playful penguins

Each night at sunset, the colony of little penguins come to shore after a day out fishing in the ocean – and believe us, there’s nothing better than ending your day watching these majestic creatures march their way into shore. The main penguin parade viewing area is at Summerland Beach and has tiered seating, providing a breathtaking 180-degree view of the beach below. There’s also the Penguin Plus experience and underground viewing platforms for an close-up view.

STAY

Phillip Island Glamping

There are a number of traditional caravan parks and camping sites on the island, but if you want to take it up a notch, book a few nights with Phillip Island Glamping. The glamping team will set up your spacious bell tent at one of the caravan parks or camping spots and deck it out with plush queen size air beds, blankets, linen, heaters and kitchen appliances. All you need to bring is your beach towel and you’re set for the entire weekend.

Prices start from $150 per night (2 people)

Optional locations around the island

Silverwater Resort

Set high on the hills above San Remo, Silverwater Resort is the ideal place to spend a day or two, whilst enjoying the range of onsite activities. Heated lap pool, outdoor pool, tennis courts, spa and steam room are all available to enjoy, and there’s also a divine restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating with views out onto Phillip Island below. After arriving, you won’t even need to leave.

Nightly rates range from $200-400 per night

17 Potters Hill Road, San Remo 

Ramada Resort by Wyndham Phillip Island

Spread out across 65 acres surrounded by native gardens and natural bushland, the Ramada Resort is only 2 kilometres from Cowes – where you’ll find shops, bars and restaurants – and just 5 kilometres from the famous Grand Prix circuit. The resort also specialises in romantic bed and breakfast stays, so keep it in mind for your next couples’ getaway

Nightly rates range from $130-$300 per night

2128 Phillip Island Road, Cowes

Glen Isla House

Phillip Island has a rich history, so it seems only fitting to book a few nights at the historic Glen Isla House. The charming homestead features three different rooms types, all with modern conveniences to make your stay a pleasurable one. We recommend the heritage suite which is a part of the original homestead, and includes a mahogany four-poster bed, a gas log fireplace and a large corner spa bath. If you like a swim, the beach is just a short stroll from the back gate.

Nightly rates range from $250-$450 per night


For more awesome things to do in Port Phillip and hundreds of other travel destinations across Australia, head straight over to
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