Photo credit: 3B’s on VisualHunt.com
Located just off the coast of Melbourne, Phillip Island is one of Victoria’s treasures. Perfect for long summer beach days or crisp winter walks, this wildlife-filled island is great for a weekend away with the kids or a group of friends. We’ve put together our guide to the best places to eat, drink and sleep along with what to see and do when you’re there.
Silverwater Resort Serviced Apartments[caption id="attachment_330" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Photo by Silverwater Resort[/caption]
Silverwater Resort is a modern hotel providing serviced apartments housing up to six people, perfect for a family getaway. Combining beautiful views over the ocean with an open-plan design, this is the perfect DIY holiday option with a fully-equipped kitchen and BBQ as well as a comfortable seating area.
The jumping pillows. Photo by Silverwater Resort
On-site is an indoor and outdoor pool and spa so you can enjoy swimming all year round, as well as jumping pillows and an activity room for the kids. There’s also an on-site restaurant, Watermark, which offers gourmet meals from a dining room with panoramic views over the bay.[button text="View on trivago" href="https://www.trivago.com.au/cowes-442656/hotel/silverwater-resort-1483777"]
The Island Accommodation
Photos by The Island Accommodation
A brand spanking new complex of eco-friendly accommodation that is also a budget-friendly option, The Island Accommodation, has been designed with community in mind. There are lots of open plan spaces to make it easier for travellers to make friends and relax together; the rooftop deck is one such space offering fabulous views and BBQ facilities. With several different room types varying from private studio-suite rooms to multi-share accommodation, there’s something to suit everyone – whether a couple, a group of friends or a family. Located just after the entrance to Phillip Island from San Remo, the hostel is in close proximity to many of the island’s main attractions.[button text="View on trivago" href="https://www.trivago.com.au/cowes-442656/hotel/the-island-accommodation-1631473"]
Phillip Island proudly houses Victoria’s first surfing reserve and is a surfer’s paradise. It’s the perfect place to introduce the little ones to the waves with lessons for beginners and surf clinics for the more advanced. Beaches such as Woolamai are patrolled and swimming is safe here but some areas on the South Coast can be dangerous, so make sure to check conditions before you go. There is also a one-hour walking trail stretching from Woolamai beach car park to the Colonnades, a set of stunning basalt stone columns reaching up out of the sea. These are best viewed at low tide.
Smith’s Beach is considered one of the safest beaches for small children with the surf being more manageable and ideal for beginner surfers. Be warned however, this can become a very crowded spot in the height of summer.
[caption id="attachment_316" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Photo by Phillip Island Nature Parks[/caption]
Forget building sand castles all day, why not check out some of the animal parks on the island instead. There is something for everyone but families will particularly enjoy the Koala Conservation Centre, where visitors can get a unique glimpse of these creatures living as they would in the wild. To get up close and personal with koalas amongst other animals such as kangaroos and snakes, head over to Maru Koala and Animal Park. When you’ve finished cuddling, feeding and petting all of the animals, you can indulge in a quick round of Pirate Pete’s Mini Golf, which has just undergone a $50,000 renovation.
Lastly, no visit to Phillip Island would be complete without mentioning the Penguin Parade. Each evening penguins returning from a day’s fishing at sea waddle home up the beach at sunset. The viewing areas include surrounding boardwalks and raised seating that allows visitors to view the penguins without disturbing them.[caption id="attachment_314" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Photo by Phillip Island Nature Parks[/caption]
Photo by The Koala Conservation Centre
In the winter months you can go whale watching off the coast with record numbers of humpback whales being spotted this year. High-speed boat tours by EcoBoat Tours make the journey to neighbouring islands to see the seal colonies, meeting the whales en-route.
[caption id="attachment_328" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Photo by Phillip Island Nature Parks[/caption]
Like a bizarre version of Wonderland, A Maze n’ Things is a great place to spend a fun-filled afternoon getting lost in the mazes and marveling at the optical illusions and puzzles. There’s also a newly opened Sky Trail and a 10 metre high-ropes course on a series of giant poles and platforms. But don’t panic, there are harnesses involved to keep everybody safe!
The Shearing Shed is a 1950’s working shed that has now been converted to a rustic and cosy restaurant and bar, with a bigger function centre complete with a dance-floor attached. The restaurant is located on the outskirts of Cowes in 20 acres of surrounding farmland. Its seasonal menus and fresh produce mean that the restaurant is one of the best places to get steak on the island and indulge in a few decadent desserts.[caption id="attachment_360" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Photo by The Shearing Shed[/caption]
For gluten-free and vegan options, head over to The Cape Kitchen where you can find beautiful beach views and a seasonal menu made up of locally-produced ingredients and an all-Victorian wine list.[caption id="attachment_322" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Photo by The Cape Kitchen[/caption]
Lastly, for the days with salt in your hair and sand in your shoes, head over to the San Remo Fisherman’s Co-op. Located at the gateway to Philip Island, San Remo, this is the best Fish and Chip restaurant on the beach. You can sit outside with hot chips whilst listening to the sound of the ocean and watching the sunset.
Phillip Island Winery
Just minutes from the motorcycle Grand Prix circuit and the Penguin Parade is Philip Island Winery. Run by husband-and-wife team Tim and Tricia, the winery offers cool climate wines in a rural location overlooking the Bass Strait and Berry’s Beach. There’s a warm fire for chilly winter days and they also offer cheese platters and other nibbles. To feel like you really are out in the country, there’s also a folk singer for added ambience.
Established in 2001 across 7.5 hectares of cool climate vineyards, Purple Hen Winery have now won more than 100 medals and 20 trophies for their variety of red and white wines. Enjoy a generous tasting accompanied by a cheese board whilst drinking in the views of the beautiful vineyard grounds. For a tasty white try the Sauvignon Blanc or an aromatic Riesling. For a red, try ‘The Rooster’, the winery’s popular Pinot Noir.
Photo by @mis_tucks
Whatever you’re looking for whether its budget or luxury, beach or vineyards, Phillip Island doesn’t disappoint!
What’s your favourite thing to do on Phillip Island? Let us know in the comments below!