Victoria’s Phillip Island

An hour and a half to two hours drive from Melbourne you’ll find Phillip Island, which honestly is a really beautiful spot and if you have an interest in wildlife then you’ll love a few days here. It’s great for anyone really, but especially for families as there are a number of activities you can take them to as well. The only caveat is, with most things in Australia that you don’t find in state capital cities, is that you really need a car. It’s a long island, from one point of interest to another might take you a good thirty minutes.

I paid a visit recently. It wasn’t really for leisure, but I got to experience some of the attractions that the island has to offer. And saw some of the interesting creatures you can see.

It’s probably a summer island. Definitely I would have to say. It has quite a few beaches you can visit and they are pretty nice all said. So there’s one thing that you could use to wile away some warm hours. The biggest town in Cowes, but there is a place called San Remo just before the bridge that takes you over to Phillip Island where accommodation is a little cheaper. Cheaper, though, certainly doesn’t mean ‘better’.

The biggest attraction of the island is, as anyone who knows Phillip Island will tell you, the Penguin Parade. Come summer and summer holidays, it is packed out and you need to book (online) in advance. They also offer a VIP ticket which gets you a prime view – and there are thousands of baby penguins and their parents marching in to next in the summer.

I took the Ecoboat tour. It’s pricey at around 85 bucks for an adult. You can bundle the ticket with the Penguin Parade though and save a bit. It takes you on a fast boat around the bay out to a place called ‘Seal Island’, a rocky island just off the tip (the open ocean lays in front of you) and it is covered in seals resting, playing and the like.

Both these experiences are run with conservation in mind. Penguin and seal numbers were down substantially a couple of decades ago, today they are healthier than ever thanks to the concerted effort of locals and conservationists, from money brought in by tourism.

Also off the side of the boat we even saw some dolphins playing around. The weather was stunning, the sky blue, it was all pretty magic.

Elsewhere on the island I visited A-Maze-N-things. A large maze I didn’t get to try, minigolf and a magic show. It’s family fun although not great value for money, still you’d probably need a few hours there to get in all it offered. Next door was some sort of rope course.

The Nobbies Centre is at the tip of the island. That’s the name the locals have for that area. There’s a boardwalk which gives you a few nice views of the place, and inside the centre is a gift shop, café and an exhibit called ‘Antarctic Journey’ which was interesting enough. Lots of info about the Antarctic, live video feed as well, a room cooled to Antarctic temperatures.

Last, but not least is the Chocolate Factory. They do a short tour. You get a small piece of small chocolate and there’s a café there with various chocolate products.

Eating on the island was a bit disappointing. All cafes attached to the attractions (they pretty much all have an attached café) were poor. The food at the Penguin Parade was just… bad. The RSL was disappointing too. There was a decent looking Fish and Chippery. I can’t comment – I don’t eat fish. I did there. It confirmed my dislike of fish.

I’ll leave you with this last photo. Had to stop and get a pic of this sign! Seems like a bargain! Thanks for reading – take care and May the Journey Never End!

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