Located just two hours from Melbourne, Phillip Island is a small place with big potential. If you have limited time to explore the sights of Victoria, let this be one of them – Phillip Island can offer a lifetime of special experiences in just a few days. From stunning landscapes to incredible wildlife, world-class motorsports, vibrant culture and delectable food and wine, Phillip Island is a 100km square slice of Victorian Holiday heaven.
Ready to get on the road? Pick up a car hire in Melbourne and explore the best bits of Phillip Island with our explorer's guide.
On the edge of Phillip Island is San Remo, a small fishing village that’s a haven for fishers and seafood lovers alike. Here, life moves at a slower pace. Wander down to the shore and get an early glimpse of your dinner as you watch the fishing boats unload their bounty; the seafood served in the restaurants in town redefines the meaning of the word fresh. Or, if you’d rather serve yourself, the San Remo Fisherman’s Cooperative is a bustling marketplace where you can pick up the catch of the day to throw on the barby. If all the delicious local fare inspires you, go ocean angling or join a fishing charter and head out on the open waters to catch your own meal. If you’d prefer to stay on dry land, the cliffs from San Remo to Kilcunda offer staggering views; see the best vantage points along the George Bass Coastal Walk.
Phillip Island was recently declared a National Surfing Reserve; that is, a place of iconic environmental, sporting and cultural value to the nation. The waves are almost always on here, and the range of coastline offers something for surfers of all abilities. Beginners can earn their sea legs in the sheltered bays at Smiths Beach and YCW Beach, while hardcore surfers can chase the thrills on the south side of the island. To ride or simply watch world-class breaks, Cape Woolamai is renowned. If you're a beginner, there are surf shops all over the island where you can rent the gear you need and arrange surf lessons.
Phillip Island offers the rare opportunity to see some of Australia’s most beloved wildlife up close. The penguin parade is one of the most special experiences in the area; every night at sunset hundreds of little penguins return to the shore near Summerland Beach after a hard day's sea fishing. From the special viewing platforms, watch as these charming penguins waddle up the beach towards their homes in the nearby sand dunes. Trust us – this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that won’t soon be forgotten.
Take things up a gear at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, home to an incredible calendar of high-octane racing-related fun. Outside race days, there’s dozens of exciting experiences that can satisfy your need for speed. Daily tours offer access to restricted areas and share the history of this famous track and racing in the area. For an adrenaline rush, special Hot Laps offer the opportunity to experience the inside of a race car with a professional driver as you traverse the track at full speed. For more family-friendly fun, the adjacent Go Kart track is a small scale replica of the real thing.
Ready to slow down the pace? Roam Phillip Island on your own schedule with a comfortable car hire from Melbourne Airport.