Picture this: cosying up in your luxury cabin, discovering magnificent coastal walks and smashing back Victoria’s best produce.
Enter Phillip Island. A mere 90-minutes from Melbourne, this natural haven is an outdoor-lovers paradise; picturesque beaches, dramatic viewpoints, stylish lodgings and plenty of things to do across all 101km2 of the island.
Submit your annual leave; here’s where you need to eat, stay and play across Phillip Island.
Places To Eat
Set right on the water overlooking the Phillip Island Bridge and Westernport Bay, Saltwater lives up to its name. Come for the views but stay for the mouth-watering meals; their seasonal menu shines a light on flavoursome local produce and fresh seafood. Whether you’re after tapas, a classic dish or wood-fired pizza, you’ll find it here.
Cape Kitchen puts the best of Victoria’s food producers on the plate, focusing on native ingredients. They serve up thoughtful takes on both breakfast and lunch, accompanied by a homegrown Aussie drinks menu. Make your way to Newhaven for an elegant bite set to the backdrop of rustling waves and sun-filled skies.
Having just flung open their doors in late 2021, Kelp has quickly become a favourite around San Remo. You’ll initially be taken by the bright coastal interior, enhanced by warm, ambient lighting and the hum of good vibes. From tapas to cocktails, you’ll be drooling from the moment you enter. We recommend ordering a smorgasbord of dishes to try; coconut ceviche, jalapeno poppers and crispy fried chicken wings paired with a marg (or three). Perfection.
The crew over at G’Day Tiger know how to do the simple things right. Nothing beats their selection of Melbourne-roasted beans, so you’ll find us picking up our faithful morning brew here. Whether your thing is classic espresso, filter coffee or even an espresso shake, count on these guys for the caffeine hit. Should you be a little peckish, they’ve also nailed the humble sarnie. Opt for a classic tuna melt with chilli, American cheese and pickles. Or go all-in on the big daddy, a pastrami masterpiece with sauerkraut, zesty pickles, Swiss cheese and secret Tiger sauce.
Things To See And Do
Get Your Wildlife Fix
Phillip Island is a wildlife lover’s paradise. There are plenty of ways to get to know the locals, from the infamous Little Penguins to animal spotting on sea and land. Obviously, you’ll need to tick off the evening Penguin Parade—the island is home to the world’s largest Little Penguin colony, after all. While there, you might also stumble upon other cuties like Swamp Wallabies or Eastern Barred Bandicoots.
Hit the water for a splash of sea life, thanks to Wildlife Coast Cruises. Their boats will get you up close and personal with Aussie’s largest fur seal colony. During winter, a jaunt along the island’s coastline means you might just spot the magnificent humpback and southern right whales.
See Nature From All Angles
On the ground, Phillip Island is brimming with walking tracks sure to tickle any hiker’s fancy. Whether you’re in search of dramatic rock formations, panoramic coastal vistas or a beginner-friendly walk, there’s something for you. Cape Woolamai is a must-try with a jaw-dropping lookout over the pinnacles and a stop off at the island’s highest point.
If birds-eye-view is more your speed, Phillip Island Helicopters have you covered. These scenic flights visit all the island’s favourites from a completely different angle. Cape Woolamai, the Grand Prix track, penguins and seals—you name it, you’ll see it.
Amp Up The Adrenaline
You’re sorted when it comes to relaxing activities, but there are also a few things to get your pulse racing. Live out your Grand Prix fantasy and take to the world-famous Phillip Island Circuit, Go Kart-style. If your travel bud loves you enough, they may even jump in a tandem Go Kart with you to drive the scale replica track.
Add some time with Ocean Adventures Phillip Island to your agenda for adventures in the sea. They offer plenty of experiences for every type of water baby—from Drift Jetboat and Thundercat racing boat tours to scuba diving and snorkelling. Wetsuit at the ready?
Taste Your Way Around The Island
What’s a getaway without sampling the local culinary scene? When it comes to booze, both vino and beer lovers are in for a treat. The coastal climate lends itself to a pretty stellar pinot noir—sip on a sample at Phillip Island Winery and Purple Hen Winery. Meanwhile, the craft brews can be found at local joints from Ocean Reach Brewing and Phillip Island Brewing Co. If chocolate is more your vice, plug Panny’s Phillip Island Chocolate Factory into Google Maps. They have more than 190 chocolate types and flavours to choose from—we’re so ready.
Where To Stay
Camp Under The Stars
Settle in for a weekend of bliss and catch some waves at one of the many caravan or camping spots. The NRMA Phillip Island Beachfront Holiday Park is only steps away from sprawling sandy beaches and epic surf. Head here to find out more.
Cosy Up In Coastal Cabins
The team at Five Acres know a thing or two about pure indulgence. These architecturally-designed cabins are situated among a working farm, offering unforgettable views of Western Port Bay. Considered wooden tones and plush, earthy furnishings seamlessly blend the interiors with the land. Plus, you’ll enjoy access to a fireplace and concrete outdoor bath—it’s the definition of dreamy.
Go Old School At Genesta House
Get a taste of times gone by with an evening—or several—at Genesta House. As one of the last original guesthouses on the island, there are old-school vibes around every corner. You’ll settle into considered suites decked out in velvet headboards, chandeliers and retro furniture. Step through to the verandah and soak up golden hour in the mature gardens, dotted with century-old trees, glistening ponds and wild foliage. It’s the stuff of storybooks.
There’s no denying it; across all 101km2 of the island, there’s so much to see and do no matter the season. Whether you’re seeking time in nature, a foodie escape or an adrenaline adventure, Phillip Island is the place to be.
Image credit: Supplied