A popular day trip from Melbourne, Phillip Island lies south of Mornington Peninsula. The island is an important spot for Australian biodiversity and is home to an array of birdlife, such as the famous little penguins. Indeed, its surrounding waters are home to fur seals, dolphins, orcas, southern right whales and humpback whales.
Admittedly, you can spy Victoria’s native little penguins without leaving the suburbs of Melbourne – try the pier in St Kilda. But given the innate shyness of these creatures, it really is worth making the short jaunt to Phillip Island where they, somewhat uncharacteristically, put on a Penguin Parade. Like clockwork, hundreds of these penguins march back to their burrows each evening after a long day of fishing.
Visitors have the chance to form a respectful guard of honour and watch the penguins as they return to their rocky homes from fishing out at sea. Additionally, the wonderful visitors' centre at Phillip Island Nature Parks offers varied ways to see these flightless little wonders.
Try watching these adorable creatures waddle up from a spot in the sunken enclosure that lets you see life inside a burrow. Alternatively, book onto a VIP tour for an exclusive elevated view, or experience a behind-the-scenes tour. Speak to one of our Travel Experts about the best way to view these little creatures.
Other wildlife encounters
There are many other wildlife encounters on offer here. Amid the trees and at the Koala Conservation Sanctuary keep an eye open for the sleepy local koalas – tired from too much eucalyptus – and allow time to take a 90-minute boat ride to view a nearby seal colony. You can even go out in search of even larger creatures on a whale-watching tour.
Expand your wildlife experience by learning something new at the Antarctic Journey – where you can immerse yourself in the world’s most extreme continent. At this attraction, located within the Nobbies Centre, you can experience the real chill of the arctic in the Antarctic Chill Zone, select an interactive seafood dinner and be within an arm’s reach of a whale in the augmented reality experience.
Explore the coast
Forming a natural barrier between the shallow waters of Western Port Bay and the Bass Straight, Phillip Island has a dramatic and rugged coastline, ripe for exploration. Some of Australia’s best waves can be found off the south coast of Phillip Island, making it a perfect place to get the board out. However, if you prefer your exploration at a more leisurely pace you can marvel at the granite cliffs and even spot some penguins or dolphins from a hiking trail or the comfort of a sea kayak.
Phillip Island Jazz Festival
Held for three days each November, the Phillip Island Jazz Festival is a celebration of some of the culture of this diverse island. Get down to this event and twist to old jazz favourites or discover some great new local artists.
Visit Phillip Island
See one of our excellent example itineraries below, or speak to one of our Travel Experts to discover how you can visit Phillip Island on your Australia Itinerary.
Explore the very best of Victoria on this varied Journey, taking in vibrant cities, dramatic scenery and plenty of local wildlife. Starting in the bustling city of
14 days from£ 1599 pp
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On this self-drive Journey, you’ll spend time exploring the delights of Melbourne and Phillip Island before driving along the glorious Victorian and New South Wales
18 days from£ 2029 pp
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