Phillip Island strikes a fine balance between serene and stimulating. Our experiences, reserves and attractions offer the best of wild and protected nature, as well as history and culture. Whether you’re a nature lover chasing sunsets, or a culture vulture yearning for inspiration (or a bit of both) we’ve got something for you.
Begin your Phillip Island getaway by crossing over another bridge onto Moonar’mia (Churchill Island). This island is significant to Bunurong People, is home to our newest native species the Eastern Barred Bandicoot, is surrounded by a spectacular marine National Park and internationally significant wetlands that provide a home to all kinds of wildlife. Start your visit with the 2.5km North Point Loop. Take the trail to the northern tip of the island where you can see the spiralling, ancient Moonah trees. Look out for signage along your walk to discover more of the local history of the island. The views across the bay of Western Port are spectacular.
For history buffs, Churchill Island is a real treat with its many stories to be uncovered. First walked by Traditional Owners of the area, the Bunurong People, they feasted on fruit, shellfish and Short-tailed Shearwaters in the summer. In 1801, Lt James Grant came ashore and established Victoria's first European crops and building. He also recorded building a blockhouse – yet the location remains a mystery to this day. Can you find any clues to its existence? There are many more fascinating stories to be discovered. Tour the historic buildings, collections and gardens, for a truly immersive experience of the characters and their rich lives.
Phillip Island doesn’t just have beaches and rockpools – there’s also a stunning lake that is a must-see. Head towards the Summerland Peninsula to Swan Lake, a protected nature reserve, and significant site for the Bunurong Peoples of Millowl (Phillip Island), where you can observe birds peacefully enjoying their lush habitat. Binoculars are essential for this one. As you embark on cruisy trails and boardwalks through to the serene freshwater lake, you can spot Black Swans, Swamp Harriers, cormorants, and Purple Swamp Hens. For a particularly meditative experience, settle into one of our bird hides for a premium nature gazing position.
As the sun lowers towards the horizon, it’s time to visit the Penguin Parade. Book a Guided Ranger Tour (Friday to Sunday evenings) for an engaging and educational journey down to an exclusive viewing platform with one of our insightful rangers in small groups of 10. Watch out for wildlife around you as you explore the boardwalks – look for Little Penguins peering out from their burrows, Eastern Barred Bandicoots or Swamp Wallabies hopping by, or maybe Purple Swamp Hens, Swamp Harriers or Cape Barren Geese nesting and waddling around.
The Nobbies is a special site for many reasons including habitat, wildlife, coastal views. While walking the boardwalk, you'll find a midden on the headland — a mound of shells, bones, and charcoal — that demonstrates the Bunurong found an abundance of coastal food on Phillip Island over thousands of years.
Follow the South Coast Road from the Nobbies to Flynns Beach for magnificent panoramic views and a sandy stroll to the remnants of a historic wharf that took visitors to the Penguin Parade by ferry. To access this peaceful beach, you can head down a 200m walk through soft sand and tea-trees towards then walk west along the beach to the old pier. Explore around the pier ruins totally undisturbed – you might be the only humans there, but look out for wild geese and wallabies in the scrub.
After all that exploring and learning, it’s time to unwind with a wine overlooking a spectacular coastal vista. Purple Hen Winery is a local family business, located on the northern side of Phillip Island on soft rolling fields overlooking the bay. We can’t go past the wine tasting and cheese board as the ideal way to relax for the rest of the day. The cellar door also has a great selection of tasty souvenirs to share back home.