Phillip Island is an ideal choice for engaging experiences, learning about nature and history and spending the day outside in diverse, thriving habitats. We hope you’ve got your walking shoes on, bike tires pumped up and binoculars at the ready, because here is our guide to two days full of nature, wildlife and island surprises.
Begin the day by exploring Scenic Estate Reserve. This special 28-hectare site of protected natural bushland was developed in partnership with the local council, Parks Victoria and the State Government and opened to the public in 2015. As you trek, pedal, or scoot your way down winding bushland trails and over wetland boardwalks, look out for wallabies, lizards, birds and more. Follow the signs for information about this important habitat, its threatened birds and endangered indigenous vegetation. There are viewing platforms and picnic shelters throughout the site for rest breaks, wildlife watching and taking in delightful views across the bay.
Did you know there’s another island off Phillip Island? Only a short drive from Phillip Island’s main entrance, you’ll find Churchill Island. Here, a working heritage farm, historic stories and exciting experiences await. Churchill Island is a picturesque, heritage-protected site that buzzes with daily activities for you and the kids to join in on, including cow milking, sheep shearing, whip cracking, working dog demonstrations, blacksmithing and more! There’s something for everyone to try, from the hands-on activities to historical learning. There are also great trails for exploring the island if you're feeling up for a walk.
More than 32,000 Little Penguins call Phillip Island home, which is pretty special if you ask us. To experience the magic of their routine as they return to shore, arrive at the Penguin Parade one hour before sunset to get settled into your seats – choose from grandstands on Summerland Beach or even underground viewing. As the penguins waddle in and peer out from their burrows, wildlife of all kinds also scurry, bounce, or soar past. See how many different species you can count! Our knowledgeable rangers will be there to happily answer any questions and pass on fun nature facts.
Treat the family to a fun morning at the Koala Conservation Reserve. There's a range of family-friendly activities and experiences in the lush native bushland, home to many of our favourite Australian wildlife species. On the six hectares of habitat, you can explore the treetop boardwalks and easily accessible trails – be on the lookout for koalas, wallabies, echidnas, and colourful native birds. For those curious about how koalas live, our visitor centre has interactive and informative displays, or find one of our rangers to ask a question. Wildlife lovers may also be interested to know what community groups like the Friends of Koalas or Barb Martin Bushbank are doing to help local and injured wildlife.
For a truly unique lunch spot, head to Kitty Miller Bay. Bring a pre-packed picnic stocked with goodies from Cowes and head down to this incredible beach for glassy waves, soft sand and rock pools accessible at low tide.
After lunch, embark on a 2km walk along Kitty Miller Bay to discover that shipwreck. The SS Speke was one of the world’s largest three-masted steel ships built in 1891. It was due to faulty navigation through a reef that the SS Speke crashed and landed upon Kitty Miller Bay. Today at low tide, you can still see the ship debris scattered among the rocks. Simply head east of the bay, clambering over the rocks and around the corner to reach it. The end of the track can be a bit slippery, so make sure to wear secure footwear.