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Vacation - Phillip Island Vic

Updated on December 3, 2009

Vacation Phillip Island.

Phillip Island is located about 87 miles (140 km) south east of Melbourne, Victoria.
The road trip from Melbourne is on a well made Highway and passes through towns such as Cranbourne and Grantville.

The Island was named after Arthur Phillip who was the first Governor of New South Wales.

The Coastal areas of the Island are very rugged and are home to many interesting creatures especially Penguins, Seals, and many species of birds.
Western Port Bay on the northern side of the island is relatively protected from the ocean
but is subjected to large variations in tide heights

Phillip Island is 16 miles (26 km) long and 6 miles (9 km) at its widest point.

Access to Phillip Island is mainly via a road bridge (700 yards-640 metres concrete structure) connecting
the townships of San Remo on the mainland and Newhaven on the Island.

A recent Census puts the Island's permanent population as just over 7000. But being a cooler climate than Melbourne during the summer holidays the population swells to over 40,000 people.

Penguins returning with their bellies full of food for the babies!
Penguins returning with their bellies full of food for the babies!
Fairy Penguins coming home with their dinner!
Fairy Penguins coming home with their dinner!
Nightly parade of Penguins being viewed by a large crowd
Nightly parade of Penguins being viewed by a large crowd
Koalas are common on Phillip Island.
Koalas are common on Phillip Island.

Phillip Island attractions

For the vacationer holiday maker or tourist Phillip Island has many attractions.

In my mind the highlight of any tour is The Penguin Parade at Phillip Island Nature Park,
in which Little Penguins after scouring the sea for food all day come ashore in groups.
This daily tour attracts visitors from all over the world.
This area one of the few places in the world where this species of penguin can be seen in its native environment.

Not far from the Penguin rookery is Seal Rocks, named aptly enough for hosting the largest colony of fur seals in Australia.
In addition to the Penguin Parade, there is also a Wild Life Park where wallabies and kangaroos roam freely amongst the visitors and can be fed by hand.
The Wild Life Park hosts over 300 animals (mostly native Australian species).
These include Wombats, Koalas, Kangaroos, Tasmanian Devils, various parrots and birds of prey, snakes and reptiles.

Not forgetting the more adventurous among us, the island is recognised as having some of the best surfing conditions in the country.
The island has hosted surf events, such as the Rip Curl Pro and the Roxy Pro Women's Surfing Festival.

On New Year's Eve the island hosts the Pyramid Rock Festival and usually puts on a Fireworks display. Other events include the Churchill Island Working Horse and Pioneer Festival.

Casey Stoner winning the Grand Prix at Phillip Island
Casey Stoner winning the Grand Prix at Phillip Island
Layout of the Phillip Island Motor Race Track
Layout of the Phillip Island Motor Race Track

Motor Sport on Phillip Island

Moving away from the coastline for a minute, the Island also caters well for Motor sport.

Phillip Island has a long history involving Australian motor racing.
The Original Australian Grand Prix was run in 1928 and used A circuit composed of the island's public roads.
This idea was not perfect but was continued up until 1935.
The Track was then built on its present site In 1951 and was given the fancy namethe Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.
The original Armstrong 500 was held in 1960 but unfortunately because the old bridge could not carry the heavy hotmix bitumen
equipment the track deteriated and broke up after the running of the 1962 race.

However there was a silver lining because in 1963 the race was moved to the Mount Panaroma Circuit and with the passage of time
became that great race know today as the Bathurst 1000.

The Phillip Island circuit closed in the late 1970s but under new ownership was completely redeveloped and re-opened
in 1989 to host the first international version of the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.
The Track continues to host the race today and is also a venue for the Superbike World Championship, V8 Supercars including the Australian Driver's Championship.

Picturesque Thomson Ave in Cowes
Picturesque Thomson Ave in Cowes


The main township on Phillip Island is Cowes .
Cowes can be reached by the ferry from Stony Point which is located on the Mornington Peninsula. The ferry docks at the Cowes jetty and runs on a regular time table.
Cowes is located on the northern side of Phillip Island and faces towards French Island.and is well serviced with plenty of shops and the Isle of Wright Pub.

Jetty at Cowes
Jetty at Cowes

Did I mention the fishing. No!

Ok you want fishing ? you can have fishing choosing from scuba, piers , jetties , beaches and rocks.

You can hire boats to take you out into Western Port Bay for Whiting, LeatherJackets Flathead.
If you are really adventurous you can book a passage on the ocean going fishing boats to catch anything from Shark, Scnapper.

Trestle Bridge at Kilcunda, gateway to Paradise
Trestle Bridge at Kilcunda, gateway to Paradise

If Motor Sport or fishing is not your cup of tea and you want some isolation, try a visit to one of my favourite spots to blow out the cobwebs.
Kilcunda is a seaside town in Victoria. It is located 117km southeast from Melbourne on the Bass Highway

 Situated along the rugged coastline between Phillip Island and Wonthaggi, Kilcunda offers a great place to go and relax, just park the car, walk under the old trestle bridge and hey presto you are in another world away from everything.

Kilcunda also offers excellent fishing, surfing and swimming beaches. Oh yeah it also has a nice little local pub where you can drop in and wet your whistle on a hot day .

Historical Isle of Wright Hotel located in Cowes on Phillip Island
Historical Isle of Wright Hotel located in Cowes on Phillip Island
Phillip Island just a short drive from Melbourne
Phillip Island just a short drive from Melbourne

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