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About Phillip Island Tours

Phillip Island

Phillip Island Tourism Map

Phillip Island is located 140 kilometres or 90 minutes drive southeast of Melbourne. Phillip Island is a popular day tour from Melbourne due to the islands' natural beauty and attractions.

The island is just over 100 square kilometres and has a few small towns with a small population of roughly 13,000.

Phillip Island is the perfect place to see Australian wildlife up close and in its natural environment including kangaroos and the largest colony of fur seals in Australia. Not only is the island teeming with marvellous wildlife, but the scenery is also spectacular.

Phillip Island Penguin Parade
One of the most populars attraction on Phillip Island. Visitors can view hundreds of Little Penguins returning to the beach to nest from a raised platforms and other viewing areas.

Churchill Island Heritage Farm
This working farm offers visitors a glimpse into the island's rich agricultural heritage and provides a range of interactive experiences, including sheep shearing and horse riding.

Phillip Island Wildlife Parks
These parks offer a range of activities and attractions, including wildlife encounters, birdwatching, and scenic walks. The parks are home to a variety of native animals, including penguins, seals, and koalas.

Cape Woolamai
Cape Woolamai is the highest point on Phillip Island and offers some spectacular scenery via the well maintained walking trails and lookouts. Cape Woolamai is home to one of the most famous surf beaches in Australia. There is also a beautiful family friendly beach on the bayside. 

Smiths Beach
Smiths Beach is a popular destination for families. The 1 kilometer long beach great consistant waves for body boarding.

The Nobbies Centre
This interactive visitor center offers visitors a chance to learn about the island's unique coastal and marine environment, including the migratory patterns of whales and seals. Entry fees apply.

This charming coastal town is the main hub of activity on Phillip Island and offers a range of shops, restaurants, and cafes, as well as a small calm water swimming beach.

Phillip Island Tours

Nobbies Boardwalk

Phillip Island is a stunning natural paradise just a short 90 minute drive from Melbourne. We offer a range of tours departing throughout the day, you can easily make the most of your time on this picturesque island.

Phillip Island Tour Times 
Most tours from Melbourne to Phillip Island depart between 10am and 12noon and return late in the evening, lasting anywhere from 8 to 12 hours. The late return time is due to the popular inclusion of the Penguin Parade attraction in most tour itineraries. Depending on the time of year, sunset can occur anywhere between 5pm and 8.30pm. The Penguin Parade begins at sunset and can last up to 2 hours, providing the perfect opportunity to see the iconic little penguins waddling their way back to their burrows.

Melbourne City & Hotel Transfers
When you book a tour to Phillip Island from Melbourne, all transfers are included. Simply select your hotel from the list provided when booking and a pickup time will be arranged for you. If your hotel is not on the list, the closest available pickup point will be provided for your convenience.

Meals & Dining Options
While most tours to Phillip Island do not provide meals, there are plenty of opportunities to purchase delicious food and drinks throughout the day. Head to the charming township of Cowes or visit the Penguin Parade Visitor Centre cafe for a bite to eat.

The Penguin Parade

The Penguin Parade

The Penguin Parade takes place every evening on Summerland Beach. It is one of the main attractions on the island and attracts thousands of visitors every year. Visitors come to see the smallest species of penguin in the world, returning to their nests after a day of fishing in the ocean. 

You can viiew the penguin Parade when visiting Phillip Island Nature Parks who provide viewing stands and options  which overlook Summerland beach.

Tickets cost around $27 for Adults and $13 for Children

The penguins come ashore at Summerland Beach and make their way up to their burrows, providing a unique and up-close wildlife experience for visitors.

There is a designated viewing area at Summerland Beach, where visitors can watch the penguins from a raised boardwalk or from one of the seating tiers. There is also a visitor center and museum, where you can learn more about the penguins and their habitat.

To reach the Penguin Parade, you can drive or take a bus to Phillip Island and follow the signs to the Summerland Beach car park. From there, you can take a short walk to the viewing area, where you can observe the penguins as they make their way to their burrows.

Visitors are reminded to respect the penguins and their habitat by following the guidelines set by the park, such as keeping a safe distance and avoiding flash photography. The Penguin Parade is a unique and special experience, and a must-see for anyone visiting Phillip Island.

Phillip Island Seal Cruise

Phillip Island Seal Cruise

The Seal Watching Cruise is a 2 hour scenic coastal boat tour to Seal Rocks, where you will drift among Australian Fur Seals. 

Seal Rocks is situated 2kms off the rugged southwest coast of Phillip Island. The boat drifts within meters of the seals, enabling you to witness them in their natural environment firsthand. The seals are naturally playful and inquisitive animals. They regularly approach the boat for a closer look at you!

Along the way, take in the beautiful coastline and learn all about the history of Phillip Island’s western shoreline.

Tea & coffee is complimentary onboard and cake will be served on the return duration of the trip.

The Seal Watching Cruise departs from Cowes Jetty at 2 PM. It is recommended to arrive 15 minutes prior to departure, so you should aim to be at the boat ready for boarding by 1:45 PM.

If you are driving from Melbourne to Phillip Island, allow 2 hours drive time to get there. Aim to leave Melbourne before noon to arrive at the jetty in time.

Cape Woolamai

Cape Woolamai

Cape Woolamai is a headland located on the eastern side of Phillip Island and offers panoramic views of Bass Strait and the surrounding islands. Cape Woolamai is known for its rugged coastline, beautiful beaches, and diverse wildlife. 

The Cape is a popular destination for beach lovers, with several pristine beaches located along the coast, including the famous Woolamai Beach and Cathedral Rock Beach. The beaches are known for their clear water and excellent surf, making them popular spots for surfing, swimming, and fishing.

The area around Cape Woolamai is also popular for wildlife watching, with several species of native birds, including seagulls, pelicans, and terns, as well as a variety of marine life, including seals, dolphins, and whales, can be seen in the surrounding waters.

Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy several walking trails that offer scenic views of the coastline and wildlife, as well as opportunities for birdwatching, hiking, and wildlife encounters. The nearby Phillip Island Nature Park offers additional opportunities for nature-based activities and wildlife encounters.

Churchill Island Heritage Farm

Churchill Island Heritage Farm

The historical grounds and farming activities on Churchill Island are available to tours and Self-Drive visitors daily.
The farm offers gardens, walking trails and entertaining and educational farming presentations daily including Australian sheep shearing, blacksmithing, working dogs, cow milking, and whip cracking. 

The Churchill Island Cafe is open for breakfast at 10am on weekdays & 9am on weekends. Dine and enjoy views from the deck across to French Island. 

Daily Presentations

10.30am Blacksmithing
02.10pm Cow Milking
02.30pm Sheep Shearing
02.45pm Working Dogs
03.00pm Whip Cracking

Walking Trails
The Walking tails around Churchill Island are easy to navigate and Wheely and bicycle friendly. The walk around the north end of Churchill Island offers views over Western Port Bay.

Churchill Island loop
4.5kms | moderate

North Point loop
2kms | easy

Wadjil’garook Wetland
1km inside the entrance is Wadjil’garook Wetland. Follow the paths to learn about Aboriginal culture and view wetland birds.

Churchill Island Entry Fees

Adult (16 years+) - $13.70
Child (4-15 years) - $6.85
Family (2 adults and 2 children) - $34.30

Opening Times

  • Weekdays: 10am - 5pm daily 
  • Weekends: 9am - 5pm
  • Last entry 4pm

Getting to Churchill Island
Phillip Island is located 90 minutes' drive from Melbourne. 
Allow a further 10 minutes from the bridge to get to Churchill Island. 
Free car parking on site.

Churchill Island Address
246 Samuel Amess Drive, Churchill Island, Newhaven 3925

Churchill Island Cafe
The Churchill Island cafe offers picturesque views to enjoy a cake and coffee, choose from our a la carte lunch menu, or relax with our farm fresh all-day breakfast menu. Gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options are available. 

  • Weekdays: 10am - 4.30pm
  • Weekends: 9am - 4.30pm 

Wheely Friendly

Allocated parking spaces.
Disabled toilet facilities.
Smooth, hard-packed gravel paths.
Variety of sealed rest areas provided.
Pram and wheelchair parking at all farming activity stations.

Churchill Island Farmers market
The Farmer's market is held from 8am - 4.30pm on the 1st Saturday of each month. The Market showcases some of the best local produce grown and made in Phillip Island and the Gippsland region. 

Cowes Township

Cowes Township Phillip Island

Cowes, the main township on Phillip Island, is located on one of Victoria's few north-facing beaches and serves as the perfect base for a seaside holiday. During peak season, the town comes alive with visitors and locals enjoying the cafes, restaurants, and boutiques, as well as stunning ocean views.

The main beach in Cowes is a great spot to spend an afternoon soaking up the sun. You can start your day with a delicious breakfast, brunch, or lunch at one of the many modern eateries. At night, the summer mood continues as restaurants fill up quickly.

Cowes offers a wide variety of accommodation options, including self-contained apartments with ocean views, caravan parks, B&Bs, and houses. 

Smiths Beach

Smiths BEach

Smiths Beach is a small picturesque town located on Phillip Island. The town is known for its long stretch of white sandy beach, clear blue water, and stunning views of the Bass Strait and nearby islands.

Smiths Beach is a popular spot for surfing and swimming, and is also known for its great fishing and snorkeling opportunities. The beach is patrolled by lifeguards during the summer months, making it a safe place for families to enjoy the water.

The area surrounding Smiths Beach offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors, including several walking trails that offer scenic views of the coastline and wildlife. The nearby Churchill Island and the Phillip Island Nature Parks offer opportunities for birdwatching, wildlife viewing, and wildlife encounters.

News By Phillip Island Tours

Best time to visit Phillip Island

Boar Walk on Phillip Island

By Phillip Island Tours

14 Aug 2023

Phillip Island is a charming destination that offers a variety of experiences year-round. From the famous Penguin Parade to stunning coastal landscapes, there's always something to see and do. To help you plan your trip, we'll guide you through the seasonal changes on Phillip Island and what to expect during each time of the year.

Spring (September to November)
Spring on Phillip Island is a delightful time to visit. The weather starts getting warmer, and nature comes alive with blooming flowers and lush greenery. It's a great time for outdoor activities like hiking, wildlife watching, and exploring the scenic coastal areas. The ocean waters are still a bit chilly, but you can enjoy the beautiful beaches and coastal walks.

What to Expect

  • Mild temperatures ranging from 11°C to 18°C (52°F to 64°F).
  • Vibrant landscapes with colorful flowers and fresh foliage.
  • Great opportunities for bird watching as migratory birds return.
  • Consider bringing a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings.

Summer (December to February)
Summer is a popular time to visit Phillip Island, especially for beach lovers. The days are longer, and the weather is warm, making it perfect for swimming, surfing, and enjoying outdoor activities. The island comes alive with festivals, markets, and events that cater to both tourists and locals.

What to Expect

  • Warm temperatures ranging from 16°C to 24°C (61°F to 75°F).
  • Crowded attractions and accommodations, so book in advance.
  • Enjoy the stunning coastline, but don't forget sunscreen and a hat.
  • Experience a lively atmosphere with various cultural and outdoor events.

Autumn (March to May)
Autumn brings milder temperatures and fewer crowds, making it a peaceful time to visit. The landscapes begin to change, with leaves turning golden and orange, creating a picturesque backdrop. It's a great time for wildlife spotting, as you may see wallabies, echidnas, and other native animals.

What to Expect

  • Pleasant temperatures ranging from 12°C to 20°C (54°F to 68°F).
  • Beautiful fall foliage and comfortable weather for outdoor activities.
  • Ideal time for exploring the island's hiking trails and coastal walks.
  • Pack a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings.

Winter (June to August)
Winter on Phillip Island is the quietest time for tourists, making it perfect for travelers seeking a peaceful getaway. While the weather is cooler, it's a great opportunity to witness the spectacular Penguin Parade, as little penguins return to their burrows after a day of fishing.

What to Expect

  • Cool temperatures ranging from 9°C to 14°C (48°F to 57°F).
  • Fewer crowds, making attractions more accessible.
  • Unique chance to experience the famous Penguin Parade in the evenings.
  • Dress warmly and bring a waterproof jacket for occasional rain.

Phillip Island welcomes visitors throughout the year, each season offering its own unique charm. Depending on your preferences, you can plan your visit to enjoy the beaches, wildlife, outdoor activities, and local events. Remember to check the weather forecast and pack accordingly for a comfortable and memorable experience on this beautiful island.

2023 Phillip Island Whale Festival

2023 Island Whale Festival

By Phillip Island Tours

08 May 2023

As Whales begin their annual migration north along the Victorian coastline, we invite you to marvel at these majestic giants as they meander through the coastal waters around Phillip Island.

From May to November our island plays host to humpback whales, southern right whales and occasionally killer whales, and in June our community joins in celebration and appreciation for the spectacular natural attractions right here in our backyard.

Events & Activities
In 2023, experience a range of activities that celebrate the annual whale migration.

  • Ocean Film Festival
  • Silent Disco
  • VR Experience
  • Whale Blessing Ceremony on Cowes Beach
  • Deep Listening Circle with local First Nations People
  • Recycled Plastics Workshop
  • Pop-Up Local Art Show at The Nobbies
  • Festival Hub Stage with music and entertainment
  • Face Painting
  • Paint Your Own whale cookie activity
  • Giant Whale interactive art piece with local artists Camille Monet & Helen Matthews
  • Spot A Whale activities with the Dolphin Research Institute
  • Sip and Paint a whale

Local community members and visitors have the opportunity to engage with a range of activities that will not only entertain, but also allow you to appreciate the wildlife and natural habitats of Phillip Island and the Bass Coast region.



Phillip Island Tours Reviews


dallas and dan M

A bus trip down from Melbourne to Phillips Island to see the penguins march across the beach. En route our tour took us to an animal reserve where we could commune with koalas, kangaroos, dingoes, etc. At night fall we arrived at the beach with anticipation to see the penguins arrive from the ocean to their hovels on land. It was an awesome sight to see the critters float in off an ocean wave, waddle across the beach and disappear into the land vegetation. Its definitely a must see.


David O

We selected aat kings for this trip as they offered a half day excursion. This suited us as we had already been on trips that covered the type of visits that he whole day trip offered. The trip was well organised and the driver, Chris, was informative without being over the top. The trip gave us some wonderful memories of the views on Phillip Island and,of course, the wild penguins. Going is a must particularly for visitors from the northern hemisphere.


Phillip Island Tours

Getting to Phillip Island from Melbourne Phillip Island is located south of Melbourne. Allow 2 hours drive time to get to Phillip Island Day Tour Tours to Phillip Island depart daily. Pick-up times vary. Most tours pick-up from Melbourne City Accommodation. Self Drive Take the M1 freeway from Melbourne towards Frankston Take the exit towards Bass Highway/Phillip Island Follow the Bass Highway all the way to Phillip Island By Bus You can catch a bus to Phillip Island from Melbourne's Southern Cross Station. There are several bus companies that offer regular services to Phillip Island, including V/Line and Island Coaches. You can purchase your tickets in advance online or at the bus station, and check the schedules to plan your trip accordingly. Keep in mind that it's a good idea to book in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to ensure you have a seat on the bus.

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Phillip Island Visitor Guide 2023
Rhyll Inlet and Conservation Hill Walks
George Bass Coastal Walk
Cape Woolamai Walk
Gippsland & Phillip Island Walks & Rides
George Bass Coastal Walk PDF Guide
Penguin Parade Restaurant Menu
Walking and cycling trails free to enjoy, as well as daily farming activities and digital quests around the Heritage Farm. Come explore!