Phillip Island was discovered in January 1798, ten years after the arrival of the first fleet in Sydney, by George Bass and named by him after the first governor, Captain Arthur Phillip.

Phillip Island and nearby French Island are located in Western Port, sometimes called Western Port Bay, a large tidal bay in southern Victoria that opens into the Bass Strait. Western Port is the second largest bay in Victoria, and lies just to the east of Port Phillip and the city of Melbourne.

Phillip Island is part of the Bass Coast region, located an easy 140 km from Melbourne, and is one of Victoria’s major tourist destinations, attracting over 3.5 million visitors annually.

Visitors to Phillip Island will pass Churchill Island, also worth a visit. Originally part of Phillip Island, when the sea levels rose some 10-15,000 years ago, the land linking them was submerged.

Access to Phillip Island is across the Phillip Island Bridge via San Remo.

There is plenty to do on Phillip Island, including bushwalking, rock climbing, fishing, fossicking, bird watching, historical exploration, motor bike and motor car enthusiasts, just to name a few. Yet it is the Penguin Parade that is the highlight of a visit to Phillip Island for the first time tourist. With the sun slipping into the Bass Strait, and the drawing of the evening light, little penguins come ashore at Summerland Beach to return to their burrows, after a day of feeding out at sea.

On arrival at Phillip Island, for first time visitors, your first stop should be the Information Centre, packed with information on accommodation, attractions and available tours. You can also purchase many of your passes to the various attractions from here.

If you are planning a trip, contact or drop in to the Phillip Island Visitor Information Centre. Another great source is the Phillip Island Nature Parks with information on Penguin Parade, Koala Conservation Reserve, Churchhill Island, Seal Cruise and the Antarctic Journey (which is located at the Nobbies Centre).

Phillip Island Attractions

There is plenty to see and do on Phillip Island, providing a popular destination for many nearby locals, interstate and international visitors. Following are some of the popular attractions. For more information contact the local visitor centre.

The Nobbies

One of the popular trails on Phillip Island is The Nobbies Boardwalk at Point Grant.

The Nobbies is an important nesting ground for birds including silver gulls and crested terns. The surrounding waters are also home to Australian fur seals, dolphins and migrating whales.

Nobbies Information Centre

Perched on the top of the hill, the Nobbies Information Centre offers a great place to watch the resident Australian fur seals as they play on the rocks out at sea.

From the Nobbies Centre, you can take a stroll along the Nobbies Boardwalk, a 1.2 km return walk that takes in the coastline, pass the Blowhole and to the South Coast Lookout.

Nobbies Blowhole

The powerful ocean has carved this cave into the cliff.
Look into the mouth of the blowhole, a 12 metre long tunnel drilled into the cliff by wave action along a joint line in the rocks.

How it works

  1. A large wave enters the blowhole.
  2. The wave fills the tunnel from floor to ceiling, compressing air against the rear wall.
  3. The wave hits the rear wall and rebounds, its speed increased by the explosive force of the compress air. This creates a jet spray from the tunnel entrance.

Source: walk signage

More information coming…