Located 135km southeast of Melbourne, Phillip Island divides Westernport Bay and the Bass Strait. A popular holiday destination, the picturesque island is somewhat of a contradiction. Renowned for its amazing wildlife, the island is equally famous for its international motorsports. Connected to the mainland by a road bridge, Phillip Island offers easy access to all major accommodation and attractions at just 10km wide and 20km long.
The island’s most famous natural attraction is the ‘Penguin Parade’, a nightly event that takes place on the seashore as the island’s resident population of Fairy Penguins come ashore at sunset to burrow in the sand dunes. A remarkable sight, Fairy Penguins are actually the world’s smallest penguins and, unsurprisingly, this makes for a popular tourist attraction. In an effort to keep environmental impacts to a minimum, flash photography is restricted and designated pathways must be adhered to.
However the penguins aren’t the only natural attractions, with the island also being home to the largest seal colony in Australia. The Seal Rocks Sea Life Centre offers an insight into the underwater world of seals and is a wonderful way for visitors to experience the animals intimately without harming their habitat. There is also a Great White Shark display that highlights the vital role this endangered and protected species plays in the island’s ecosystem as well as thrilling visitors with an up close and personal encounter with Australia’s most dangerous shark.
There are also plenty of excellent cruises that take in the region’s wonderful wildlife including seal watching cruises that guarantee spotting a minimum of 4700 seals. Cruises are also available to nearby French Island, home to a range of birdlife, wildlife, a large koala population and historic prison farm. However if you’re prefer to stay on Phillip Island there is also a Koala Conservation Centre, Phillip Island Nature Park and Phillip Island Wildlife Park.
Of course it’s not all about nature and wildlife. Things can get a bit wild when the Superbike Championship, V8 Supercars, 500cc World Championship and the Grand Prix come to town in April, May and October. Home to the best motorcycle and touring car racing circuit in Australia, Phillip Island is also home to a motorsport display of cars, bikes and memorabilia from as far back as 1928.