Your Guide to Phillip Island: Wildlife Coast

Felicia PohFelicia Poh

Seal watching, penguin parades, endless scenic coastlines and one of the best wildlife parks in Australia.

That is Phillip Island.

For your ultimate guide to the wildlife coast and all there is to do on Phillip Island, read on to see what's there and how you can make the best of your trip to this dreamy island and get up close and at home with nature's best!

If you're up for an adventure, Wilson's Promontory aka The Prom is where you want to be.

Duration: 9 hours Cost: $170

Wilson's Promontory The Prom Image Credit

No, not high school prom silly. Short for Promontory, this place is literally called the prom!
Located in South Gippsland, the Prom is one of the state's most loved places, with its soaring granite peaks, white sand beaches, and is home to many of Australia's best known and loved wildlife including kangaroos and wombats, dozens of native bird varieties (cockatoos, emus, echidnas). If you’ve got keen eyes, you might just see all of these on the day!
Stop by the quirky Fish Creek village and visit the wacky stores - ‘Ride the Wild Goat’, ‘The Flying Cow’, and ‘Geeko Gallery’. Wander around the village and sample scones with jam. It’s a photographers' dream so take some great #instaworthy shots while you’re here!
Depending on your preference, you’ll also get the chance to bush walk around the area. Go for a dip in the river under Whale Rock, a stroll on Norman Beach, or trek the clearly marked routes of Lilly Pilly Nature Walk, or up to Pillar Point – an outcrop of granite boulders giving you breathtaking views of Norman and Squeaky Beaches and the Prom’s offshore islands... The opportunities are endless!
The tour runs from 9am with pick-up points at the Car Park at San Remo Foreshore, Newhaven Information Centre, or Cowes Information Centre, and finishes back at 6pm. For more info, click here.

Penguin watching

Duration: 8 hours Cost: $95

cute penguin

Key Tips

A couple of quick tips when it comes to penguin watching is that it's best for you to arrive at least an hour before the penguins are due to show up. Explore the visitor centre or grab a quick bite at the café while waiting. Access doors to the viewing areas open about 1 hour prior to the estimated penguin arrival time.

Summer months are also said to be the best time to visit Phillip Island, so if you want to watch the most sought-after spectacle on the Island, then now’s your best time!

Departure times: January 4.00pm
February to March 19th 3.30pm
March 20th to April 1st 3.00pm
From April 2nd 2.00pm
May June July August 1.30pm
September 2.00pm
October November December 3.30pm
Return time: Approximately 8 hours after departure.

Enjoy a two hour scenic drive to Phillip Island with full commentary and arrive at Penguin Parade at the golden hour approximately an hour before they appear!
A meal in the café and some souvenir shopping later, kick back and relax at the viewing area and watch the little penguins march across the beach to their sand dune burrows. Your guide will tell you exactly where to sit for the best spots!
All tours depart from The Rendezvous Hotel 328 Flinders Street and most city centre hotels are close within walking distance.

The Nobbies

If you’re hitting up Penguin Island, you won’t want to miss out on The Nobbies.
The Nobbies Centre is located at Point Grant, on the western tip of the Island. A network of boardwalks outside the centre overlook Seal Rocks (where you’ll get to see the seals!), The Nobbies, and The Blowhole.
Inside, you get to enjoy a meal and drink at the café and shopping in the gift shop while enjoying the floor-to-ceiling window views looking out onto Bass Strait.
Look out a little further and you’ll see Seal Rocks, home to Australia’s largest colony of fur seals with an estimated 16,000 inhabiting the area.
The Nobbies Centre opens at 10 every day and closes approximately an hour before sunset each day to protect the native wildlife.

For the approximate opening times throughout the year, refer to this list:
Summer: 10am – approx. 7.30pm
Autumn: 10am – approx. 5pm
Winter: 10am – approx. 4pm
Spring: 10am – approx. 6pm

This area is said to be a must-visit because of its spectacular coastal views from the boardwalks and lookout points.

A totally not exhaustive list of things to do at The Nobbies include:

Seal watching

cute seal We've said that Seal Rocks, on the south-western tip of Phillip Island is home to more than 16,000 fur seals. But if you really want an upclose look at these seals, here's what you wanna do:

Hop on one of the wildlife cruises to Seal Rocks and cruise with the seals. The boat drifts within metres of the seals, letting you see them literally an arm's length away from you! Witness the beauty of their natural environment firsthand and meet these inquisitive creatures, as they often approach the boat to see who's visiting.

Keen for a cruise experience? Here are your options:

cruise with seal sightings Image Credit

Captain's Lunch Cruise

Duration: 3 hours Cost: $52

A scenic coastal cruise from Rhyll to Cape Woolamai with regular dolphin and seal sightings, includes a stopover at San Remo for pelican feeding, followed by Fish 'n Chips lunch on board.

Cape Woolamai Cruise

Duration: 1 hour Cost: $17.50

For a shorter ride, hop on board this scenic cruise departing from San Remo Jetty to witness the magnificent granite cliffs of Cape Woolamai. This cruise comes with tea and coffee with cake, as well as local commentary and stories, making for a lighthearted trip.

Twilight Bay Cruise

Duration: 1.5 hour Cost: $36

For a sunset cruise extraordinare, hit up the Twilight Bay cruise which takes you inside Westernport Bay, past Mornington Peninsula and French Island. Watch the setting sun light up the local ports and see the naval submarine "Otama" from up close. Drift away with the sounds of the sea as you listen to local historical commentary, the gentle lapping of the waves, and the seals and dolphins in the waters!

Destination Phillip Island ALL-IN

Duration: 5 hours Cost: $155

For an all-in experience of the ultimate Phillip Island tour, combine a scenic drive and close-up animal encounters with delicious food and beverages and this package is all yours.
Get a taste of locally produced food, view the beaches, wetlands, boardworks, and explore pelican feeding, and the Australian Native Wildlife Park.
This is the ideal tour to get an insight into the Phillip Island area where you can learn all about the flora and fauna, the topography, the produce, the history and future plans with a knowledgeable local guide to take you around and have all your questions answered!

Not sure how to get there from Melbourne CBD? No problems, we can help you with that here! Visit our catalog or download our mobile app to explore all there is to do around you today.

Felicia Poh
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Felicia Poh

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