Phillip Island is a fantastic family destination just 90 minutes from Melbourne.
When you arrive, you’ll be greeted with turquoise water views, beautiful sandy beaches, amazing wildlife encounters and fun-filled family attractions. There’s a reason Phillip Island is a destination that’s top of the list for many local and international tourists.
We are invited by Phillip Island Nature Parks to explore what there is to see, eat and play on Phillip Island over a weekend. Use this guide to discover this gorgeous island and its unique wildlife habitats with your family.
Things to Do on Phillip Island
The one must-do attraction is the Penguin Parade. For decades every night little penguins return home at sunset to one of the largest penguin colonies in Australia. Check out the ‘Penguin Plus’ and ‘Underground Viewing’ options which provide better vantage points and more comfortable surroundings for viewing the penguins. FULL REVIEW
Phillip Island Penguin Parade, 1019 Ventnor Rd, Summerlands
Antarctic Journey is the world’s first interactive Antarctic experience. The big drawcard is the augmented reality screen which allows you to appear as though you are patting a penguin, playing with a seal or within arm’s reach of a leaping whale. FULL REVIEW
WWF Antarctic Journey, The Nobbies Centre, 1320 Ventnor Road, Summerlands
Cowes is the main town in Phillip Island and there are two beaches adjacent to the centre of Cowes: Mussel Rocks; and the main Cowes Beach, next to the ferry jetty. Both beaches are relatively short, safe and calm.
A historic working farm where you can watch demonstrations of daily farming activities, enjoy a picnic in the historic grounds or have lunch at the cafe. FULL REVIEW.
Churchill Island Heritage Farm, 246 Samuel Amess Drive, Churchill Island, Newhaven
5. Up close with the Koalas
Make the most of your 4 Parks Pass and visit to the Koala Conservation Centre.
Stroll through the eucalypt woodland and come face-to-face with koalas in their natural habitat. The unique treetop boardwalks and close viewing areas offer the whole family exceptional koala viewing opportunities.
This high-speed tour of Phillip Island’s rugged and spectacular coastline is the only way to get up close to Phillip Island’s Australian fur seal colony. The water can be choppy and the boat bumps over the waves, so it’s not suitable for people who experience motion sickness or little kids (probably under 5s).
Wild Oceans EcoBoat tours depart from either Cowes jetty or Rhyll jetty, subject to tide and weather conditions.
7. Wildlife Cruising
Marvel at Cape Woolamai’s spectacular 110-metre-high ancient granite cliffs and cruise the aqua blue water in search of dolphins, seals and seabirds.
Wildlife Coast Cruises, 11 The Esplanade, Cowes
8. Maru Koala and Animal Park
Maru Koala and Animal Park is a great stop enroute or heading home from Phillip Island. This award-winning family run park has a range of native animals, an awesome mini-golf course and café.
Maru Koala and Animal Park, 1650 Bass Hwy, Grantville
Fun theme park with mini golf, puzzles, playground and new Skytrail tree top walk and high ropes course. FULL REVIEW.
A Maze’N Things, 1805 Phillip Island Road, Cowes
Phillip Island Cafes & Restaurants
10. Phillip Island Chocolate Factory
Take the kids to the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory and enjoy lunch at their onsite café. See Panny’s Amazing World of Chocolate where the kids can make their own chocolate bar creation.
Phillip Island Chocolate Factory 930 Phillip Island Rd, Newhaven
11. Cape Kitchen
The Cape Kitchen is the standout meal of our time in Phillip Island. The stylish Scandi-chic restaurant boasts spectacular views of the water and we even spot some kangaroos from the outdoor deck!
The menu celebrates local produce in a creative manner and even the kid’s meals are presented with flair.
I’m excited that the owners are working towards opening luxury on-site accommodation and a series of hot mineral bathing pools.
Cape Kitchen, 1215 Phillip Island Road, Newhaven
The cafe is on the ground floor of a complex housing a surf shop and youth hostel and from the decor we aren’t expecting too much. Luckily the food outshines the surroundings, with fresh local ingredients and a smattering of ‘superfoods’ presented in a tasty way.
The Big Wave Cafe, 4 Bluebird Ct, Newhaven
Phillip Island Accommodation
Ramada Resort Phillip Island is a family-friendly resort set amidst 65 acres of natural bushland. We stay in a very comfortable 2-bedroom cabin with a spacious lounge/dining/kitchen area, a small bathroom (shower, no bath) and two double bedrooms.
Other resort facilities include an outdoor swimming pool and spa, gym and spa, games room, children’s playground, two tennis courts, two picnic barbecue areas, plus an onsite restaurant, café & bar and pizzeria. Because we are so tired after a day’s adventuring we have pizza from the pizzeria both nights of our stay – you can dine in or takeaway.
Ramada Resort Phillip Island, 2128 Phillip Island Rd, Cowes
14. Anchor Belle
Phillip Island’s main town is Cowes and where you’ll find the Anchor Belle Holiday Park.
The holiday park has campsites and cabins, from the Luxury 2 storey Town House Apartments to the popular 2 or 3 bedroom Deluxe Self Contained Cabins.
Park facilities include a heated indoor pool, games room with Playstation and arcade games, jumping cushion, e multipurpose ball area, recreation room with pool table and table tennis, kiosk, DVD hire. You also receive a FREE Wifi voucher on arrival.
AirBnB (and its local competitor Stayz) lists many holiday residences in Phillip Island. It’s usually my first go-to search engine for booking family-friendly accommodation all around the world as you can search using the ‘family friendly’ filter. Use my discount link to get $50 off your first booking (I also receive $50 credit).
Where are your favourite places to stay, play, see and eat in Phillip Island?