Destination Philip Island

33 Best Things To Do On Phillip Island With Kids

Phillip Island is a fantastic family destination just 90 minutes from Melbourne. Long famous for its Penguin Parade and world-class Grand Prix Circuit, the island is ready to celebrate and share some of its new and lesser-known experiences, with something to suit every family.

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.

Phillip Island has 101km2 of breathtaking beauty for visitors to discover. It might be the heart-stopping moment a humpback whale breaches in the distance, or the breathtaking sight of thousands of Australian fur seals sunning themselves on rocks. 

The first thing to consider when planning your family trip is booking the 4-Park Pass by Phillip Island Nature Parks, which is great value and allows you to explore all sorts of native Australian wildlife. It includes access to the Penguin Parade, Koala Conservation Centre, Churchill Island Heritage Farm and the Antarctic Journey at the Nobbies Centre.

Get ready to explore!

Destination Philip Island

Things to do on Phillip Island

1. Phillip Island Penguin Parade

The number 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.  

Phillip Island Penguin Parade, 1019 Ventnor Rd, Summerlands

Destination Philip Island
Destination Philip Island

Buy a Phillip Island Nature Parks Penguin Parade Viewing Ticket

Book a Phillip Island Private Tour from Melbourne

2. Antarctic Journey at The Nobbies Centre

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.

WWF Antarctic Journey, The Nobbies Centre, 1320 Ventnor Road, Summerlands

WWF Antarctic Journey, The Nobbies Centre, 1320 Ventnor Road, Summerlands

BUY discount tickets to Nobbies Antarctic Journey

3. Cowes Beach

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.

Cowes Beach Phillip Island - 1

4. A Maze’N Things

This fun family attraction has mini golf, puzzles, magical illusions, a high ropes course, a playground and cafe, plus Australia’s largest walk-through maze.

A Maze’N Things, 1805 Phillip Island Road, Cowes

A Maze’N Things, 1805 Phillip Island Road, Cowes, Phillip Island

5. Churchill Island Heritage Farm

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.

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, 246 Samuel Amess Drive, Churchill Island, Newhaven

Churchill Island Heritage Farm, 246 Samuel Amess Drive, Churchill Island, Newhaven, Phillip Island

6. See Koalas Up Close

Make the most of your 4 Parks Pass and visit to the Koala Conservation Reserve.

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.

Koala Conservation Reserve, 1810 Phillip Island Road, Rhyll

koala conservation centre phillip island

7. 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

maru koala and animal park

Phillip Island Walks That Should Not Be Missed

Phillip Island is known for it’s breathtaking scenery and wildlife, and with a range of bushwalking opportunities families can enjoy the island’s natural beauty at a leisurely pace.

Destination Philip Island

8. Conservation Hill And Rhyll Inlet (Wetland Track)

Rhyll Inlet Nature Reserve features a boardwalk that meanders through 2 kilometres of mangroves and wetlands. It’s an easy walk for little ones and excellent place for birdwatching, especially during the migratory bird season.

Destination Philip Island

9. Pyramid Rock To Berrys Beach Walk (Coastal Track)

If you’re after something a bit more challenging, other stunning walking trails can be found at Pyramid Rock and Churchill Island, with breathtaking views along the clifftop.

Destination Philip Island

10. Cape Woolamai Walk (Coastal Track)

Choose a path to wander along the rugged coastline and find legendary surf breaks, see magnificent rock formations at the Pinnacles Lookout, and take in walking tracks with spectacular views. 

Destination Philip Island

11. Forrest Caves Walk (Sea Caves)

Accessible only during low tide, these sea caves formed over years of erosion provide the perfect spot to explore the rock pools. But take care, no dogs are allowed and kids need to stay off the areas of revegetation.

Destination Philip Island

12. The Nobbies Walk (Scenic Coastal Views)

Overlooking Bass Strait take in the sights of the southern coastline as you explore the boardwalks, and if the weather is right, see the explosive blowhole in action! And don’t forget to keep your eyes out for a rare sighting of the iconic little penguins, seabirds and whales passing by in winter.

Enjoy the views out over the Nobbies Rock formations and beyond to Seal Rocks, home of Australia’s largest fur seal colony.

Remember to check the weather conditions before embarking on any bushwalk and be prepared with suitable clothing, water, and snacks. Some tracks may be closed during certain times of the year to protect nesting wildlife or during maintenance periods, so it’s a good idea to check for any updates or alerts before heading out.

Destination Philip Island

Where To Eat And Drink On Phillip Island

When it comes to food, the Island packs a lot of variety into its 101km2.  Your whole family can sample fish and chips on the beach, fresh rocky road straight from the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory, or grilled prawns at a waterfront restaurant. Adults can try tipples at a Phillip Island winery cellar door too. 

Destination Philip Island

13. San Remo Fisherman’s Co-op

Established in 1948, San Remo Fisherman’s Co-op sources the freshest seafood from their own boats, with sustainably harvested species including lobster, scallops, octopus, gummy shark, snapper, flathead, and more.

San Remo Fishermans Coop

14. The Westernport Hotel

The Westernport is where city smarts meet country hospitality – the best of both worlds. Situated 90 minutes from Melbourne and only minutes from all that San Remo, Phillip Island and the surrounding area has to offer.

The Westernport is the perfect place for a drink with a view, in the bar you’ll find a wide range of beers, wines and more with an emphasis on local offerings.

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15. Pinos Trattoria 

Tucked away from the main street in Cowes, you will find one of Phillip Island’s best known Italian restaurants. Pino’s Trattoria is an institution that has been serving locals and tourists alike for the past 30 years. Serving simple and honest Italian food, they are known for the best pizza and pasta in town.

Destination Philip Island

16. The Waterboy Café

The Waterboy Cafe is a renovated with shiny floorboards, high ceilings, and a huge window looking out over Westernport Bay. The menu accommodates all tastes for breakfast and lunch.

The perfect spot to relax with a coffee or enjoy a meal in a modern and welcoming environment.


17. Phillip Island Chocolate Factory

Take the kids to the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory and enjoy lunch at their onsite café.  See all sorts of sweet cholate-y delights at 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

phillip island chocolate factory
Destination Philip Island

BUY Phillip Island Chocolate Factory entry tickets and skip the queues!

18. Rusty Water Brewery, Restaurant & Bar

Home to Phillip Island Brewing Co., Rusty Water Restaurant & Bar is a great place for families to enjoy a meal. The internationally trained chef produces delicious seasonal dishes in a cosy environment. Grab a table by the fireplace and unwind with an award-winning Chicory Stout.

Rusty Water Brewery, Restaurant & Bar, 1821 Phillip Island Road, Cowes

Park Lane Holiday Park Phillip Island

19. The Haven Wave Cafe

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 Haven Wave Cafe, 4 Bluebird Crt, Newhaven

Big Wave Cafe Phillip Island
Destination Philip Island

Phillip Island Accommodation

Phillip Island offers the perfect caravan beach break, airy apartment or resort-style retreat.

For those who like to treat themselves, luxe cabins are available to book (including family friendly glamping options), so you can wake up to sweeping sea views in style.

Destination Philip Island


20. Park Lane Phillip Island Holiday Park

With a range of accommodation options available, from caravans to spacious cabins, motel rooms and even glamping, Park Lane Holiday Park has so much to offer families.

Book a glamorous Safari Tent and enjoy a full kitchen, spacious front deck with BBQ and modern bathroom all to yourself. These glamping tents have two bedrooms and a separate living/dining area, and can accommodate up to 6 people with a queen bed and 2 bunk beds.

Within the grounds of the holiday park there’s a playground, swimming pool, tennis court and games room, as well as A Maze’N Things and Rusty Water Brewery all within walking distance.

Park Lane Phillip Island Holiday Park, 1825 Phillip Island Rd, Cowes

Park Lane Sarafi Tent

21. Ramada Resort Phillip Island

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.

Ramada Phillip Island

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

Ramada Phillip Island

22. Anchor Belle

Phillip Island’s main town is Cowes and where you’ll find the Anchor Belle Holiday Park

This ideal holiday destination on Phillip Island is a family-friendly park, set among 5 acres of bush – just 100m from the beach and 2km from the main shops and restaurants.

Destination Philip Island

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, a multipurpose ball area, recreation room with pool table and table tennis, kiosk, DVD hire. You also receive a FREE wifi voucher on arrival.

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23. Big4 Ingenia Holidays Phillip Island 

BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Phillip Island offers the perfect place to sit and relax, with a wide variety of accommodation, ranging from shady camping sites to three-bedroom Villas, with clean amenities and great family facilities.

Destination Philip Island

24. A Maze’n Things Holiday Park 

Set on 10 acres with a variety of self-contained cabins (from one-room studios and budget two-bedroom family cabins, to more spacious park cabins sleeping up to six people) and two modern villas. Guests have access to an extra-large camp kitchen and wood-fired pizza oven, games room, basketball and tennis courts, swimming pool and playground. The park is also home to the popular A Maze’n Things maze, illusion room, vertical slide, mini-golf and magic manor. 

Destination Philip Island

25. NRMA Phillip Island Beachfront Holiday Park 

Just a short stroll to many restaurants and cafes, NRMA Phillip Island Beachfront Holiday Park is the perfect place for an island escape, choose to put your feet up in a cabin or sleep ‘under the stars’ on a caravan or campsite.

Destination Philip Island

26. Amaroo Park

Nestled just off the main street of Cowes, surrounded by tropical gardens, location, tranquillity, and clean modern accommodation is why our guests love staying at Amaroo Park. They offer fully self-contained two-bedroom villas, one-bedroom king bed villas, deluxe studios, budget accommodation and a few camping sites.

Destination Philip Island

27. AirBnB

AirBnB 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.

For more information on visiting Phillip Island, including accommodation options, activities and sights, visit www.phillilpisland.com and www.penguins.org.au.



Destination Philip Island

Phillip Island Fishing & Boating Adventures 

28. Phillip Island Seal Cruise

Also run by Wildlife Coast Cruises, 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).  

Depart from either Cowes jetty or Rhyll jetty, subject to tide and weather conditions. 


Destination Philip Island

29. Wildlife Cruisingundefined

Hop aboard Wildlife Coast Cruises for a one-hour Cape Woolamai Cruise, which departs the San Remo Jetty at 10.45 am.

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

wildlife coast cruises phillip island

30. Ocean Adventures Phillip Island

Ocean Adventures Phillip Island specialises in fun, safe and personal adventure based tourism for the whole family, couples and travellers, showcasing some of Phillip Island’s most majestic scenery both above and below the water.

Ocean Adventures Drift Jetboat Tour and Thundercat racing boat are the only vessels of their design operating in Victoria.

adventure boat tour phillip island

31. Reel Obsession Fishing Charters

If your obsessed with fishing or would simply like to try, there is no better place than aboard the Nevlin!

Reel Obsession Fishing Charters specialise in catering for groups of up to 10 passengers, they offer both in-shore and off-shore charters. With many years of experience in fishing on Westernport Bay and Bass Strait, Reel Obsession has developed an extensive knowledge of the best areas to catch fish.

reelobession boat fishing

32. Drift Jet Boat Tour

Ocean Adventures Jet Boat Tour is a must do activity on Phillip Island. This tour is the perfect mix of adventure filled fun and epic scenery. The 35 minute tour includes carving lines through the beautiful turquoise water along the granite cliff coast of Cape Woolamai.

Destination Philip Island

33. Jims Bait and Tackle

At Jim’s Bait and Tackle, we offer an extensive range of rods and reels from a wide range of brands and have a large range of anything tackle.

With Western Port right out our front door, we can offer you reliable daily fishing and weather reports and a comprehensive report on all things fishing on and around Phillip Island.

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Find Stays Near Phillip Island

Visit the Penguin Parade Phillip Island

Visit the Antarctic Journey Phillip Island

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Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

In the spirit of reconciliation, we acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community.

We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

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