Surround Yourself In Nature With these ‘Must-Do’ Phillip Island Walks

Longing to get out of the city and out into nature? 


We hear you.


Luckily, Phillip Island is one of the best places in Victoria to immerse yourself in the natural environment. 


Surrounded by a beautiful coastline on all sides, there is an abundance of different walks, to suit everyone. 


On the right day, some of these walks offer incredible views or offer a unique experience you’re unlikely to find elsewhere. 


Throughout this post, allow yourself to be inspired as we explore some of Phillip Island’s best Walks…

Table of Contents

Cape Woolamai Walk

Starting with Phillip Island’s most iconic walk. The Cape Woolamai Cape Walk. 


A few minutes after arriving on the island, you can turn down Woolamai Beach road. Head to the end of this road and park at the last car park you get to. 


From here, you’ll be greeted by an incredible view of the beach, with the Cape pinnacles providing a truly beautiful backdrop. 


Cape Woolamai is an extremely popular beach for local surfers, with who you’ll likely be sharing the car park as you begin walking.  


To start this walk, head down the beach towards the Cape until you reach the stairs. 


The track then makes its way along the cape which is Phillip Island’s highest point. The track here will reward you with spectacular 360 views across Woolamai and the ocean. 


There are also few different tracks you can take on the Cape; 


  • Pinnacles Walk (Green track) 1.5-hour return 
  • Old Granite Quarry (Blue track) 2-hour return 
  • Beacon Walk (Black Track) 2.5-hour return 

Churchill Island Loop Walk

Churchill Island, a small island connected by a bridge to Phillip Island, is a quiet, tranquil place perfect for escaping the real world. 


When you arrive, park at the heritage farm (which is a great place to grab a coffee or bite to eat after your walk). 


The Loop walk takes you around the edge of the island, where you’ll be greeted by views of the Western Port Bay and surrounding wetlands. 


The walk itself takes around 2-hours to return and is very leisurely in terms of difficulty. 


This track is also great as it’s accessible for both prams and wheelchairs.

The Nobbies Boardwalk

Out on this wild and rugged coastline, there is an incredible boardwalk track that leads you along the cliffs.  


After parking at The Nobbies Center, The boardwalk paths are easy to spot, on which you can stroll along while taking in spectacular views of The Nobbiess snd Seal Rocks.  


You’ll see waves smashing into the jagged cliffs below and don’t forget to check out the spectacular blowhole, towards the end of the track. 


The boardwalk track is only 500 metres long so it’s a great one for the kids! There is also the chance to see some native Phillip Island wildlife here, so be sure to keep an eye out for the world’s smallest penguins (who nest amongst the boardwalk), Cape Barron Geese and Wallabies that roam the area.

Pyramid Rock To Berry’s Beach Walk

This walk offers amazing views across Phillip Island’s southern coast. 


Begin at pyramid rock, which offers great views of the rock itself, as well as back towards Woolamai. 


Begin your walk by taking the track towards Berrys beach. Along the way you’ll get the chance to stop at viewing platforms, giving you a moment to take in the beauty that surrounds you. 


You can walk onwards towards Berrys beach or do a loopback towards Pyramid Rock car park. 


This is around a 2-hour return. 

Forrest Caves

A short stroll along the beach at Forrest Caves gives you the chance to check out some incredible rock formations. 


Due to millions of years worth of waves pounding into the rocks, softer rock has been eroded away here, forming these fascinating caves. All of which can be accessed and is awe-inspiring for the kids. 


Be sure to head to Forrest Caves at low tide only, as this is the only tide you’ll be able to go inside the caves and really get to explore. 


From the car park to the caves, the walk is around 1km and will take about 25 minutes each way. 

George Bass Coastal Walk

While not strictly on Phillip Island, we simply had to include this one! 


One of the longer walks on the list, but also one of the most rewarding. 


This track leads you along the amazing coastline between San Remo and Kilcunda and is 7km one way. 


If you’re a keen hiker, this one’s for you. You’ll have amazing views back towards the Island as well as the wild coast towards Kilcunda and out towards the Bass Strait. 


When you walk here, please respect the land as the track passes through farmland and the coastal reserve. 


5-hour return. 

San Remo Coastal Circuit

Located just over the bridge, the San Remo coastal circuit is a leisurely stroll providing views of both the bridge and Woolamai. 


Head to San Remo Foreshore then walk out towards Davis point, from which you can take a path that continues across the beach. 


This walk is 4kms in total and a 1-hour return. 


As you’re in San Remo, you’ll be in the perfect spot to grab a coffee or a spot of lunch after your walk. 

Kitty Miller Walk

Did you know Phillip Island has its very own shipwreck? 


Just a short walk around the coast from Kitty Miller Bay lies the S.S Speke. A ship that wrecked here back in 1905. 


At low tide, you’ll see the wreckage clearly and even be able to get up close to it. 


This walk is great for the kids as it’s relatively short (2km/1hour return along the headland) and gives them the chance to explore the shipwreck and the many rock pools surrounding it. 

Phillip Island Walks Summary

If you’re coming down to the Island to surround yourself with nature and go on some great walks, you won’t be disappointed. 


For an area with so much natural beauty and coastline, It really is unsurprising. 


We hope to see you here soon, taking advantage of all these amazing walks this place has to offer.


However, please be respectful of the land and native wildlife.

Phillip Island Walks Map

Dog Friendly Walks Phillip Island

Unfortunately, many walks and beaches on Phillip Island are not suitable for dogs. 


However, great places to walk with your dog are Surf Beach, Crazy’s Birds Beach and Smiths Beach.

Things To Do On Phillip Island | Your Complete Guide

For an island only 26km long and 9km wide, there are so many exciting things to do here on Phillip Island. 


Whether you’re coming for the day or spending a few weeks here, you’re never going to run out of awesome activities. 


This special little island has a tonne to offer, from incredible walks, amazing nature experiences to cool cafes and epic family activities. 


Oh, and did we mention the beaches? 


You could visit a new beach every day for two weeks and still have some leftover if you’re willing to do some exploring… 


In this post were going to explore all the amazing things to do on Phillip Island, so you’ll be hopping across the bridge with a fun-filled, action-packed itinerary.

Table of Contents

Perhaps one of the main reasons so many visit and love Phillip Island. 


The place is literally surrounded by beaches on all sides, each with its own unique characteristics. 


Here are some of the most popular…

Cape Woolamai

Cape Woolamai or ‘Woolies’ as it’s known by locals, is one of the Island’s most beautiful and therefore most popular. 


A long stretch of beautiful beach going from ‘Ocean Reach’ in the west, all the way to the Cape, in the East. 


There are a number of car park accesses to Cape Woolamai, but head to ‘Second Car Park’ at the very end of Woolamai Beach Road’. 


You’ll be greeted by a beautiful golden beach with an equally amazing backdrop of the ‘Pinnacles’. 


The ‘Pinnacles’ backdrop is iconic to Phillip Island and for good reason. 

Smiths Beach

At the Island’s centre, lies Smiths Beach. 


A super popular beach, great for families and an even better place to learn how to surf. 

Smiths is often calmer than its surrounding beaches, making it a fantastic family-friendly option. 


You can give surfing a go (see Island Surfboards & Surf School)  then grab lunch or a coffee from the Smiths Beach General Store.


Cowes Foreshore

Phillip Island’s main town Cowes boasts a beautiful beach that is too often overlooked by visitors. 


The beach at Cowes Foreshore is protected from the wind and weather that can sometimes batter the southern side of the island. Meaning even on a breezy day, you could be sunbathing comfortably at Cowes. 


With lifeguard patrol in the summer and calm ocean waters, Cowes is a great place to soak up the sun and let the kids splash around in the water. All while being super close to some of the Island’s best cafes and restaurants. 


Check out our guide to Phillip Island’s best beaches, If you want to explore some more.

Phillip Island Surf Spots

Did you know, Phillip Island has some of Australia’s most consistent surf? 


Whether you’re an experienced surfer or just looking to get started, the Island really is a great place for getting amongst the surf. 


Let’s discover some of the Island’s best spots…

Smiths Beach

If you want some soft whitewater waves to learn on, look no further than Smiths Beach. 


Home to Island Surfboards & Surf School, you can grab a lesson from one of the expert coaches or hire some equipment and try your hand at surfing by yourself. 


During summer, Smiths has lifeguard patrol and the waves are often smaller than the neighbouring beaches.

Cat Bay

Over to the western side of the island, you’ll find Cat Bay. 


A beach that often provides small, clean waves perfect for beginners and extremely popular with longboarders. Just watch out for the crowds.

Cape Woolamai

‘Woollies’ can provide amazing surf, but is generally only suitable for advanced surfers. 


On the right day, you can watch some of Victoria’s best surfers ride waves here, which is a spectacular show, even if you don’t surf. 


The beach is very exposed to swell and although lifeguards are present here in summer, you should avoid surfing unless you’re very confident/experienced. 


For a more in-depth guide, to some of the islands best surf spots, check out this full post.

Best Walks on Phillip Island

Between beaches and surf spots, Phillip Island has some incredible walks if you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature.

Pinnacles Walk - Cape Woolamai

Perhaps the best walk in the area. A short stroll across the beach leads you up to the Cape headland. 


You can head out towards the Pinnacles lookout, where you’ll be reward with spectacular views of the iconic pinnacles themselves, as well as back towards the Island and across the ocean.

Churchill Island Loop

Churchill Island is a tranquil little island, located just off Phillip Island. 


If you want some relaxing time to wander around, you can park at the Churchill Island Heritage Farm, then make your way around the loop track. 


There are pleasant views across Port Phillip Bay and French Island.

Best Phillip Island Activities

There are plenty of activities to suit all ages and interests here on Phillip Island. Let’s check out some of the very best.

Phillip Island Helicopter Tours

One of the most spectacular island experiences! 


Taking a helicopter tour over the Island will provide you with absolutely stunning birds-eye views across both the island and the Mornington Peninsula. 


For more information regarding prices and bookings, click here.

Learn to Surf

No trip to Phillip Island is complete without surfing! 


Call the crew at Island Surfboards & Surf School and they’ll point you in the right direction, regarding lessons, equipment and the best spots.


They also offer group and private lessons for people of all ages and abilities.

Phillip Island Chocolate Factory

If your bringing the family across the bridge, you’ve got to check out the Phillip Island Chocolate factory. 


The kids probably won’t let you miss this one anyway, as it’s easily visible from the main road when you first get onto the Island. 


See how chocolate is made and taste enough different blends to fill up a years worth of your chocolate quota…

Seal Rocks Cruise

Just off the coast of The Nobbies, is Seal Rocks. 


Where yep, you guessed it, you can check out the seals. 


One of the largest seal colonies in Victoria, call the rocks here home. 


You can take a cruise and get super close to the seals, among the wild ocean that surrounds it. 


Be sure to book and choose a calm day as this area of coast is very exposed to swell and weather. 

The Nobbies Drive

Back on the mainland from is The Nobbies itself. 


A rugged corner of the coast where you can take a breathtaking drive along the cliffs. 


Head there around sunset and you’ll see wallabies and the local Cape Barron Goose roaming their natural habitat. 


Be sure to drive slow as wildlife has right of way here.

Phillip Island Wildlife Experiences

Nobbies - Antarctic Centre

At the Nobbies, you can learn all sorts of interesting information about Antarctic wildlife.


The ecotourism centre aims to help preserve Antarctic wildlife. Most notably, the ‘The Little Penguin’,(which is actually the worlds smallest of the species) that call Philip Island home.

Phillip Island Wildlife Park

The Wildlife Park, located just outside of Cowes, is a must-do for anyone visiting the Island. 


You can hand-feed wallabies, get up close to Koalas, see native Australian birds and even hang out with Kangaroos and Emus.


One of the best family-friendly activities on Phillip Island and a fantastic way to spend a few hours with tickets costing only $15 per person.

The area’s most famous attraction, of which Phillip Island has become synonymous.


At nightfall, you can watch the world’s smallest penguin species (appropriately named the Little Penguin), come in to nest for the night. 


Amongst the boardwalks, you can really get up close and personal with some of the cutest creatures you’re likely to see anywhere. 


Keep in mind that Penguin Parade gets extremely busy with tourists during summer. So it’s essential to book! 

Whale Watching

During the winter months of June, July & August, The Island is an incredible place to spot whales. 


With both Humpbacks and Southern Right Whales using the ocean here as their annual migration path, you can easily spot these whales on a clear day, from any of the Island’s southern beaches. 


Or, if you want a truly memorable experience, you can take a whale watching tour.

Top Phillip Island Restaurants

Across Phillip Island, and in particular Cowes, there are some fantastic places to eat. 


Below are some of our local favourites…

Isola De Capri

Located just off Cowes Foreshore is Isola. A popular among locals and visitors alike. 


If you want to head out for the evening and indulge in some great Italian food, this is your spot.


Another popular option, also located in Cowes. 


A super popular local spot, where you can eat great Pizza, Pasta and Parimiganas. Just up the road from Cowes Foreshore.  


Wash that all down, with a nice cold beer and your evening, is sorted.

Heading out towards Berry’s beach, you’ll stumble across Phillip Island Winery. 


Located in a tranquil ex-vineyard, the restaurant here offers great food, from charcuterie boards for grazing to locally sourced mains and weekend specials. 


All accompanied by great wine from across Victoria.

Popular Cafes on Phillip Island

Why not start your day off right, by heading out for a spot of breakfast or a caffeine fix, at one of the Island’s top cafes.


Perhaps, the best spot on the island for a great breakfast and a personal favourite for us here at Our Island. 


Great breakfast, great coffee and located bang in the centre of Cowes.

G’day Tiger

Up there with the best coffee on Phillip Island. 


You’ll find G’day Tiger on Cowes Main street as you head down towards the foreshore.

Cafe Lugano

A great little cafe on Thompson ave, right in the heart of Cowes. 


Great for a quick coffee or cake stop.

Phillip Island Bars

While Phillip Island isn’t renowned for its nightlife, there are still some great places to have a beer or two after a long day at the beach…

Westernport Hotel

Strictly speaking, the Westernport Hotel isn’t located on Phillip Island, yep we cheated for this one, but rather in San Remo, just over the bridge. 


However, the Westernport is a classic pub and super popular among locals. 


Great pub food and a wide selection of beers to go with it.

Bang Bang

Located in Woolamai, Bang Bang is a fantastic place to stop after spending the day on the beach or hiking at the Cape.


Cold beers on tap, a 5-minute drive from the beach? Yes, please.

North Pier Hotel

Right on Cowes foreshore is the North Pier Hotel. If you’re looking for your standard pub environment just off the beach, you can’t go past North Pier. 


With both a bar and restaurant section, North pier is a great place to dig into some classic pub food or have a few drinks while playing pool in the sports bar.

Summary of Things To Do On Phillip Island

If you’re coming to Phillip Island for a day, week or a month, we can assure you you’ll have plenty to do! 


If you love the outdoors and being out in nature, Phillip Island really is the place for you. 


Soak up the sun on the beaches, learn to surf, check out the wildlife and explore the rugged coastline. 


Combine that with some of the Island’s best attractions then top it all off with some great food and cold drinks in our best local bars, you’ll ensure your time here is unforgettable.

During the winter, Phillip island still has its fair share of nice days on which you can check out some of the amazing beaches and coastline. Winter is also a great time to spot southern right whales on their annual migration.

For couples, check out some of the most beautiful beaches and scenery. Afterwards, head to Phillip Island Winery for some great food and wine from around Victoria.

There is a tonne of free things to do on Phillip Island! Check out Cape Woolamai, The Nobbies and Pyramid Rock. All provide spectacular views and are completely free.

The Most Amazing Phillip Island Activities For Families | 2021

Thinking of bringing the family down to Phillip Island? 


Well, you’re in luck. 


There’s plenty to do for everyone down here on the island, and for families, there’s even more. 


With more beaches than you’d know what to do with and activities aplenty, you and the kids will have something different to do every day of the week… 


Let’s explore some of the best family-friendly activities here on Phillip Island. 

1. Don’t Miss Phillip Island Chocolate Factory

As you drive onto across the bridge, you’ll soon reach Phillip Island Chocolate Factory. 


You probably don’t need us to tell you why this is a great stop for the kids…? 


You can spend a couple of hours here watching how chocolates are made and tasing a whole variety of sweets and treats.

2. Go Crazy At Amaze N Things

A fun-filled adventure park your kids will absolutely love! 


With mazes, puzzles and enough activities to last an entire day, you really can’t go past Amaze N Things for letting your kids a little lose and have a great time here on the island. 


You can find out more about activities and grab your tickets here.

3. Get Competitive With Mini Golf

How about some inter-family competition? 


Head to Grumpy’s mini-golf in Cowes. It’s a full 18 hole course, undercover! 


Perfect for staying out of the midday sun or hiding from the rain. 


With prices at $11 for children under 15, Grumpy’s should be a no brainer activity if the kids are bored and the weather’s not so great.

4. Get Competitive With Mini Golf

Family or not, you really can’t come to Phillip Island without watching the penguins come in at the Penguin Parade. 


One of the island’s most famous and popular attractions. 


At dusk, you’ll be able to spot ‘Little Penguins’, which are the world’s smallest penguin species and the only penguin to have blue and white feathers. 


Be sure to book tickets in advance as it can get super busy during the summer.

5. Discover The Antarctic Centre

Heading out to the Nobbies you’ll discover the Antarctic Centre. 


Perched on the cliff at one of the more wild stretches of the coast, you can take the family to explore this very interesting area. 


The centre teaches you all about Antarctic wildlife and what can be done to preserve it.


In addition to this, The Nobbies also boasts a little cafe which is a great place to grab a bite to eat and a coffee whilst looking out at the wild ocean below. 


You can also do the Nobbies drive, a track that winds around the coast and finishes back at Penguin Parade. At dusk, you’ll likely see wallabies bouncing across the road. 


Be sure to drive slow and take it all in.

6. Learn to Surf At Smiths Beach

The island is one of the best places for surfing in the whole of Australia and for a beginner, you can’t go past Smiths beach. 


Smiths beach often provides small, soft breaking waves perfect for new surfers. 


If you’re down with the whole family, why not take a private lesson from the crew at Island Surf School? 


A surf school that’s been established since the ’80s. The coaches here are super keen surfers, all of which are very knowledgeable. They’ll get you riding waves and standing in your first lesson. 

7. Wonder The Phillip Island Wildlife, Park

If feeding wallabies and seeing koalas up close sounds like a good idea, then look no further than Phillip Island Wildlife Park. 


A must-do for anyone visiting the area. 


Wallabies roam around the grounds which you can get super close to and even hand feed. You can also check out native Australian birds, snakes, spiders and even hang out with Kangaroos and Emus. 


Just watch out for the emus stealing your food.

8. Check Out Churchill Island Heritage Farm

It’s a shame Churchill Island is often overlooked by many visitors to Phillip Island, as it really is a beautiful place to visit. 

A small island attached via a bridge from the main island, the place is in a little world of its own. 

An awesome place to visit for the family, where the kids can get up close and personal with farm animals while learning and taking part in some awesome farm activities.

9. Uncover Kitty Miller Shipwreck

If you’re willing to do a little exploring, get to Kitty Miller Bay. 


Just around the headland, lies the shipwreck of the S.S Speke, that crashed into the rocks here back in 1906. 


Head there at low tide to make sure you can see the shipwreck properly and get up close. 


There are also some great rock pools in the area, and who knows… you may even find one of our secret beaches… 

10. Feed Pelicans at San Remo

Heading just off the island…yep we know, we cheated a little for this one, you really can’t miss seeing the pelicans down at the shore in San Remo!


Head down around mid-morning (10-11 am). You can get super close to them and even feed them bread (although strictly speaking it’s not advised). 


At the shore, you may even be lucky enough to spot stingrays. 


In San Remo, there’s plenty of cool spots to grab a coffee and lunch while gazing back over the at the bridge.

11. Play at The Beach

Did you know there are more than 12 well-known beaches on Phillip Island? 


And even more, if you do some exploring. 


Yep, we’re surrounded by beaches here, all of them amazing in their own individual way. 


With gold sand beaches dotted across the whole island, the only problem really is choosing which beach to go to, yep we’re very spoiled down here… 


For families, check out Kitty Miller Bay, Smiths Beach and Cowes Foreshore.

12. Explore Forrest Caves

At low tide, head on down to Forrest Caves. 


A beautiful beach with red rocks to the east, where you’ll find some cool rock pools and caves. 


During low tide, you can actually go inside the caves, of which there are a few different ones. 


A great way to kill a few hours and keep the kids entertained between other activities.

13. Clip & Climb

On a rainy day, head over to Clip & Climb, located just outside of Cowes. 


An indoor climbing centre that’s fantastic for a bit of a physical challenge and some inter-family competition. 


Please note, it’s best to book in advance, which you can do so here.

Summary of Family-Friendly Activities on Phillip Island

Hopefully, you now have more than enough reasons to come and visit Philip island with the family. 


I can promise, you won’t be disappointed with the number of things you can do here. 


Luck into some great weather and your time here can be one of the most unforgettable family trips ever.

For toddlers, you really can’t go past exploring the beaches and checking out the wildlife at Phillip Island nature park, the pelicans at San Remo or the Antarctic centre at The Nobbies.

Although Philip Island is largely outdoor-based, there are a few great things to do to keep the kids entertained when it’s raining. 


Play mini-golf at grumps or head to Clip and climb.

With beaches in abundance and beautiful natural scenery, there is a wealth of things to do for free on Phillip Island. 


Start by checking at Cape Woolamai, Cowes Foreshore before heading to The Nobbies and The Antarctic Centre.

The Perfect Phillip Island Itinerary | 1 Week Of Amazing Island Experiences

Wondering what to do when you get down to Phillip Island?

Well, good news. There are tonnes of activities to do and places to visit all over the island. 


Whether you’re bringing the whole family down or you’re a couple looking to get away from it all, there really is something for everyone here. 


Being only a short drive from Melbourne, it really is no wonder the area has been one of Victoria’s biggest holiday destinations for years.  


In this post, we’re going to take a look at the perfect Phillip Island itinerary to give you a week’s worth of awesome activity ideas. 

Table of Contents

How Many Days Do You Need on Phillip Island?

There’s so much to do on Phillip Island, which being a relatively small area, is surprising to some. 


There are no set amount of days you need on Phillip Island as you could spend weeks upon weeks relaxing and site seeing. 


However, for this post, I have condensed it down to the very best the Island has to offer, providing you with the fullest week of activities and sites possible.

How To Get To Phillip Island From Melbourne

Phillip Island is 140km’s and only a 1.5-hour – 2-hour drive from Melbourne’s city centre.


There are also tour coaches that run directly from Melbourne. 


Unfortunately, there are no direct public buses from Melbourne to Phillip Island. However, you can travel via Dandenong to Cowes (Phillip Island). 

Day 1 - Hike The Spectacular Woolamai Cape Walk

When you first arrive on the Island, you will soon reach Cape Woolamai. 


A long stretch of golden sand on one of Phillip Island’s best beaches starts the famous Cape Walk. 


Park at the second car park and head along the beach, before taking the stairs up to the headland. On a clear day, the walk is stunning. With views of the amazing Pinnacles rock formation.


Looking back across the island, you’ll have spectacular views across Cape Woolamai and the surrounding ocean. 


The basic walk is around 4.4kms, a there and back route, with the option to take longer tracks. 


Upon heading back to the rest of the island, be sure to grab a coffee and toastie from Burnt Toast. After a long walk, you’ve got to those calories back up, right?

Day 2 - Explore Churchill Island

An island, off the island, and perhaps the most peaceful escape you’ll find anywhere.


With beautiful views across the Bay to French island, you can take a leisurely stroll around the trails or roam around historic grounds while checking out some awesome farming activities.


A great place to relax for adults on the surrounding grounds and a fantastic place for kids to see farm animals up close and take part in fun farming activities.  


After exploring Churchill Island for a few hours, stop by Newhaven for a coffee and a bite to eat.

Day 3 - Race Around The Grand Prix Circuit Go-Karts

You can’t visit Phillip island without checking out the Grand Prix Circuit. 


If you come on the right day, you can see racing cars and motorbikes speed around the main track or you can take a Go-Kart around the replica circuit. 


A super fun thing to do with a group of friends or family.


A short drive down the road, you’ll find Pyramid Rock, an amazing rock formation with amazing views back towards Woolamai. 


A great spot for a picnic when the suns out.

Day 4 - Phillip Island Nature Park

Phillip Island Nature Park is possibly one of the best activities the Island has to offer. 


Giving you the chance to get up close and personal with some native Australian wildlife as well as the opportunity to feed Wallabies and Kangaroos. 



You can also check out the cute Koala Centre, see critters like spiders and snakes, Tasmanian devils and even Dingos! 


Just be sure to watch out for the Emus, that also roam around the Kangaroo park, they’re not scared and may try to steal your food. 


After checking out the nature parks, head into Cowes and check out some of the many cafes, restaurants and shops.

Day 5 - Drive The Nobbies & Watch the Penguins Come In at Penguin Parade

The Nobbies at the island western end, is a wild, exposed section of the coast, home to the Antarctic Centre where you can learn about Antarctic wildlife and how we as humans can protect it. 


It also offers an awesome driving track along the cliffs. 


If you go at dusk, you’ll see Wallabies roaming their natural habitat whilst also taking in amazing views of the coast, with rough seas smashing into the cliffs below. 


The end of the driving track leads you down to Penguin Parade (Summerlands Beach) where you can watch the penguins come in for the night. 


Penguin Parade is one of the island’s most famous and popular attractions, just be sure to book tickets in advance.

Day 6 - Take a Surf Lesson at Smiths Beach

Phillip Island is one of Australia’s best-surfing destinations and there’s no better place to learn than on on Smiths beach.


Situated at the heart of the island, Smiths offers beginner-friendly waves and often has significantly smaller waves than most other beaches.


Go and see the guys at Island Surfboards & Surf School and you’ll be able to either hire equipment or have a lesson with an instructor. 

Day 7 - Take an Island Heli Tour

One of the best and most spectacular things to do on Phillip Island is taking a scenic helicopter tour over the whole island.


The tours offer amazing birds-eye views of the whole island and it’s truly an unforgettable experience.


Phillip Island Helicopter Tours offer tours across Phillip Island aswell as The Mornington Peninsula. 

Phillip Island Attractions Map

Yes, you can do a day trip to Phillip Island easily from Melbourne. However, you won’t be able to experience everything the area has to offer.

There is no ‘best time to visit Phillip Island but summer is most popular and offers the best weather. That said, you can still luck into some beautiful days in the middle of winter.

There are some awesome free activities on Phillip Island. Including; Woolamai Cape Walk, The Nobbies and surrounding beaches. 

You can walk around Phillip island although, the island is probably a lot larger than you think. So, it would be way better to go on specific walks rather than the whole island.

Phillip Island is known most famously for its Grand Prix Circuit and Penguin Parade. However, the island has a lot more to offer in terms of beaches, beautiful nature and spectacular views.

Best Beaches On Phillip Island | Your Complete Beach Guide | Our Island

After you drive 1.5 hours south from Melbourne and hop over the bridge at San Remo, you’ll find Phillip Island. 


Boasting amazing scenery, wild coastline and the opportunity to see native Australian wildlife in their natural habitats. 


There’s a tonne of activities to do here, great accommodation, food and oh, did we mention the beaches? 


Surrounded by beautiful beaches you’ll find something for everyone on Phillip Island. Everything from great surf spots, family-friendly areas, safe swimming zones and suitable dog beaches to the wild, rugged stretches of coast over on the western side of the island. 


Spend enough time exploring the beaches here and who knows, you may even find some our of secret beaches… But we can’t give those ones away!  


Let’s explore some of the best beaches on Phillip Island…

Table of Contents

The Best Beaches on Phillip Island

Because the area has such an abundance of amazing beaches, it’s actually very hard to narrow it down to the best ones. 


Ask any local and they’ll probably have their own personal list… but here are some of the best and most popular beaches our island has to offer. 

Cape Woolamai

Located in the South-East of the island, Cape Woolamai is one of the first beaches you’ll come to after crossing the bridge. 


A long stretch of golden sand, with the Cape Woolamai Headland providing an iconic backdrop. (Which by the way, is an incredible walk if you get the chance). 


Popular with both local and surfers from around Victoria. Woolamai can offer incredible surf when the swells right. However, being exposed to large swells, the area can be very dangerous for beginner surfers, with strong rips and powerful waves. 


So it’s one best left to the experts. 


Cape Woolamai has two car parks (ANZACS and Second Car Park), with the latter providing beach facilities and lifeguard patrol during the summer. 


You can find out more about the safest time to swim here. 


Smiths Beach

Smiths Beach is one of the most popular beaches on Phillip Island. 


Perhaps the most family-friendly beach in the area and a great place to take the kids to the beach, learn to surf or just enjoy the day relaxing. 


Situated at the heart of the island, Smiths has lifeguards during the summer, a beach cafe and is home to Island Surfboards and Surf Scool.


A small beach that has so much to offer truly makes this one of the best Island beaches. 


However, on a hot summers day, it does attract crowds. 

Cowes Beach 

Being the main town on Phillip Island, it’s often surprising to some, that Cowes has a beach at all.


However, Cowes beach is beautiful and one of the most pleasurable beaches to spend time at during the summer. 


Because of its location, on the Island’s north coast, the small stretch of sand is often protected from prevailing south-westerly winds. Meaning you can hide away and soak up the sun even on windier days. 


The beach is also safe for swimming, is patrolled by lifeguards in summer and is super close to restaurants, bars and cafes in Cowes centre… 



Just around the corner from Smiths beach lies YCW. At low tide, the two beaches are actually joined together with some interesting rock pools to separate them. 


Because Its neighbour Smith’s is so popular, YC is sometimes overlooked by visitors. 


Meaning you can get this beach to yourself (or with significantly fewer people) a lot more often than you think. 


Like Smiths, it’s a great place to learn to surf and is a beautiful somewhat protected bay at the centre of Phillip Island.

Kitty Miller Bay 

If you head out towards the western end of the Island (just before you reach Penguin Parade) you’ll reach Kitty Miller Bay. 


Because of the rock formations that lie just out the back of the bay, large waves are broken up and dissipate before they reach the shore here. 


At high tide, the water fills the bay and creates a lagoon inside of the breaking waves, making Kittys a great family-friendly option. 


Just a short walk around the headland, you may even find the Shipwreck. The S.S Speke was shipwrecked here in 1906 and the remains are clearly visible today! 

Summerlands Beach (Penguin Parade) 

Summerland’s is one of Phillip Island most famous beaches. 

You’ve likely heard of Penguin Parade, but Summerlands is the correct name of the beach. 


The beach itself is a long bay, fairly exposed to surf as it is located at the west of the Island and is only open to the public during the day, the gate is then closed to the beach at dusk. 


This is to allow the penguins to come in for the night. If you’re on Phillip Island, seeing the penguins is a must-do and you can get up really close to them among the boardwalks. 


You can find out more and grab your tickets here.  

Forrest Caves 

Situated in the ‘Surf Beach’ area, Forrest Caves is a beautiful stretch of golden sand with fantastic news back to the Cape from the top… 


Contrasting the golden sand, are the striking red rocks at the eastern end of the beach. This is where you’ll find the caves, which is a great way to spend a few hours exploring.  


Just be sure to check the tide times and head down there at low tide. This way you can actually go inside the caves.  


The Best Surf Beaches on Phillip Island

Phillip Island has some of Australia’s most consistent surf conditions and is a great place to be a surfer, whether you’re a beginner or have been surfing for years. 

Cape Woolamai 

A very consistent stretch of beach, at the eastern end of the island. 


The waves are rarely flat here, and the surf never even gets below head high. Fantastic for advanced surfers but not the best option if you’re still learning.


Although during the summer, Woolamai does have lifeguard patrol, the waves can still be very powerful with super-strong rip currents. So if you’re not a strong swimmer or experienced surfer, stick to the sand here.   

Smiths Beach 

As a beginner, you can’t beat smiths beach! A somewhat protected bay means the waves are often smaller there than the rest of the island.


You can also hire equipment or grab a lesson from the guys at Island Surf School.

Flynn’s Beach 

An extremely popular right-hand point break out to the west of Philip Island. 


A spot for advanced surfers only, that offers long walls a surfer can ride from the top of the point all the way into shore. Perhaps a 150-metre ride on its day. 

Surfies Point 

Another very popular point break. 


Situated in the surf beach area of Phillip Island, ‘Surfies’ has become synonyms with surfing on the island.


The wave itself is a very forgiving, soft right-hand point break that attracts both intermediate and advanced surfers. This spot gets very crowded and is especially popular with older surfers. 

Cat Bay (Shelley Beach)

Heading out west again, cat bay is a very user-friendly patch of beach/reef popular with beginners, Intermediates and surfers riding longboards. 


Cat Bay is often protected when the wind is coming from the South and works when the exposed south coast is massive and blown out. 

Summary Of Phillip Island’s Best Beaches

To summarise this guide of the Islands best beaches, it’s very important to know your own swimming/surfing ability and be very careful when using the ocean. 

Always follow the advice of the lifeguards and swim between the flags.


The beaches on Phillip Island are beautiful and plentiful and if visiting the beach is one of the reasons you’re coming here, I promise you won’t be disappointed. 

Phillip Island Beaches Map

Island Beach FAQ's

Yes there are patrolled beaches on Phillip Island, but only during the summer months. Cape Woolamai, Smiths Beach and Cowes Beach are patrolled. 

Yes, there are some dog friendly beaches on Phillip Island. These include; Surf Beach, Crazy Brids, Cowes Foreshore, Smiths Beach and YCW.

Phillip Island has plenty of family friendly beaches, with the best being; Smiths Beach, Cowes and Kitty Miller

12, but the island is surrounded by beaches, so with a bit of searching, you’ll find there are a lot more than just 12. There are a few secret beaches on Phillip Island, you’ve just got to be prepared to find them...

Yes! All beaches are currently open, although safe COVID-19 behaviour should be practiced.