Things To Do On Phillip Island | Your Complete Guide

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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.