If you’re visiting Melbourne and are looking for a day trip to get out of the city, look no further! Phillip Island is the perfect Day Trip destination because it has lots to offer. The highlight of your visit will be the Penguin parade, so make sure you don’t miss out. But during the day you won’t get bored either.
We rented a car via rentalcars.com and picked it up in the city. It’s the best way to visit Phillip Island because there will be a lot of lookout points and views where you would want to stop. Just remember the Penguin Parade ends around 8 pm and you still need to drive back to the city.
Renting a car for two full days will save you a lot of stress. If you do rent the car for more days you’re also able to visit the Great Ocean Road. Getting out of Melbourne for a day trip to Phillip Island will be one of those memories that will stay with you forever.
Phillip Island is perfect for a day trip
Phillip Island is an Australian island about 125 km south-southeast of Melbourne. It is 26 km long and 9 km wide and has 97 km of coastline. Most visitors go to Phillip Island to watch the penguins, but there is a lot to see and do other than that.
We loved it because of the proximity to Melbourne which makes it perfect for a day trip. It’s only a 90-minute drive and you’re in a totally different area. An overnight stay can really rack up your budget so being able to drive there and back, is just perfect.
The best part is that even with bad weather you’ll still enjoy the awesome views. We had some wind and some rain, but also some sunshine. And of course, Phillip Island has indoor activities as well. So don’t worry about planning in advance, you’ll have a good time!
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Phillip Island Chocolate Factory
So let’s kick it off with one of my favorite indoor activities on Phillip Island, Phillip Island Chocolate Factory. To this day this is still the best chocolate factory we have visited. Where others might have a window where you’ll watch people make chocolate, Phillip Island Chocolate Factory is an interactive experience all the way through. The fact that we got to try lots of chocolate hasn’t played part in this review whatsoever.
The entry fee for Phillip Island Chocolate Factory is $ 18,- for an adult and $ 12,- for children ages 4-12. Check the website to see if these are still up to date. With this ticket, you get 10 credits to play games inside which could earn you more chocolate. We even got a piece to start off with. In the factory, you get to watch how they make chocolate, from the beans to the final product.
Panny is the founder of this chocolate factory and the factory now makes more than 190 types of chocolate. He is born in Malaysia and is a mechanical engineer from origin. He worked on a coconut and cocoa plantation in New Guinea. In the year 2000, he moved to Australia. With a lot of homework (and an obsession for chocolate) he started his own business.
Phillip Island has some beautiful beaches and coasts and we are going to visit some of them. The first stop is Cape Woolamai. A sandy beach with a whole nature reserve behind it. This is also the highest point on the island. A walk of 8.5 kilometers takes you along cliffs and beautiful views. There are also other walks of other lengths, but this one is the best known.
We stop at the parking lot of Woolamai Beach Surf Life Saving Club. In the distance we see dark clouds coming and we hope that we keep it dry. We walk towards the beach and stop at a viewpoint. Here you have a beautiful view over the beach and in the distance, you can see the rocks rise high above the water and land.
The Nobbies is a place where you have a great view over the rugged coast of Phillip Island. Here you can also see penguins that are resting. This is also a breeding ground for seagulls and fur seals. The sea hits the rocks hard here, which must be an overwhelming sound.
We arrive at the parking lot and walk to the boardwalks, a path of planks that runs over and along the rocks. The view is indeed very beautiful. The sea is very rough and hits hard on the small islands off the coast. Seagulls are plentiful here, but sadly no cubs. The fur seals are nowhere to be seen as well. Probably the wrong time. We continue on the path and look into the distance. All we see is water, water, and more water. Like it never ends.
There is a Nobbies Centre. In this building, you can take a virtual tour of the South Ocean and the world’s most extreme continent. There is also a restaurant.
Finally, we’ve come to the main reason to visit Phillip Island for a day trip: The Penguin Parade. This is a natural procession of penguins who spend the whole day searching the sea for food and then return home to land.
It is protected by an independent organization that makes sure animal welfare is kept by everyone. You’re not allowed to take pictures, or videos, or use a flashlight to not interrupt the penguins on their way home.
But watching how these penguins surface, and find their way over the beach and through the dunes is something you don’t want to miss! Even though the penguins are quite small, about 60 cm, they cover huge distances every day. Before you drive off, make sure no penguins are hiding under your car!
Leave happy and with a smile on your face
Phillip Island will leave a smile on your face as you’re driving back to Melbourne. The penguins are the cutest little animals we’ve seen. Just being out in the open and enjoying all the beautiful spots only adds to this feeling. And hello, chocolate!
If you’re visiting Melbourne a Phillip Island day trip is a must-do. Get out there, and discover the island. If the weather is great, do some hiking and enjoy the penguins. If not, enjoy the views from your car and focus on indoor activities.
Have you been to Phillip Island? What are your thoughts? If not, what are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments.
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