Islands have a special place in the imagination of children brought up on stories of pirate adventures, escaped dinosaurs and lost treasures. And as the ultimate escape from urban stress, adults are easily seduced by islands too.
True, a bridge joins Phillip Island to the mainland, but you still feel the magic as you drive across the water. The sea winks encouragement and soon you’re enfolded in green pastures. You’re only 140 kilometres from Melbourne, but this is the life.
Kids enjoying the wide-open spaces and fresh air on Churchill Island (located off Phillip Island).
Question is, what life do you want? Fast lane or slow lane? R&R or raring to go? Family fun or a learning experience? The good news is that you can choose your own family adventure on Phillip Island thanks to a comprehensive range of activities and attractions. Simply follow the prompts and find out how.
Do you want to go wild on Phillip Island?
(Click on your answer)
- Yes, we love hiking
- Can we keep it short?
- Can we burn off excess energy?
- Yes, we love animals
- Anything cuddlier for the little ones?
- Any ocean life?
- Not really. Just show me the penguins.
- No thanks, the wild doesn’t call us…
Actually I really want…. (click on your choice)
- Fun and Adventure
- Something Educational
- A bit of everything
Get the adrenaline going on an Ocean Adventures Jet Boat ride.
SO YOU WANT TO GO WILD ON PHILLIP ISLAND
Yes, we love hiking.
Outdoorsy, energetic families will love Phillip Island’s rocky coastline, clifftops, beaches and bushland.
Can we keep it short? Several lookout points at The Nobbies provide blustery views views out to Seal Rocks and the rugged south coast of Phillip Island. Sea caves thunder, and a blowhole snorts. You’ll also want to explore Forrest Caves Walk, only accessible at low tide, which reveals a windswept coastland of cliffs, sea caves and sand dunes.
Can we burn off excess energy? Older kids up for a challenge can tackle the long George Bass Coastal Walk, which takes you through spectacular farmland and coastline.
Yes, we love animals.
The wetlands of Rhyll Inlet provide great birdwatching, and you’ll spot black swans, purple swamp hens and pelicans on Swan Lake. Patient kids will enjoy the bird hides. Hit the coast for fur seals and colonies of shearwaters over summer at Cape Woolamai.
Anything cuddlier for the little ones? Sure. Head to the Koala Conservation Reserve and eyeball koalas from tree-top boardwalks. The reserve is also home to wallabies, echidnas, bats and native birds. At Maru Koala Animal Park, the kids can encounter kangaroos, get cuddly with a dingo, feed a cassowary and pet a python.
Any ocean life? This is an island after all! Take a winter whale cruise with Wildlife Coast Cruises and enjoy the spectacle of whales slapping their tails and grinning through big pink gums. Both humpbacks and southern rights pass Phillip Island on their annual migration.
Alternatively, a seal cruise takes you to Australia’s largest seal colony. No family can fail to be entranced by the playful nature of these animals.
Not really. Just show me the penguins.
The Penguin Parade sees little penguins emerge from the ocean at sunset and stagger back to their burrows. You can spot them from viewing stands and boardwalks. For a more in-depth experience, book a weekend ranger tour, or an eco-tour to a quieter beach away from the main action.
No thanks, the wild doesn’t call us.
Fair enough – though seriously, no kid in the known universe doesn’t like a penguin. But Phillip Island has far more than just natural assets to keep the family entertained, let’s talk fun and adventure.
Are you and your family looking for fun & adventure on Phillip Island?
(Click on your answer or start again)
- Yes please
- Can we ramp up the adrenaline level?
- Can we trick the kids into sightseeing?
- Not entirely. Any clever angle?
- No, we ought to be a bit educational.
FUN AND ADVENTURE ON PHILLIP ISLAND
If you want giggle-worthy amusement (and who doesn’t at times) head to Grumpy’s Crazy Golf and tackle eighteen holes of entertainment. It’s all undercover, making it a good option if the weather turns damp. We don’t need to explain Phillip Island Tenpin Bowling, except that you’ll also find a Lazer Zone tagging game open to anyone over five years old.
Can we ramp up the adrenaline level? Yes, at Phillip Island Go-Karts, a 750-metre track laid out to resemble the famous Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. It’s right on the coast and has great scenery as you hurtle around bends and zoom down the super-fast straight. Meanwhile at Clip N Climb Phillip Island beginners or the experienced can tackle climbing walls. Video graphics are awesome, with a variety of interactive challenges – beware the hurtling meteors!
Can we trick the kids into sightseeing? Great idea. Promise them an action-packed boat trip with Ocean Adventures Phillip Island around Cape Woolamai’s spectacular coastline by jet-boat or thundercat (an inflatable catamaran racing boat).
Or splurge on the ultimate thrill with Phillip Island Helicopters for a swoop over the island and Bass Coast. That’s something nobody will forget in a hurry.
Not entirely. Any clever angle?
Why not combine physical effort with mental challenges at A Maze’N Things. Sure, there’s a Maxi Golf and even a Sky Trail high-ropes course, but you can also distract the kids for hours with puzzles, treasure hunts, mazes and a show packed with mind-bending magic and illusions. Below are more education options on Phillip Island.
No, we ought to be a bit educational.
As you wish. On Phillip Island, you can wow the kids without it feeling like a schoolroom and, in the process, they can dip into history, farming, indigenous culture or even take a virtual journey to the far ends of the Earth. So choose your educational experience on Phillip Island below.
Want a learning experience on Phillip Island?
(Click on your answer or start again)
- Yes, we like a good museum.
- Hmm, does it have to be that serious?
- Hmmm can we just indulge?
WANT A LEARNING EXPERIENCE?
Yes, we like a good museum.
Okay, then older children can get serious at the National Vietnam Veterans Museum which has a large collection of artefacts, photography, touchscreens and audio-visual material about the Vietnam conflict. It adds to what they might have studied in school by highlighting the experiences of veterans, too.
Hmm, does it have to be that serious? Nope. There’s one part of the world that’s never had a war, so go on an Antarctic Journey and immerse yourself with the help of augmented reality and clever multimedia effects in a land of ice, ocean and incredible wildlife.
Hmmm can we just indulge? Absolutely! Discover how chocolate is made at the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory.
(Click on your answer or start again)
- But everything in one place? For the complicated family?
BUT I WANT A BIT OF EVERYTHING!
All right then, mix and match. Phillip Island is only 20 kilometres long. Just pick the best of the above and you can entertain, exhaust, educate and hopefully occasionally lose your kids (in a nice way – maze anyone?) all in the same day.
But everything in one place? For the complicated family? Jeez, okay. What you want is Churchill Island, where the history-minded kid can visit an 1850s farming homestead or learn about Aboriginal culture at Wadjil’garook Wetland, the energetic can walk and cycle, and the slightly silly can have a go at milking a cow or cracking a whip. For everyone else, there’s coffee and cake with great views.
Choose your Phillip Island family fun again or get going and book you Phillip Island getaway at Visit Phillip Island?