Food & wine touring route
Leg 2: Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges to Phillip Island
140 km / 87 miles, about 1.5 hr
Phillip Island is deliciously close to the Southern Gippsland Wine Trail, so you can start sampling the region's distinctive wines before you reach the island. Once there, you'll find two wineries as well as a surprising number of restaurants and cafes.
Some are found in unlikely but scenic spots; you may find yourself enjoying a light lunch platter while Highland cattle graze peacefully in a paddock next door. Other restaurants welcome you to a sunny balcony with views of Western Port Bay, or to the foreshore of sleepy seaside village.
Highly recommended is the Foreshore Bar and Restaurant in the little hamlet of Rhyll, where the beachfront location is matched with fresh, innovative cuisine and a very easy-going ambience. The busier village of Cowes has a classic beachside esplanade, where Harry's on the Esplanade occupies a prime spot. Enjoy the Western Port Bay views and a superb menu based on regional produce and home-baked items and ice-cream.
For the sweetest treats, head for the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory and Cafe to sample high quality handmade chocolates then try making your own.
For stunning ocean views, fresh seafood, al fresco dining and locally grown produce, nothing compares to the bountiful offerings of Phillip Island.
Discover sheltered bay beaches and wild surf beaches, blowholes, caves and unusual rock formations with a beach to suit every kind of visitor.