Phillip Island Touring Route
Recommended duration: 1 day or overnight
Total distance: 297 kilometres
Total duration: 4 hours 14 minutes
Suggested legs: Melbourne–San Remo 123 kilometres, San Remo–Cowes 17 kilometres, Cowes–Penguin Parade 12 kilometres, Penguin Parade–Melbourne 145 kilometres
Driving time: Melbourne–San Remo 1 hour 35 minutes, San Remo–Cowes 25 minutes, Cowes–Penguin Parade 14 minutes, Penguin Parade–Melbourne 2 hours
Departing from Melbourne, the Phillip Island Touring Route travels south-east to the seaside fishing village of San Remo. Arrive before midday to see the daily feeding of the pelicans at the San Remo wharf, before heading over the bridge and onto Phillip Island.
Once on Phillip Island, turn left to the south of the island towards Cape Woolamai – a renowned surf destination and a great place for a walk through the rugged coastal scenery. Make the time to visit historic Churchill Island for a tour of the historic farm, homestead and gardens, which date back to 1872.
Next, turn inland to the centre of the island and the Koala Conservation Centre, where you can see koalas at close range from a treetop boardwalk. If you're interested in motor sport, take a quick detour to the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. For something different visit A Maze’N Things and challenge yourself to puzzling and mind-boggling activities.
Continue to Cowes at the north of the island. Cowes has a wealth of charming cafes and restaurants and is a rewarding place to stop for lunch.
From Cowes you can jump aboard an eco-cruise amongst one of Australia's largest fur seal colonies on Seal Rocks, or head over to the Nobbies to walk along the boardwalk to the blowhole and enjoy spectacular views along the island’s rugged south coast.
Before returning to Melbourne, make sure you witness the Penguin Parade, the highlight of any trip to Phillip Island. Line the boardwalk at dusk to watch hundreds of little penguins returning to their burrows on Summerland Beach after a day at sea.