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.

From coast to koalas

Once you arrive on Phillip Island, turn left to the south of the island, towards Cape Woolamai. It's a renowned surf destination, and a great place for a walk through the rugged coastal dunes. While you're here, 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 towards 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 and hop on a go-kart at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. For something a little different, visit Phillip Island's award-winning theme park, A Maze’N Things, and challenge yourself to puzzling and mind-boggling activities.

Join the Penguin Parade

Next stop: the charming little town of Cowes, on the northern edge of the island. Cowes has a bunch of great cafes and restaurants, not to mention some of the best fish and chips in the region. Re-fuel at the popular Beach HQ Restaurant


From Cowes, you can jump aboard an eco-cruise and visit one of Australia's largest fur seal colonies on Seal Rocks, or head over to The Nobbies and walk along the boardwalk to the blowhole. It's got 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.


Unable to get data