Phillip Island is known for its wildlife and natural landscapes, and at just two hours' drive out of Melbourne — connected to the mainland by a bridge — Phillip Island is a popular day trip for those who love the coast and enjoy spending time outside in nature.
With its famous beaches and walking trails, Phillip Island is a paradise for hikers who can experience the unique rock formations, sheer cliffs, and coastal boardwalks. And that’s not all. Home to Australia’s largest fur seal colony and famous for its nightly penguin parade, animal lovers have plenty to see on the Phillip Island too.
Wildlife on Phillip Island
There is no shortage of wildlife on Phillip Island. The destination is renowned for its nightly penguin parade, so-called because of the way hundreds of penguins waddle up the sandy beach from the ocean each evening at sunset. While these adorable penguins are a star attraction, they are not the only wildlife there is to see. You might also spot seals, koalas, and seabirds.
A couple of kilometers off the coast of Phillip Island, at the aptly named Seal Rocks, there’s a large fur seal colony where you have the opportunity to see thousands of seals in their natural habitat. If you visit between May and October, you may see dolphins and whales too… and don’t forget to keep an eye out for the seabirds.
Bird watchers will love Phillip Island, as migratory birds fly over on their journey from Alaska. Birds including royal spoonbills, straw-necked ibis, little-pied cormorants, swans, and pelicans can be seen around the island too. Those with a particularly keen eye might be lucky enough to spot the rare hooded plover. The remnant bushland of Oswin Roberts reserve is home to a walking track particularly renowned for its bird-watching.
If cute and cuddly Australian wildlife is what you’re after, the Koala Conservation Center offers the chance to get up close to koalas in their natural habitat. As you wander through the eucalypt trees, you can catch a glimpse of koalas and their young. At the nearby Maru Koala and Animal Park, there is more opportunity to experience Australia’s native wildlife including koalas, kangaroos, wombats, and emus.
Phillip Island’s natural beauty
Phillip Island is a stunning coastal landscape to explore. Its rugged coastline of black basalt cliffs, grassy green bluffs, is all set against the oceanic expanse of Bass Strait. Pyramid Rock, The Nobbies, and Cape Woolamai are just a few of the natural wonders you’ll be eager to discover.
Hiking Cape Woolamai to the Pinnacles
If you’ve only got one day in the region, it’s hard to go past the sensational view from Phillip Island’s highest point of Cape Woolamai. The hiking tracks at Cape Woolamai are an absolute highlight, offering an unparalleled look out over the island and the ocean, as well as a view of the dramatic rock columns in the ocean’s shallows known as the Pinnacles. As you look out over the coast, you might see surfers making the most of the conditions. A long and exposed stretch of beach with generous waves make Cape Woolamai is a popular spot for experienced surfers.
See The Nobbies
At Point Grant, the western headland of Phillip Island, there are two rock formations known as the Nobbies. The Nobbies boardwalk offers a panoramic view of the ocean, and from one point you can see Cape Woolamai. The area around the Nobbies is known for wildlife including seabirds, penguins, and seals.
How to get to Phillip Island
If you love the ocean and want to spend a day hiking, exploring the coast, and seeing as much native coastal wildlife as possible, Phillip Island is an unmissable day trip from Melbourne.
At just a couple of hours out of Melbourne, the challenge when planning a day trip to Phillip Island is not so much getting there but deciding where to start. There’s so much to see when taking a day trip to Phillip Island from Melbourne. Discover stunning landscapes from the Nobbies to Cape Woolamai, and get up close to wildlife including penguins and seals.
Our Phillip Island day trip is perfect for those keen to see the best of the area in a day. We leave Melbourne bright and early, and get set to hike the rugged coastline overlooking the Pinnacles at Cape Woolamai. Next, we enjoy a picnic lunch before heading to the Nobbies to witness the blowhole and more unbeatable ocean views. We finish our day getting up close with Australian native animals at the Maru Koala and Animal Park.
Ready to make some unforgettable memories? Book a spot on our Phillip Island Day Trip.