Around Phillip Island in 3 Days

Phillip Island

Phillip Island is a small island South East of Melbourne in Australia. The small island is known for its breakwaters, surfing reserves, sheltered swimming beaches, penguins, wildlife, bird watching, and motor sports. As an avid beach lover, I was excited to explore Phillip Island and its endless rugged coastline. Taking a surf lesson for the first time was something I wanted to do before leaving Australia. Phillip Island would be the perfect place to surf in South Eastern Australia. Attending the Penguin Parade was also high on my priority list as I hadn’t seen wild penguins prior to visiting Australia. I couldn’t leave Phillip Island without touring around to see the up close viewings of wildlife and birds.

The first day we arrived to Phillip Island, we went directly to Summerland Beach for the Penguin Parade. At sunset, we watched the little penguins returning to shore after a day of fishing. The 180 degree tiered seating provided elevated viewing of the Little Penguins on parade. Observing the world’s smallest penguins waddle their way up the beach to their homes in the sand dunes was a one of a kind and magical experience. A must do bucket list item for anyone traveling to Australia. I could have narrated the entire scene of the cute penguins coming out of the sea in troops (some getting spooked by the sea gulls and running back to sea to try to do it all over again). I could have watched them all evening. Seeing the penguins in their natural habitat is unlike seeing them in a wildlife preservation center.

Penguin Parade– Watch the penguins come in from the ocean

Phillip Island

My second day on Phillip Island was spent taking my first ever personalized surf lesson (although, I have attempted surfing a few times prior) from Island Surfboards at Smiths Beach. After surfing, we explored more of Phillip Island’s stunning coastline: Shelly Beach, where the more professional surfers go, Nobbies and Seal Rock, where I found untouched coastal views, and then venturing to Red Rock Beach to see the sunset. Along the way, we saw numerous wallabies passing by and cute Australian Cape Barren Goose on the side of the road. My full day on Phillip Island was everything I hoped for: beaches, surfing, wildlife encounters, and dramatic views.

Smiths Beach– Take my first surf lesson

Phillip Island

Shelly Beach– Watch the surfers

Phillip Island

Nobbies/Seal Rock– Nature trail to take in Phillip Island’s incredible coastal views

Phillip Island

Red Rock Beach– To watch the sunset

Phillip Island

Wildlife– Everywhere I went there was wildlife all around

Phillip Island

Instead of staying in a hostel my girlfriends and I decided to give Air BnB a try. We ended up finding the perfect place for us to stay in a central location with an incredible host. Our host Chris had our room ready for us when we arrived equipped with linens and towels. Each morning, he would prepare for us delicious raw vegan chocolate-banana-coconut smoothies to start our day. Chris even joined us for part of our sight seeing day and showed us some of the local spots, while filling us in on the history of Phillip Island. He was extremely knowledgeable and answered any questions we had. My first experience using Air BnB was a positive one and now I am excited to try it again in another country (maybe I will even sign up myself when I get back to Canada). If you are planning a trip to Phillip Island be sure to check out Chri’s profile on Air BnB; considering Chris used to manage a travelers hostel he knows how to host!

Touring Around– Travel around Phillip Island with an old friend and new friends

Phillip Island

Swan Lake– To see the one of a kind black swans

Phillip Island

On our last day on Phillip Island, before we departed, we stopped and visited Swan Lake where we observed Black Swans and countless other native birds to the Island. Although it was raining (typical Melbourne weather in the fall), we ventured out and made the most of it. Hiking and laughing in the rain with friends is a memory I’ll have forever. Even though I wish it was warm and sunny like it was in Queensland I still wouldn’t trade my experience for the world. A little rain didn’t hurt anyone ( and I didn’t melt).


15 thoughts on “Around Phillip Island in 3 Days

  1. Loved your post on my heart and soul island ❤
    The Little Blue Penguins (previously Fairy Penguin) come in at Shelly Beach too – without being bothered by hundreds of tourists. The roads are closed after sunset but you can just take a walk along the road and sit on the beach and watch them come up over the rocks. I absolutely love them. They're also found in New Zealand so keep an eye out for them while you're there!
    The more experienced surfers go to Cape Woolamai and Forrest Caves. Please tell me you went to see Cape Woolamai. It's a word-class surf beach like Bells!

    • I love that phrase- heart and soul island. You got it girl. I think I fell in love with it as much as you love it. It’s amazing. That’s awesome that you got to see them regularly at Shelly Beach. Jealous! I will keep my eyes open for them in New Zealand as well. Now that I think about it, I think I actually missed Cape Woolamai. Oh my goodness, how did I miss it? :O I’ll have to save it for next time. Many people are surprised to hear that you can actually surf at Phillip Island, but my surf lesson on Phillip Island will be a memory I will have forever.

      • People surprised you can surf at Phillip Island? Really?! They used to have the international comps at Cape Woolamai and have held the Rip Curl Pro at Flynn’s Reef instead of Bells a few times. Amazing. I’ll have to hunt down the photos of Kelly Slater and Tom Carroll hanging out in Newhaven (where I grew up) and upload them!

      • Yeah I know what you mean. I always knew you could surf there, but even locals from Melbourne were surprised when I told them I surfed on Philip Island. They always ask me the same question: there are surf waves on Phillip Island?

  2. Well I did make it to the Nobbies. We didn’t stay to watch the penguin parade, however I reached my camera under the wooden walkways and took pictures of the penguins that way. As for the swans, I thought black swans were quite common in Australia. If you want to have a look at my post on the little penguins, see here – and read about a whole town called Penguin in Tazzie –

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