Only 1h30 from Melbourne, Phillip Island is an island of 7000 inhabitants to visit in a few days which presents very beautiful landscapes and many animals to admire in their wild state. With over 32,000 penguins, 30,000 sea lions, hundreds of bird species, koalas and wallabys, Phillip Island is one of Australia’s premier destinations for discovering Australian wildlife in its natural habitat. The island has an area of about 100 km² with a length of 26 km and a maximum width of 9 km. It is used for the breeding of cattle (sheep and cattle) on 60% of its surface.
We chose to sleep in the small town of San Remo at the entrance to Phillip Island. This allowed us to enjoy several days of the steep cliffs of the coast and the discrete and isolated beaches of ponds and wooden trails that lead to observation platforms.
There is an association: Phillip Island Nature Parks who study the various wild animal species on the island to learn more about their behaviors. They are also interested in the consequences of environmental changes and share the results of their research with the world.
At the southwest point of the island is The Noobies, a rocky point where one can observe the natural beauty and its wild side. There are many wallabies in this place: They are present at the side of the road but can also cross it. So you have to be very careful and drive slowly. Along the road, there are the emblematic panels of Australia with kangaroos, koalas or wombat.
In the distance, 1.6 km from the shore, one can observe Seal Rocks which is inhabited by the largest colony of Australian sea lions in the world. They were all scattered on the rocks and in the sea. We went on a boat trip (from Cowes) which took us directly to the rocks to observe them more easily. There was nevertheless a smell absolutely … Horrible! What a memory !
The Phillip Island circuit is famous for hosting the Australian V8 Supercars Touring Car Championship every year, but I have not had the opportunity to visit it.
There are several hikes to discover beautiful scenery, especially the Cape Woolamai. It is a popular spot for surfers due to strong waves and currents. It is possible to walk along the beach for several kilometers before climbing up the cliffs to continue a little before reaching the southeast tip. Rock rock is formations are staggering!
Phillip Island attracts 3.5 million tourists a year, especially due to the presence of pygmy penguins returning by thousands at night on the island. « The Penguin Parade » is a very well-framed and renowned attraction, but I confess I was a little disappointed. It was very cold and so dark that you could not see anything. We waited several hours to see only a dozen penguins out of the sea, while we had seen more at the Noobies earlier in the day. In short, a purely tourist attraction for a totally natural event that occurs elsewhere in Phillip Island.