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What to See and Do on Phillip Island - Cute Koalas, Scenic Wonders, and Chocolate Delights

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Just 90 minutes from Melbourne, Phillip Island offers a vast variety of things to do and see. Whether you want to get to know the local wildlife and explore the dramatic landscape, swim in the calm bay waters or the surf the southern waves, or have some amusement-park thrills with the kids, it's all here.

Hiking and cycling

 

Exploring Phillip Island on foot is a great way to take in the scenery while filling your lungs with fresh Bass Strait air. A network of walking trails, from easy strolls to challenging hikes, crisscrosses the island. Phillip Island’s relatively flat landscape and limited car traffic make cycling an ideal way to explore. It’s easy to cruise from Cowes to The Nobbies headland, the Grand Prix Circuit, or the breakers at Cape Woolamai. If you want a little extra boost, you can rent an electric bike.

 

Animal encounters

 

Phillip Island offers a host of opportunities to get acquainted with the local wildlife. You can watch the little penguins on the march at Summerland Beach, pay a visit to the fur seal colony at The Nobbies, and spy on the muttonbirds at Cape Woolamai. The Koala Conservation Centre lets you get up close to the furry residents in their natural habitat. The treetop boardwalk puts you face-to-face with the koalas, and on the woodland walk you can wander among wallabies, echidnas (spiny anteaters), and possums in natural bushland.

 

  • Penguin Parade, 1019 Ventnor Road, Summerlands VIC 3922; Tel: +61 3 5951 2800; Website: Penguin Parade
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  • Koala Conservation Centre, 1810 Phillip Island Road, Phillip Island VIC 3923; Tel: +61 3 5951 2800; Website: Koala Conservation Centre

 

A day in Newhaven

 

The picturesque seaside village of Newhaven is well worth a visit. You can stroll along the waterfront or cast a line and reel in the family dinner. For a special treat, stop by the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory. There are interactive exhibits explaining the production of chocolate, a miniature village made entirely of the sweet stuff, and what may be the world’s largest chocolate waterfall. Every guest is greeted with a secret-recipe truffle. Newhaven is also home to the National Vietnam Veterans Museum, featuring helicopters, a tank, a vast array of artifacts, and the acclaimed Light & Sound Show.

 

 

Mangroves, muttonbirds, and trout

 

Rhyll is a delightful fishing hamlet at the northeastern tip of Phillip Island. The boardwalk pathway from the town centre leads you along the waterfront, and then to the mangroves of Rhyll Inlet, an important breeding ground for migratory muttonbirds. At Rhyll Trout & Bush Tucker Farm, you and the kids can wander among native food crops and learn how the Aboriginal people used the edible berries, seeds, and flowers. Instructors will help you land a rainbow trout in the tree-lined lake, and the chef at Farmhouse Café will turn it into a tasty meal.

 

 

A maze of fun

 

Phillip Island’s long tradition as a family destination means a wealth of fun attractions for kids of all ages. At A Maze 'N Things, you can get lost in the maze, get small in the shrinking room, or get nervous at the top of the “Look Out” slide. There’s also a “maxi” miniature golf course and lots of activities to test your motor skills, perception, and memory. While the kids are busy, mom and dad can relax over freshly made scones with jam and cream in the Puzzle Café.

 

  • A Maze ’N Things, 1805 Phillip Island Road, Cowes VIC 3922; Tel: +61 3 5952 2283; Website: A Maze ’N Things