With the Queen’s birthday long weekend just around the corner, I reckon a perfect article for this week would be the kick off a new blog post series where I cover the best day trips out of Melbourne.
I will be sharing my own personal favorite Melbourne day trips and may not necessarily conform to what the itenary recommended in popular Melbourne travel books. Many of these places could easily be extended to more relaxing weekend away.
What better way to start of the series than to cover one of my top few favorite local holiday destinations – Phillip Island.
There is so much things to see and do on this relatively small but beautiful island. A reasonable drive from Melbourne CBD of around 2 hours, it is also a very popular tourist destination.
To make things really easy for you, here is my recommended day trip itinerary for Phillip Island.
Pelicans at San Remo
San Remo is actually a small village just before you hit the bridge that takes you over the water and onto Phillip Island itself.
There is a flock of huge wild pelicans that like to hang around the wharf. It’s worth a quick stop for a photo opportunity. The best viewing by far is during the feeding time around noon when the pelicans congregate en-masse like clockwork awaiting their daily feed. But since this is a day trip we will skip that and move on to the island itself. If you are staying overnight in the area, you should definitely check this out.
Phillip Island Chocolate Factory
The kids will love this one!
Not long after you enter the island, you will encounter the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory. Take some time for an interesting and interactive tour in the working chocolate factory and grab some yummy handmade chocolates. The dark ones are my favorite!
I would skip the cafe though as the coffee and food is nothing special. You will get your feed at the next stop …
Care for some fishing? My fishing skills are pretty non-existent but I found the Rhyll Trout & Bush Tucker farm a whole load of fun. Here you can hire a rod and bait and let yourself loose on a small lake – no doubt pre-filled with beautiful trout.
If you have mediocre skills like me and rushed for time, have no fear. There is an indoor rainforest pool where you can cast your line in and I guarantee you will get a catch within seconds. The pool was sardine-packed with trout! Kind of like fishing for dummies.
For a small fee, the onsite restaurant will cook it to your liking and it’s a nice venue for lunch. Or you could choose to take it home. But the fish something enjoyably
A stroll around Cowes
After your yummy trout lunch, its time to head on down to the island’s seaside town of Cowes for some souvenir or artisan wares shopping.
I love grabbing a takeaway coffee and heading down to the foreshore for a little relaxing me-time. Perfect quiet period before heading to our next stop for a totally different experience!
Phillip Circuit Grand Prix Circuit
The famous race track is the venue of the Australian leg of the MotoGP as well as V8 Supercars Championshops. Besides these two biggies, there are also other interesting races held throughout the year.
Here you can choose to go for a hot lap around the track and have a guided tour of the venue. Personally. I head straight for the Go Karts!
I love taking a spin around the track – which is a scale replica of the actual race track – in their powerful Go Karts and you get a summary of your lap times at the end. The young ones don’t miss out either as tandem karts are available.
Back to Cowes
With your adrenaline rush out of the way, there should be some time to head back to Cowes for an early dinner before you make your way to our final stop.
There are a number of decent places to eat and the restaurant scene keep on changing. You can’t really go wrong with either Pino’s Trattoria (Italian) or Wing Lok (Chinese). Both are decent and not too expensive. Though I wouldn’t compare the food with what you can find in metropolitan Melbourne.
Phillip Island Penguin Parade
No doubt the STAR attraction on the island is the world famous Phillip Island Penguin Parade!
Every evening at dusk, the adorable Fairy Penguins return from a day’s work fishing in the sea and make their way up the shore towards the burrows.
There are cleverly constructed walkways that go right along the penguins path and stretches all the way from the beach back to the visitor centre. This means that you could be less than a metre away providing up close views.
I come here at least once a year and I can never get enough of the cuddly cute penguins.
One of the best attraction in all of Victoria. A must see !
Now It’s Time To Say Goodbye …
And that’s it! Do drive safely back to Melbourne as it’ll be well into the night!
I hope you like this Melbourne day trip guide to Phillip Island. And Please provide any feedback and comments below. 🙂