5 Tips for Holidaying at Phillip Island

Cowes Pier in sepia October 2007 We had a great holiday at Phillip Island recently and I thought I'd share 5 things we learnt - our "Phillip Island Holiday Tips" (with thanks to my beautiful wife Olivia):

1. Buy the 3 Park Pass

If you plan on doing a couple of things at Phillip Island, a 3 Park Pass will save you a few dollars. It gets admission into Churchill Island Heritage Farm, the Penguin Parade, and the Koala Conservation Centre. Note that admission to the Penguin Parade is for the day you buy the ticket (there's a limit to how many people they can admit).

2. Come Really, Really, Ridiculously Prepared for Cold & Wet at the Penguin Parade

The seating at Phillip Island's Penguin Parade faces the open ocean, and gets very cold - trust me, I know :-)

We sat in pouring rain for 30 minutes to watch the Penguin Parade. While it was uncomfortable, it was worth it and has been the kid's most talked-about memory. Olivia was super-organised and packed two layers of clothes and towels for us to sit on, and did we need it! Some sort of rain protection (e.g. a poncho) is really handy, and something padded to sit on too because if you're at the front you'll be asked to sit by the attendants, and the seating is concrete.

Also, ring ahead to find out what time to arrive as the penguins come in at sundown. Getting there early will mean you can get the best seats - we reckon they're at the second section of seating, front right.

Last hint for the Penguin Parade: you can't take photos. Click here for more details.

3. Allow Time at Churchill Island Heritage Farm...

...and time your visit for when there's activities on. We spent 4 hours at the farm (including a 1 hour walk around the northern point of the island), and got to see some of the scheduled activities like free scones, milking the cows, and the working dogs. The activities seem to vary by day, so it might be worth phoning ahead or checking the web site before your visit.

The Churchill Island café was particularly good - the best soy latte of the holiday!

4. Visit The Nobbies

The attraction on Phillip Island that has to work the hardest is The Nobbies, a wind-swept point not far past the Penguins. The wildlife (seals) are almost too far out to see; however, there's a cliff-top walkway, penguin burrows, a view over Seal Rock, and a seagull colony. There's also a visitor centre which has a cool interactive display, a café, and an indoor playground. And it's all free.

5. Stop at San Remo for the Pelican Feeding

At 11:30 each morning, San Remo's pelicans come up to shore to be fed. It's not a super great experience, but is worth doing once. Our kids were excited about the whole thing, probably helped by playing at the park and eating fish & chips afterwards :-)

These are 5 things that I thought were worth sharing about a Phillip Island holiday. Anything I've missed?

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