Phillip Island’s geography will attract nature lovers surely. It is near to Antarctic so you can find some seals, penguins, and whales lurking in the ocean. You can find sheep/ cow farms and wineries in the wide open spaces of the country area. And then of course, there are the beautiful beaches. These Phillip Island attractions will make you get the best of both worlds.
It was our first time in the island and our first long trip for a vacation. It is a 2-hour drive from Tullamarine airport and 90-min from the city. To easily get around the island, driving your own transportation is highly recommended. We stayed at the Continental Hotel, which is strategically facing the ocean and is within the central district of the island. Very convenient and near to Woolies, Coles, restaurants, and the Cowes beach! Days before your trip, it really is important to plan ahead and construct your family activities beforehand so that all you can do is enjoy and have fun! There are many great sources online. I found this post “The Complete Guide to Fun Things to do in Phillip Island” very helpful to us.
So after our trip, this is so far our top six Phillip Island attractions that we think are must-visits during family trips.
Phillip Island attractions to visit during your family trip
1. Nobbies Ocean Discovery Centre
1320 Ventnor Road, Summerlands Victoria, 3922
Opening hours: (from their website) The Antarctic Journey at the Nobbies closes approximately 2 hours before sunset each day,
and the Nobbies Centre itself closes approximately 1 hour before sunset each day to protect the native wildlife.
Entry fee: $18 adult, $9 child
The Nobbies Ocean Discovery Centre is situated on a cliff. Going there would take you to spectacular views of rock formations, ocean cliffs, and big waves. Major attraction inside the discovery centre is the Atlantic Journey, which includes an augmented reality experience with penguins, seals, and killer whales.
We were supposed to visit this place on our first day. But pressed with time, we moved it on our second day. And still pressed with time, I thought we could skip going. But since we already bought tickets beforehand via their website, it’s a shame to waste those tickets. And what a shame it would have been if we didn’t go there. The ocean view was breathtaking. Though the centre itself does not have actual whales or wildlife animals that you can see, the ocean view is simply beautiful. It was worth a visit.
They say sometimes seals appear on the oceans and you can see them by using binoculars.
2. Penguin Parade
1019 Ventnor Rd, Summerlands, Victoria 3922
Opening hours: (from their website) Penguins arrive at sunset every night of the year.
View the penguin arrival calendar to check what time that is during your visit.
- $25 adult – General
- $50 adult – Plus
- $65 adult – Underground
Perhaps the most famous of all Phillip Island attractions, the Penguin Parade is a must visit. We arrived at the Penguin Parade centre around 6:00 PM. According to their website, the penguins usually arrive on the coastline around 6:15 in the evening during spring. We thought we’d be late for the parade. But the penguins seem to be shy and conscious of their audience that night. We waited and waited. We could see them appear and disappear in the water every now and then. I think it was around 7:00 pm that they finally strutted their cuteness to us. And how cute they walked.
We were sitting in General Viewing deck and we were far from the front. Without my eyeglasses, seeing the penguin parade would be impossible. I looked over the Viewing Plus deck (whose seats cost twice as ours), and I notice there seem to be more penguins passing through them. I’m not sure though. It might be my eyeglasses not functioning right. Oops. But we all have the same view of the ocean and the penguins. General Viewing was o-kay then I guess, instead of paying twice for a ticket in the Penguin Plus deck.
As for the parade itself, it was as cute as the penguins are. But after the show, you might want to look on the grasses behind the decks. This is where to penguins sleep through the night. And some might not want to go to sleep yet, some might want to entertain you more and follow you all the way through the visitor centre.
3. Chocolate Factory
930 Phillip Island Rd, Newhaven VIC 3925
Opening hours (from their website):
- Open at 10am, 7 days a week
During Summer, last entry is at 5.30pm and cafe closes at 5.00pm.
During Winter, retail store closes at 5pm and 6pm during Eastern Daylight Savings time (October to March).
- Adults $17.00
- Children 4 -14yo $11.00
- Children under 4 – Free
The Lil One truly enjoyed this place because of course it is factory of her favorite… chocolates! She behaved so much when she was eating free chocolates and was amused at every sight of chocolates. I can safely say, this place is the best to visit if you have kids to entertain.
The factory has a game centre where you can play and win prizes. The prize is chocolates. Surprise there. There is also an area where you can learn how chocolates are made. And another area where they actually make the chocolate.
This place is one of the best Phillip Island attractions that is a must visit for every family!
4. A Maze’N Things
1805 Phillip Island Rd, Cowes
Open daily 10am-5pm
Entry fee: $34 per adult (Magic Manor, Puzzle Island, and Maze)
A Maze’N Things is another Phillip Island attraction where you can have fun in the name of magic! We got tickets for Puzzle Island, Magic Manor, and the Maze. Their famous attraction, I assume, is perhaps the shrinking room where tall people can get short and vice versa depending on where you can stand on the platform. Of course, it’s optical illusion. You can get your prints at $12.
The Maze of Mirror was a fun experience too. To cross between the Puzzle Island and Magic Manor, you have to successfully get your way through the maze of mirrors. It was deceiving. You thought you’re passing through a way out and then you bump into another mirror. Even the Lil One who likes mirrors was deceived into touching another mirror which turned out to be a hollow pathway.
5. Churchill Island Heritage Farm
246 Samuel Amess Drive, Churchill Island, Newhaven 3925
Entry fee: $12 adult, $6 child
“Daily farming activities:
1.00-1.45pm Wagon rides (school and public holidays only)
2.10pm Cow milking
2.30pm Sheep shearing
2.45pm Whip cracking
3.05pm Working dogs
3.20pm Sheep shearing”
6. Maru Koala and Animal Park
1650 Bass Hwy, Grantville VIC 3984
Open at 9:30am every day. Last entry is at 5:00pm.
Entry fee (Animal Park only):
$11 child 4-15yo
1:00pm – Wildlife Presentation
1:20pm – Koala Enclosure Guided Entry and Encounter Experience
2:00pm – Sheep Shearing Presentation
2:30pm – Tasmanian Devil Talk
Explore Animal Park – including unique Animal Encounter Experiences.
Churchill Heritage Farm and Maru Koala & Animal Park are another Phillip Island attractions that were part of our itinerary. But we enjoyed so much time in all the places we visited that we have to cancel these two farm visits. We will visit them next time! 🙂
Here’s a map to the attractions in Phillip Island: