Phillip Island – The Jewel of Westernport Bay
Phillip Island is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia, attracting in excess of three and a half million visitors every year. Phillip Island has no dearth of fun activities for the whole family and is an excellent destination for all those seeking to create a holiday experience that they will never forget. The activities on the island are aplenty with every area offering something unique:
o Cowes: As the main township on Phillip Island, Cowes Solon Phillips Author is abuzz with things to see and do. The main avenue is graced with galleries, great shopping and eateries, leading down to the picturesque parkland on the foreshore. Situated on the north of the island, the Cowes foreshore offers panoramic views across Westernport Bay, gentle walks, safe swimming beaches, ideal for families, as well as the jetty, perfect for the early evening promenade, fishing or to access the cruises to Seal Rocks, or the ferries to French Island and Stony Point on the Mornington Peninsula.
o San Remo: At the eastern entrance to the island, San Remo is the gateway to Phillip Island. A harbour town, it is the prime centre for the local fishing industry, and you can join ocean fishing charters from the jetty. Nestled in the harbour, you will find cafes, restaurants and shopping as well as sporting facilities to enjoy a hit of tennis, squash, or a roll on the bowling green. Its position on the water provides opportunities to fish, feed the pelicans, or enjoy a coastal walk. Nearby sheltered beaches allow for safe swimming, and you can access a surf beach from town.
o Rhyll: On the north-east tip of Phillip Island, Rhyll is home to the beautiful wetlands and is also a focal point for life and sport on the water. The boat ramp, jetties, yacht and angling clubs and the sailing school allow individuals of all ages and levels of experience to access fishing and boating on the inlet. Trout fishing is also possible at the Rhyll Fishing Park. If you are more inclined to remain dry, a winery, restaurants and cafes, and beautiful nature walks can be easily enjoyed in Rhyll. Rhyll is also the gateway to attractions like the Koala Conservation Centre and Oswin Roberts’ Reserve.
o Newhaven: On the south side of Phillip Island, the fishing village of Newhaven is an important hub of the island. Just west of here you can access the road to Churchill Island, and nearby you will find the Phillip Island Airport and Phillip Island Information Centre. It is also the closest town to the stunning Cape Woolamai, a dramatic coastal environment with breath-taking views over wild surf and wildlife galore. Like Rhyll, Newhaven is a mecca for life on the water. Its jetty, boat ramp, the yacht club and marina allow access to the deep blue for water sport enthusiasts of all persuasions. For anyone interested in remaining land-based, there are restaurants and cafes to enjoy.
o Churchill Island: The historic heart of the region, tiny Churchill Island is the site of the first European settlement in Victoria. Follow the sign-posted directions from Newhaven and unrestricted access is via a bridge, open from 10am to 4.30pm daily. Visitors to Churchill Island can leave fully versed in the local history after a tour of the Visitors’ Centre, or can explore the original homestead, relive history with demonstrations of traditional farming techniques by local rangers, or just wander through the gardens and orchards.