Phillip Island – 3 Day Itinerary for Travelling Families

We recently spent an amazing 3 days and 2 nights exploring Phillip Island (which is about 90 minutes from Melbourne and lies just off Australia’s southern coast), and it’s not hard to know why it’s such a popular holiday destination for nature loving families!

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To take the guess work out of your next holiday, here is our fun-filled 3 Day Phillip Island itinerary for travelling families.

DAY 1.

PANNY’S PHILLIP ISLAND CHOCOLATE FACTORY

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Once you have gone over the bridge from San Remo onto Phillip Island it won’t be long until you come across Panny’s Amazing World of Chocolate. It is a celebration of all things chocolate, with information about the chocolate making process, interactive machines to play with (and opportunities to win chocolates!), and the ability to make (and taste) your own chocolate creation.

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Once you’ve done all there is to do in this unique chocolate wonderland, you can explore Panny’s Chocolate Shop or head into Panny’s Chocolate Café for a chocolate inspired treat.

Alegría and Isaac are still talking about Panny’s and are dreaming of returning soon, and they are not the only ones! Panny’s chocolate is delicious!

MORE INFORMATION

Entry to Panny’s Cafe and Retail store is free of charge, however the Chocolate factory requires paid admission.

TICKET PRICES:

  • Adults $17.00
  • Children 4 -14 years $11.00
  • Children under 4 – Free
  • Family $50.00 (Family pricing is for 2 adults and 2 children)

Website: www.phillipislandchocolatefactory.com.au/

CHURCHILL ISLAND HERITAGE FARM

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After spending an hour or so at the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory, you should head to lunch at Churchill Island Heritage Farm. The food is varied and delicious – seriously good tasting food! Trust us! We really enjoyed sitting at the outside picnic table, watching the kids playing on the lawn and looking out over Western Port.

Churchill Island 7

The Churchill Island Heritage Farm allows you to become immersed in some of Victoria’s heritage, where you can enjoy a walking around the restored farmhouse and cottages, beautiful gardens, farm sheds and lawns.

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Each afternoon from 2 pm (and 1pm on weekends, school and public holidays – weather permitting) the Churchill Island Heritage Farm staff offer a variety of interactive farm activities for everyone to participate in. We had a ride behind the tractor, fed the cows, saw a sheep shearing demonstration, milked a cow, cracked a whip and watched a sheep dog work the herd. There is no need to worry about missing out on an activity – you just move from one to the other. We had such a fantastic time and cannot recommend this as a fun family activity highly enough.

Churchill Island 2

Before you leave, take a short coastline walk to the lookouts over Phillip Island and Western Port or alternatively, you could do this before you have your lunch and enter the farm.

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MORE INFORMATION

Entry onto Churchill Island is free of charge, however the Heritage Farm requires paid admission (and it’s cheap and really worth it!).

Daily farming activities:

1.00-1.45pm         wagon rides (weekends, school and public holidays only – weather permitting)
2.10pm                 cow milking
2.30pm                 sheep shearing
2.45pm                 whip cracking
3.05pm                 working dogs
3.20pm                 sheep shearing

TICKET PRICES

  • Adult (16 years+) – $12.80
  • Child (4-15 years) – $6.40
  • Family (2 adults and 2 children) – $32.00
  • Australian Pensioner (ID required) – $8.95

BUNDLE & SAVE – Check out the bundled ticket options to see some of Phillip Island Nature Parks other attractions, with guaranteed savings.

4 PARKS PASS – Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Antarctic Journey, Penguin Parade General Viewing, Koala Conservation Centre – prices start at just $58.00 per adult.

Website: www.penguins.org.au/attractions/churchill-island/

It’s now time to check into your accommodation before having some dinner! We stayed at the Phillip Island Apartments which we can highly recommend for your holiday. It is walking distance (a block) to the main street, supermarkets, delicious eateries and the Cowes foreshore. We will discuss your accommodation options at the end of this post!

DAY 2.

Koala Conservation Centre

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The Koala Conservation Centre opens at 10 am and is set on six hectares of Australian bush. To view the koalas, you can walk along two easily accessible tree top boardwalks to get up close and personal with the koalas. On the day we were there, there were 5 koalas close to the boardwalk so don’t go expecting heaps of koalas to be right there waiting for you! They are wild and free to move around as they wish!  

The Tree Top Koala Boardwalk is an easy 800m loop which takes about 20 minutes (you could walk through it in 5 minutes but you really want to stop and smell the eucalyptus!) and the Tree Top Woodland Boardwalk is an easy 600m loop that won’t take you longer than 20 minutes.

Phillip Island Koala

Whilst your kids will love spotting the koalas and being on the lookout for wallabies, echidnas and native birds, ours really loved learning about the lives of koalas and other native animals through the interactive displays in the visitor centre.

MORE INFORMATION

TICKET PRICES:

  • Adult (16 years+) – $12.80
  • Child (4-15 years) – $6.40
  • Family (2 adults and 2 children) – $32.00
  • Australian Pensioner (ID required) – $8.95

BUNDLE & SAVE – Check out the bundled ticket options to see some of Phillip Island Nature Parks other attractions, with guaranteed savings.

4 PARKS PASS – Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Antarctic Journey, Penguin Parade General Viewing, Koala Conservation Centre – prices start at just $58.00 per adult. (Save $11.30)

Website: www.penguins.org.au/attractions/koala-conservation-centre/

THE ECOBOAT ADVENTURE TOUR

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The EcoBoat Adventure Tour operates all year round, with up to three departures per day over summer, in addition to other seasonal tours and MUST be booked in advance.

We went on a day where the conditions, they say, couldn’t really get any worse. The swell was higher than the boat and we even received a text message prior to departure to remind us to bring motion sickness medication or to call to re-book. We were on a tight time schedule, so we joined the tour as planned. As it turned out, the following day the conditions were ideal – you win some, you lose some!

The crew really know how to show their guests a good time – 1 hand in the air for a question, 2 hands means we are having fun! We loved the high speed boat ride along Phillip Island’s spectacular coastline, seeing the Nobbies sea-cave (which is visible only from the water), learning about the Cat Bay National Surfing Reserve and how it got it’s name, seeing the aerial acrobatics of the short-tailed shearwater birds before they take-off for a 16,000 kilometre migration journey to islands off the coast of Alaska and being bounced around as our captain Michael put the EcoBoat through its paces over the waves and took us through the aptly named “washing machine” before stopping at “Seal Rocks” one of Australia’s largest fur seal colonies.

This is where things started to unravel for the Mumma, who has decided that Tim and the kids will enjoy these activities without her from now on! The kids loved seeing the seals ducking in and out of the water and coming up close to the boat. It was really interesting to learn about Phillip Island Nature Parks environmental work in the area and how they bought back the land, removed the houses and have reinstated the area as a nature reserve.

The 90 minute tour (ours departed at 3 pm) finished with plenty of time for us to head to the Penguin Parade for dinner and to find our spot for the sunset penguin viewing.

MORE INFORMATION AND THINGS TO NOTE

  • Free WiFi on board
  • All participants must be at least 4 years of age.
  • All participants must be at least 100cm tall.
  • Passengers with back, neck, shoulder or heart conditions, those who are pregnant or who have injuries/conditions that may cause a risk to their health are advised to not do these tours, or do so at their own risk
  • Open waters and unpredictable sea conditions could cause physical injury, psychological stress or motion sickness.
  • Eligibility of passengers to participate in the tour is at the discretion of the Captain who has the right to refuse passage

TICKET PRICES:

  • Adult (16 years+) – $85.00
  • Child (4-15 years) – $65.00
  • Family (2 adults and 2 children) – $235.00
  • Australian Pensioner (ID required) – $85.00

To book, visit the Buy Tickets page or phone +61 3 5951 2800.

Website: www.penguins.org.au/attractions/ecoboat-tours

PENGUIN PARADE

Penguin Parade.jpg

You can’t visit Phillip Island and not go and see the penguins! Tim and I both have vivid memories of visiting the area as kids and seeing the little penguins return to their burrows after a day out fishing!

At the Penguin Parade, there are interactive displays, documentaries being shown, an onsite cafe (where we had dinner) and a souvenir shop.

The penguins arrive at sunset and their approximate arrival time can be found on the www.penguins.org.au website or on the arrival calendar. They suggest that if you have general viewing, you should take your seat 1 hour prior to penguin arrival time and if you have underground viewing then you should find your spot 30 minutes prior to their arrival. This can be a long wait in the cold for kids so perhaps take it in turns to sit with the bags whilst taking the kids along the boardwalks as you will probably spot penguins just walking along!

We had underground viewing tickets, so we were sheltered from the weather and the number of people is restricted. If you are sitting in the grandstands on the beach MAKE SURE you pack warm, weatherproof jackets, gloves, beanies and take a blanket. It can be freezing. The souvenir shop sells them if you find yourself being cold!

In the underground viewing area, there was an interactive box that had all sorts of shells, bones, shark eggs, coral, seaweed etc that had descriptions and information on it. Alegría spent the time waiting for the penguins soaking in all the information and sharing it with other kids. The head ranger told me that every night there is always a child like Alegría that fully embraces the hands-on activity.

Before long, the penguins arrived and waddled their way up the beach and into the sand dunes. They are surprising fast considering they have such little legs and we loved seeing them! As we walked back up the boardwalk to go home, we passed many of them but you CANNOT take photos. Which, as hard as it was, we respected as it is a rule to protect the little penguins – you can download photos for your album HERE.

MORE INFORMATION: 

There are many ticket options – for more information please click HERE

General viewing prices:

  • Adult (16 years+) – $25.70
  • Child (4-15 years) – $12.80
  • Family (2 adults and 2 children) – $64.20
  • Australian Pensioner (ID required) – $17.95

BUNDLE & SAVE – Check out the bundled ticket options to see some of Phillip Island Nature Parks other attractions, with guaranteed savings.

4 PARKS PASS – Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Antarctic Journey, Penguin Parade General Viewing, Koala Conservation Centre – prices start at just $58.00 per adult. (Save $11.30)

Website: www.penguins.org.au/attractions/penguin-parade/

DAY 3.

ANTARCTIC JOURNEY

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The new ‘Antarctic Journey’ attraction at the Nobbies Centre is a fun, virtual journey to Antarctica – somewhere that has long been on our list of places to visit.

The kids loved the hands-on and interactive experiences – we got to feel the cold in the Antarctic Chill Zone and then compared a penguin’s thermal image to ours to see where we lose the most body heat. As we visited in the school holidays there were extra science activities to keep the kids entertained, learning and having fun!

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We all enjoyed walking through the exhibition, filled with floor to ceiling screens showcasing the stunning Antarctic landscape and wildlife. We then played with the state of the art augmented reality experience which allows you to “stand” on an iceberg and touch the penguins, seals and whales.

antarctic journey 3

MORE INFORMATION

TICKET PRICES:

  • Adult (16 years+) – $18.00
  • Child (4-15 years) – $9.00
  • Family (2 adults and 2 children) – $45.00
  • Australian Pensioner (ID required) – $12.60

Website: www.penguins.org.au/attractions/recreational-areas/the-nobbies

THE NOBBIES CENTRE

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Overlooking Bass Strait, the Nobbies Centre is home to Antarctic Journey as well as amazing clifftop boardwalks and views of the Nobbies and Seal Rocks. Apart from the Antarctic Journey, everything else at the Nobbies Centre is free to experience so you must definitely come and spend some time here!

We had lunch at the onsite cafe which was really delicious! Don’t worry about hungry tummies when you visit – you will find plenty to keep everyone happy and there is a gift shop and interpretive display on penguin conservation on Phillip Island there to pass the time whilst your meal is cooked.

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The area is a photographers paradise, with many vantage points from the boardwalks and lookout points. We enjoyed the views along Phillip Island’s south coast and seeing the blowhole, Nobbies and Seal Rocks but the highlight was seeing the Little Penguins (who are often seen here) resting near the boardwalk!

MORE INFORMATION

The Nobbies Centre closes approximately one hour before sunset each day to protect the native wildlife.

Summer: 10am – approx. 8pm (Opening at 2.00pm Christmas Day)
Autumn: 10am – approx. 5pm
Winter: 10am – approx. 4pm
Spring: 10am – approx. 6pm

* The Antarctic Journey attraction closes approximately 1 hour before the Nobbies Centre closing times and the Nobbies Cafe closes approximately 30 minutes before the above closing times, while the Gift Shop will remain open until the centre closes.

Website: www.visitphillipisland.com/listing/the-nobbies

CAPE WOOLAMAI

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Before we began our journey home, we stopped by Cape Woolamai for a play in the sand! This golden beach is a popular Phillip Island surfing spot, which is patrolled by Surf Life Savers during the summer. If you are feeling more adventurous, there are a variety of walking tracks across Cape Woolamai where you can experience the coastal scenery from Phillip Island’s highest point. For us, we had a great time playing in the shallows and building sandcastles. Just a word from the wise, they only have cold outdoor showers so getting sand off little bodies was hard and not overly successful.

Website: www.penguins.org.au/attractions/recreational-areas/cape-woolamai

OTHER ATTRACTIONS WORTH CONSIDERING

PHILLIP ISLAND GRAND PRIX CIRCUIT

Fancy a hot lap, driving the go karts, behind-the-scenes tour or checking out the history of motorsport? The Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit has many options for you – age and height restrictions apply.

Website: http://www.phillipislandcircuit.com.au

A MAZE’N THINGS

A Maze’N Things is a whole world of optical illusions, mazes, thrilling rides, mini golf and puzzles that will entertain, intrigue and amuse adults and children for hours.

They also have a large and colourful café, specialty retail shop and outdoor facilities such as playgrounds, BBQ’s and picnic areas.

Website: www.amazenthings.com.au

WHERE TO STAY?

There are heaps of options … but this might help you out!

PHILLIP ISLAND APARTMENTS

Phillip Island Apartments

Our home away from home for two nights was the 4 star, self-rated Phillip Island Apartments which is located in the vibrant seaside town of Cowes. As I mentioned, it is just a short stroll from local shops, restaurants, beautiful beaches and within easy travelling distance of Phillip Island’s many attractions.

We stayed in a two bedroom apartment that included a full kitchen and laundry facilities, large living and dining area with a balcony overlooking the pool and BBQ area. The spa is heated (even during the colder months) and is big enough that it was a mini-pool for the kids to play in. They LOVED this and Isaac still asks to go back!

Phillip Island Apartments 2

The staff were friendly (a special shout out to Marguerite) and offered great advice on where to go and what to see.  I had a sneak peak in the 3 bedroom apartment and can say that it was equally as clean, spacious and well appointed.

Phillip Island Apartments feature:

Complimentary Wi-Fi
Complimentary Foxtel in all apartments
A complimentary off-street car park per apartment
Complimentary BBQ facility on site

Website: www.phillipislandapartments.net.au

Alternatively, you could check out:

BIG4 Phillip Island Caravan Park

Website: www.big4.com.au/caravan-parks/vic/phillip-island/philip-island-caravan-park

Ramada Resort Phillip Island

Website: www.wyndhamap.com/wps/wcm/connect/Wyndham/home/Resorts/Australia/VIC/phillipisland/Accommodation

Cowes Caravan Park – Family Parks

Website: www.familyparks.com.au/travel/cowes-caravan-park

Silverwater Resort, San Remo

Website: www.silverwaterresort.com.au

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We would like to thank Phillip Island Nature Parks and Nicoleta for making it possible for us to have such an amazing experience. We cannot wait to come back again!

For more information or to book your amazing family holiday visit: www.penguins.org.au


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Please note all details quoted are correct at the time of publishing. All details are subject to change without notice and Kidding Around Australia takes no responsibility for information contained in this post. Please check the appropriate website to ensure that information is still correct and current.

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