Of all the destinations one can visit in this big land of ours my kids would readily say ‘Let’s go to Phillip Island’. It is world-renowned for its natural beauty, rugged coastlines and native animals.
People flock to Phillip Island Australia, it is one of the most popular weekend getaway destinations in Victoria. So, what to do on Phillip Island you may ask? Phillip Island Nature Parks 4 park pass will provide you with all the sights you need to see on your trip to the Island.
The 4 park pass gets you into the big 4 attractions including:
- The Penguin Parade
- The Koala Conservation Reserve
- The Arctic Centre
- Churchill Island Heritage Farm
Not only do you get to see the sights but buying a pass also means you are helping to preserve this special place because Phillip Island Nature Parks is, in fact, a Conservation Organisation, that just happens to find it’s environmental, educational and research activities by operating these eco-tourism attractions.
In addition to operating these attractions, Phillip Island Nature Parks manages over 1,800 hectares of Crown Land which includes coastal reserves, woodlands and internationally recognised wetlands and perform habitat protection, restoration and revegetation.
Phillip Island Nature Parks has also been responsible for the longest ongoing seabird study in the world. The revenue generated by the amazing ecotourism activities is invested in vital conservation, research and education programs. This will mean future generations will get to experience the magic that is Phillip Island.
Facts about Phillip Island, Australia
- Phillip Island is 26 km long and 9 km wide
- The island is connected to the mainland by a 640-metre long bridge
- Phillip Island currently attracts some 3.5 million visitors each year
- The permanent population is a little over 7,000 people
- Phillip Island is home to a round of the Moto GP world championships
- The main township is Cowes
The Penguin Parade – Phillip Island 4 Park Pass
The one thing Phillip Island is most famous for is its Penguins. This attraction alone draws hundreds of thousands of international and local tourists every year.
The Phillip Island penguins parade happens every evening around dusk when these amazing little creatures make their journey from the water of the Southern Ocean to their nests on the grounds around the shoreline of the island. We had an amazing experience watching the penguins come in.
Your first sighting of these cute little animals will be of them coming through the waves. They then disappear into the sand and you become much like a little kid on Christmas Day waiting for Santa.
The anticipation builds as you see the first few little penguins waddle over the top of the dunes. A trickle becomes a flood as Fairy Penguins keep coming in waves.
We were in the Penguins Plus section. The Penguins Plus section allows you to be even closer to the beach to watch these amazing little creatures on their return home.
The penguins actually walk straight towards the platform you sit on, they walk underneath and around you. The night we were on the fairy penguins Phillip Island over 600 penguins came in and all four of us were completely mesmerised by these amazing little creatures.
Essential information for the Fairy Penguins Phillip Island parade:
- Phillip Island penguins time is at dusk
- Arrive at least an hour before the sun goes down
- If coming in the cooler months bring warm clothes and blankets
- No photos are allowed
- Download the penguin’s app
The Arctic Journey – Phillip Island 4 Park Pass
The Arctic Journey Phillip Island is about, dare I say…all things arctic! Australia has a long history of arctic exploration. You head into the Lab where there is a ton of learning opportunities through sight and sound activities. The Lab will give you a chance to feel how cold the artic is in the freezing room and this section was very popular with the kids.
They can get to see the massive size of the Great Southern Whales and be amazed at what they are able to do. The kids will be a given an activity booklet that they will need to fill in by finding the answers in the Lab. You will see the primitive exploration gear that the pioneering explorers had to take to the artic in years gone by.
The sounds of this artic animals will fill your ears, the unusual but beautiful sounds the whales make is mesmerizing. You will get to see how hot your body is compared to the Emperor Penguin through thermal imaging.
The sight and sounds auditorium where amazing huge screens displaying video images of the wildlife and rugged landscape of the artic.
This immersion experience was mind-blowing. Imagine an auditorium full of changing images catching your eye in every direction while the soundtrack of the arctic dances in your ears.
We were able to sit and just take it all in. For the kids, there was a virtual reality technology that allows them to be seen on a floating piece of ice with whales and penguins swimming around them.
The Arctic Journey is located at the Nobbies beach on Phillip Island. There is a cafe with an amazing view out over the coastline. There is walking platforms and boardwalks outside for you to experience the natural beauty and rugged coastline of this area as well.
The Arctic 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.
Summer: 10 am – approx. 7 pm (Opening at 2 pm on Christmas Day)
Autumn: 10 am – approx. 4pm
Winter: 10 am – approx. 3pm
Spring: 10 am – approx. 5pm
Where to stay at Phillip Island
Ramada Resort Phillip Island should be your first choice on Phillip Island. The Ramada Resort features Eco units for singles, couples and families. The resort facilities include restaurants, pools, gym, games rooms, bar, playgrounds and BBQs. Ramada is an all in one experience. The Ramada is centrally located to all Phillip Island attractions.
Phillip Island has accommodation types for all people. You can find hotels, caravans, hostels and resorts. The interactive map below can help you pick your Phillip Island accommodation
Koala Conservation Centre – Phillip Island 4 Park Pass
The Koala Conservation Centre is located on 6 acres of bushland in the middle of Phillip Island. You enter this venue through the gift shop, cafe information centre. You should spend the first 10-20 minutes reading and learning about the kolas before heading outside.
Outside you will find 2 treetop boardwalks. The Tree Top Koala Boardwalk is an 800-meter loop and the Tree Top Woodland boardwalk is 600 meters long. We were amazed that you could see the Koalas so up close and personal. Koalas sleep for up to 20 hours a day. We spotted about 6 at close range some even only a few feet away from us.
Look out for wallabies, echidnas and colourful native birds that also live on the reserve. For those of you that don’t know a wallaby is a smaller version of a Kangaroo. Wallabies are everywhere at the Koala Park Phillip Island. This is a must-see for anyone wanting to see the native Australian animals.
Let’s be honest who does not love Koalas! You may never get this close to a koala again. The Phillip Island Conservation Park can put you an arm’s length away.
The Koala Conservation Centre is open:
– 10 am to 5 pm daily (First Sunday in April to first Saturday in October)
– 10 am to 5:30 pm daily (February 1 to first Saturday in April and first Sunday in October to Christmas Day)
– 10 am to 6 pm (Boxing Day to end of January)
– 2 pm to 5:30 pm (Christmas Day)
* Please note: last access to Koala viewing boardwalks is 15 minutes before closing time
Phillip Island: 4 Parks Pass and Ultimate Penguin Tour
Experience the top 4 attractions of Phillip Island with one flexible pass Join a ranger on a small group eco tour at sunset Visit a secluded beach away from the main parade grounds and see the birds in their natural habitat Watch sheep shearing and other farming activities at Churchill Island Heritage Farm Marvel at Antarctic wildlife in the multimedia displays at the Nobbies Centre
Get the latest prices and information and booking details right here!
Churchill Island Heritage Farm – Phillip Island 4 Park Pass
Churchill Island Heritage Farm is as it says is a little island just off Phillip Island. Churchill Island is accessible by a little bridge across the small waterway.
Churchill Island is the site of the first European agricultural pursuits in Victoria and since the 1850s this 57-hectare island has been continuously farmed. In 1872, Samuel Amess, former Mayor of Melbourne, purchased the island for both holiday and farming use.
He transformed the island by building a homestead and outbuildings. Today Churchill Island Heritage Farm has been kept in its original state for visitors to see how life was in 1800’s. Today you can go through the homestead and see the furniture and decorations from the 1850’s.
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
The baby animal farm was popular with the kids. They were able to pat the goats and sheep. You even had a chance to line up and milk a cow the old-fashioned way.
For most kids, I am sure they think milk just comes out of a bottle. The looks of sheer horror and curiosity as they are told to pull the cow’s teet is something to behold.
Smiles frowns and bemusement all around. Churchill Island Heritage Farm is a chance to step back in time and see how life was in the early years of Australia.
I think for kids of today’s technological society having to milk cows and farm is something totally foreign to them. Churchill Island Heritage Farm also holds a famous farmers market once a month.
How much is a Phillip Island 4 park pass?
These prices are from Get you guide and you can book them here now!
*They are correct as of March 2019.
What does the pass get me?
- Entry to all the above Phillip Island attractions we have reviewed.
- A seat in the premium penguins plus viewing area for a closer look at them.
- An easy way to see all of the best attractions in Phillip Island
*You must book your Penguin Parade viewing date but you are able to use your entry tickets to visit the Koala Conservation Centre, Churchill Island Heritage Farm and the Antarctic Journey at the Nobbies Centre once within 6 months of your Penguin Parade visit.
Where is Phillip Island?
- Phillip Island is located 90 minutes drive from Melbourne. Book your rental car today
- The nearest international airport is Tullamarine Melbourne International Airport.
- Day Tours from Melbourne to Phillip Island are available.
How do I get from Melbourne to Phillip Island?
There are few different options on getting from Melbourne to Phillip Island.
V-line operates a bus to Phillip Island’s main town, Cowes, from Southern Cross Station in Melbourne city. The trip will take you around 3 hours.
*You will need to make your way to Phillip Island and around the Island yourself. The Melbourne to Phillip Island bus does not drop off at the Penguins and the bus does not return after the Penguin Parade is finished.
Take the Monash Freeway (M1) to the Cranbourne exit, where you will turn into the South Gippsland Highway (M420). Follow this route to the Bass Highway (A420), through Grantville and Bass, then onto the Phillip Island Road (B420) to San Remo, over the bridge onto Phillip Island.
There are a few tour operators that will take you to Phillip Island from Melbourne. Here are a few:
The natural beauty and Australian wildlife experience you will find on Phillip Island is second to none. What to do in Phillip Island look no further than the 4 Park Pass.
The 4 Park Pass will entertain and inform you. Let’s be honest Fairy Penguins are Koalas are awesome. Do yourself a favour get to Phillip Island for a day, weekend or a week and you won’t be disappointed. Another great Gippsland attraction waiting for you to visit.
We hoped you enjoyed this article, you can find more of the best of Gippsland on our attractions page
Please find 2 more articles from Travels in Gippsland below for your reading enjoyment. Just click on the description to read.
About the Author
Mark has grown up and lived in the Gippsland area all his life. “I think I know a thing or 2 about Gippsland”. When Mark is not working he is out exploring the best of Gippsland with his wife and kids