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Amazing Phillip Island Adventure: Wildlife, Beaches and Fun

From the world-famous penguin parade to seeing Australia’s largest fur seal colony, MEG LAW and her family discover the best things to do during a stay at NRMA Phillip Island Beachfront Holiday Park

Daisy and Jasper exploring Phillip Island
Daisy and Jasper exploring Phillip Island

When we think of island life, it conjures up visuals of palm trees swaying, cocktails in a tropical oasis, white sandy beaches, and bright orange sunsets. But as we crossed the San Remo Bridge to Phillip Island, with dark clouds looming above, we knew this island escape was going to be a little different from the norm. Over the bridge and onto the island, we were edging closer to nature and wildlife and our heads were swimming with possibilities.

A nature walk on the spectacular coast
A nature walk on the spectacular coast

Phillip Island: A perfect destination for nature-loving families

NRMA Carawan Camping
NRMA Carawan Camping

With its white sandy beaches, spectacular rugged coastline, and world-class surfing beaches, just two hours’ drive from Melbourne, this wild, untamed haven everything this nature loving-family could want. Penguins waddle to their burrows, seals dive amongst the rocks, koalas nestle in trees, while surfers carve up beach breaks. It’s also home to Australia’s largest colony of fur seals, and an incredible array of birdlife. We were especially keen to spot penguins and seals, and even visit the ‘hairy coos’ on neighbouring Churchill Island.

NRMA Phillip Island Beachfront Holiday Park makes the ideal base

NRMA cabin life
NRMA cabin life

Wildlife Coast Cruise

Dad and kids enjoying the Wildlife Coast Cruise
Dad and kids enjoying the Wildlife Coast Cruise

For a great family adventure, we think it would be hard to beat the Wildlife Coast Cruise. We loved feeling the saltwater spray on our faces during the two-hour trip aboard the Kasey Lee catamaran to Seal Rocks, where thousands of fur seals splash and play in the waves. Located two kilometres offshore from the Nobbies Reserve, it is home to Australia’s largest breeding colony of approximately 30,000 Australian fur seals. As we learned fun facts about these playful creatures from the friendly crew, the seals swam up to greet the boat, entertaining us with games and tricks.

Churchill Island

Churchill Island
Churchill Island

Whenever we visit Phillip Island, we also enjoy crossing the bridge to Churchill Island — a working farm with an historic homestead, gardens, and walking tracks. It’s a great spot for families, with loads of different hands-on immersive experiences available throughout the year. Children can meet the farm animals, take a wagon ride, help with the cow milking, view sheep shearing and whip cracking demonstrations, and see the working dogs round up the sheep!

Phillip Island Penguin Parade

Phillip Island Penguin Parade Image Visit Victoria
Phillip Island Penguin Parade Image Visit Victoria

There is something so magical about this bucket list experience. Thousands of people from all over the world gather every evening to watch in wonder as hundreds of Little Penguins waddle in from the sea at dusk then clamber to their nests in the dunes of the Summerland Peninsula. It is easy to see why this is one of the most popular experiences on Phillip Island. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t playing ball and we walk along the boardwalk in the rain, before being ushered on to the tiered seating overlooking the beach. But nothing was going to rain on this penguin parade!

The penguin parade viewing platform on Phillip Island
The penguin parade viewing platform on Phillip Island

Someone in the crowd excitedly points to some tiny little silhouettes in the distance making their way along the shoreline towards the rocks. Excitement builds and little kids and big kids alike are completely captivated by the site of around a thousand ‘little penguins’ coming in from a day at sea.

Antarctic Journey

The Antarctic Journey experience
The Antarctic Journey experience

The Antarctic Journey experience at the Nobbies Centre is probably the closest most of us will get to experience the most extreme continent on earth during our lifetime. This hands-on, interactive experience takes you on a virtual journey through Antarctica, where you can compare your thermal image to that of a penguin, select a seafood meal at the interactive dinner table, and explore the landscape and wildlife that calls Antarctica home.

There’s no doubt Phillip Island is a fun and vibrant playground with wild, untamed wide-open spaces to fill the soul.

Fun penguin facts

See the penguin parade at Phillip Island
See the penguin parade at Phillip Island
  • Penguins waddle because it saves energy compared to walking straight
  • Penguins can sleep at sea, dozing on the surface of the water
  • A penguin can travel more than 1000 kilometres in the first year of life
  • Parents can recognise their chicks by their calls

In partnership with NRMA Parks and Resorts

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