Imagine watching hundreds of Little Penguins waddle from the sea at dusk or breathing in the smell of Eucalyptus while you spot Koalas snoozing. Even if you’re not a big fan of motorcycle racing but happen to be in Melbourne right now, visiting Phillip Island is what you should be planning this weekend. It didn’t take long for the early settlers at Phillip Island to turn to tourism after realizing that agriculture wouldn’t really take off. So throw away the watch, and the phone, and live the island life.
A little bit about the Island:
Phillip Island is a 90 minute scenic car ride from Melbourne, through the gorgeous Bass coast, and the entire Island is cozy yet large enough to keep you occupied for a small three day getaway. Its 10.6-Km rough road circuit was, in fact, the first home of Australian Grand Prix racing- the first ever-Australian Grand Prix was held here on 31st March 1928. Today it’s home to the MotoGP and many others.
This is Australia so award-winning cuisine is now status quo. Head to Madcowes for breakfast, Big Fat Greek Bar and Grill to dig into Greek staples so good the sea spray will transport you to Santorini, White Salt for the best Fish and Chips and Café Gabriel or Fig & Olive for a posh night out.
If you’ve only allocated one day for your Grand Prix then we suggest taking time out for the little chairmen and the mythical 12 Apostles. When I mean little chairmen, I mean the penguins’ of course, but they only come out at dusk so we suggest planning the trip as a day out from the little fishing village in Cowes. Take a cruise to Seal Rocks and the bay to watch fur seals and perhaps get a lucky glimpse of a migrating whale. Explore the beaches- get some surfing or kayaking in and then head to the Penguin Parade. Cowes is a mere 10 minutes from the Penguins Parade and is bursting with tiny boutiques, excellent galleries and a choice collection of food and wine. (See Eat) You can also stop at the fishing village of San Remo on your way in from Melbourne and watch the largest shark fishing fleet in Australia and chow down on the freshest fish and chips you’ll have in a while.
Cycle along the hundreds of kilometers of coastline or do the George Bass Coastal Walk which is Victoria’s only coastal rail trail showcasing the regions rich coal mining history against the backdrop of stunning coastal landscapes that will have you using the panoramic setting to no avail. Phillip Island is a water sport junkie’s paradise- surfing, swimming, scuba diving and kite surfing. Surfers should head to Cape Woolamai.
Details on the Australian MotoGP are available on our website along with ticket details.