Melbourne to Phillip Island Road Trip: Enjoy Wildlife Wonderland!

Melbourne to Phillip Island Road Trip
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Alarm! Alarm! Alarm! Don’t drive straight from Melbourne to Phillip Island because the Melbourne to Phillip Island road trip has many things and attractions waiting for you. So blink your eyes without seeing it; let’s dive with us to explore the beauty of the journey. 

The Phillip Island Touring Route departs Melbourne and heads southeast to the seaside fishing village of San Remo. Before crossing the bridge and heading to Phillip Island, arrive before noon to observe the pelicans’ daily feeding at the San Remo pier.

Once on Phillip Island, go left toward the south of the island towards Cape Woolamai – an eminent surf object and an incredible spot for a stroll through the rough beachfront landscape. Make an opportunity to visit memorable Churchill Island through the unique ranch, estate, and nurseries dating back to 1872.

Is it worth going to Phillip Island? Yes, simple answer. Particularly when you are not driving! This island getaway has been a popular vacation spot for locals and tourists for decades.


  • Recommended duration: 1 day 
  • Distance: 186 kilometres
  • Total time: 3 hours10 minutes

Make Phillip Island your destination; the rest will fall into place. Natural wonders, iconic wildlife, and island attractions are within easy reach at this family-friendly destination, just two hours from Melbourne.

What To See And Do From Melbourne To Phillip Island

Phillip Island is a must-do destination when visiting or staying in Melbourne! If you’re looking for a holiday that combines stunning landscapes with unforgettable Australian wildlife experiences, Phillip Island is the perfect destination. From the famous Penguin Parade to delicious local food, wine, and fresh sea air, there’s much to enjoy here. Remember to bring your car for the most accessible access to all the island offers.

Melbourne To National Gallery Of Victoria

Travel Distance- 3.2 km

Travel Time by car- 18 minutes

When you start your road trip from Melbourne, you should begin the National Gallery of Victoria journey. It’s popularly known as the NGV, an art museum in Melbourne, Australia’s Victoria province. Established in 1861, it is Australia’s oldest and most visited art museum.

The NGV, laid out in 1861, currently houses the locale’s most critical craft assortment, a gigantic assortment of more than 76,000 works from millennia that cover numerous thoughts, fields, and styles. An assortment has a place with you and doesn’t cost anything!

National Gallery Of Victoria To Wilson Botanic Park Berwick

Travel Distance- 45 km

Travel Time by car- 57 minutes

After visiting the wonderful National Gallery Of Victoria, you should move on to the Wilson Botanic Park Berwick. The park covers 39 hectares and is home to over 1,000 distinct plant species, including native and exotic varieties. Over 80 species of Birds, turtles, frogs, lizards, and snakes, are on display. Remember this while you enjoy the park.

Our barbecue facilities and picnic areas are great places to unwind with friends, and kids love the playground. You can also explore the park’s excellent walking trails. Our Birdhide is great if you like to watch birds. It provides the ideal cover to observe some of our native wildlife because it is perched on the edge of Basalt Lake.

Wilson Botanic Park Berwick To Maru Koala and Animal Park

Travel Distance- 63.4 km

Travel Time by car- 54 minutes

At Maru, where you can hand feed and pet many animals, you can get close to the wildlife. Meet wombats, Tasmanian devils, dingoes, snakes, and other native animals, feed the albino kangaroos, and pat a koala. Then, set sail on an adventure at Pirate Pete’s Mini Golf, where you’ll put your way around a pirate ship, meet life-size pirates, the Great White Shark, and brave the gold mine beneath the waterfall. 

In the authorised Estate Bistro, you can eat and drink with a perspective on the creature park. This family-claimed and worked business offers grant-winning, well-disposed help, and an inviting environment. For more information on the Grantville Pirate Festival and other annual Maru events, visit our website—winner of the 2011 and 2012 Victorian Tourism Awards.

Maru Koala and Animal Park To Churchill Island

Travel Distance- 25.5 km

Travel Time by car- 25 minutes

Churchill Island was the first European garden in Victoria. The open spaces and clean air on Churchill Island, which is off of Phillip Island, help to calm the mind. Take in the tranquil surroundings on the bay trails, take in the bird watching, or unwind on the café’s deck with a cup of coffee as you explore the historical grounds and farming activities.

The Bunurong People, the traditional custodians of the area whose history spans tens of thousands of years, refer to the island as Moonar Mia. You’ll be greeted by curious highland cattle resting in the grassy paddocks, honking Cape Barren Geese, and fossicking Purple Swamp Hens as you wind your way across the bridge. Since the arrival of the Europeans, Churchill Island has served as a summer home for the wealthy, a vegetable garden, and a farm. 

The Victorian gardens, which have been lovingly maintained and can be explored today, are a legacy of this past. Try daily heritage farming tasks like whip cracking, cow milking, sheep shearing, and working dogs while in the farm precinct. Then, to take in views of Western Port Bay, follow the walking path around the island’s perimeter.

Churchill Island To Phillip Island Wildlife Park

Travel Distance- 14.1 km

Travel Time by car- 18 minutes

The Heffer family has run the business for over 30 years, and they take the time to ensure you enjoy your visit. The Phillip Island Wildlife Park is a privately owned park that offers an opportunity to view a variety of Australian native birds and animals. Visitors can hand-feed Eastern Grey kangaroos and encounter other unique animals, such as koalas, echidnas, and Tasmanian devils. 

The park also features aviaries with birds like emus and eagles. It is located just 2 km from Cowes and is open from Friday to Tuesday. Admission includes a bag of animal food, and snacks available for purchase, and a gift shop. The park provides an exciting nature experience for both children and adults.

Cowes is a commercial hub on Phillip Island, offering a relaxed seaside vibe. It is home to the Bunurong People and provides a range of activities such as picnics, beach adventures, water sports, dining out, shopping, day spas, craft ales, and bowling. It is also home to the Penguin Parade, the Visitor Center for the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, and motorsport events such as the Superbike World Championship and the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

Phillip Island Wildlife Park To Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit

Travel Distance- 6.7 km

Travel Time by car- 8 minutes

The Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit was first used in 1956. Linfox Property Group has invested heavily in the circuit, hosting events and activities. The Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit is one of the best circuits in the world. It was built in 1951 and opened in 1956. It held several events yearly until it was closed in 1962 due to track damage. 

In 1985 Placetac purchased the venue, which was again redeveloped in 1988. In 1997, Wayne Gardner won the 500cc World Motorcycle Grand Prix, and in 1998 Mick Doohan won his fifth World title in front of 75,000 fans. In 2005, Linfox purchased the circuit and planned to upgrade its facilities in a $300 million redevelopment significantly.

Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit To Pyramid Rock Lookout

Travel Distance- 6.7 km

Travel Time by car- 09 minutes

Pyramid Rock is a striking silhouette of Bass Strait on Phillip Island, with two viewing platforms and one wheelchair accessible. Pyramid Rock is a triangle-shaped rock island off the southern coast of Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia. A grassy point near Pyramid Rock is reached via a short 800-metre (0.5-mile) return walk.

Hikers can take in coastal views of the 26-kilometre-long island from overlooks at the halfway point and the end of this short trail, from Cape Woolamai to the east to Point Grant to the west. For 200 metres, the boardwalk climbs gradually to an overlook with two benches.

At the trail’s end, A wooden viewing platform constructed on a terrain rise is reached via a staircase. No junctions are along the 400-metre-long path, but additional trails from the car park head east and west along the coast. Hailing to the Pyramid Rock Lookouts requires no fee or permit, so get out and enjoy!

Pyramid Rock Lookout To Penguin Parade

Travel Distance- 10.3 km

Travel Time by car- 12 minutes

Phillip Island offers free car parking and limited public transport. At Phillip Island Nature Parks’ Penguin Parade, you can watch Little Penguins dash home across the sand at dusk. After dark, walk along boardwalks to see, smell, and hear these penguins greeting partners, neighbours, and their chicks. As you wander around, watch for the local wildlife, such as Short-tailed Shearwaters, Cape Barren Geese, Swamp Wallabies, and Eastern Barred Bandicoots.

The Penguin Parade preserves nature for wildlife with each visit. The vital research, education, and conservation projects supported by visitors to Phillip Island Nature Parks ensure that the island’s native habitats will continue to thrive for the benefit of wildlife and humans.

Penguin Parade To The Nobbies

Travel Distance- 3.7 km

Travel Time by car- 8 minutes

The Nobbies is a captivating site on Phillip Island, known for its essential colony of Australian Fur Seals. Located just a kilometre from the town centre, it offers stunning coastal views and opportunities to spot natural sea birds. The Nobbies Visitor Centre boardwalk allows one to observe penguins nesting underneath. The area is also ideal for wildlife watching, with the Australian Fur Seals being the main attraction. 

Visitors can stroll the boardwalk, witness the blowhole, explore the Sea-Bird Gardens, learn about the local area, and watch wildlife. The nearby Penguin Parade Visitor Centre is another popular tourist attraction where visitors can observe the fascinating Little Penguins. The Nobbies and its surroundings offer a remarkable experience of Australia’s natural beauty and wildlife.


Where To Stop Between Phillip Island And Melbourne?

If you’ve come from Melbourne or across from Gippsland, San Remo is at the mainland end of the island bridge. It’s a great place to stop for a break.

Can I Take My Car To Phillip Island?

Phillip Island is best reached by car because it is connected to the mainland by a bridge. Take a road trip from Melbourne or Gippsland and stop at numerous scenic locations, tourist attractions, wineries, and restaurants.

How Long Do You Need To Visit Phillip Island?

You can spend the island for a weekend or a whole week, depending on how you want to organise it. When spending a weekend on Phillip Island, you should always go to Cape Woolamai, stay in Cowes, and see one of Australia’s largest fur seal colonies at Seal Rocks.

Which Island Is Closest To Melbourne, Australia?

The best way to get to Phillip Island is by car. You can quickly drive from Melbourne to the island because a bridge connects it to the mainland. From one of Melbourne’s two airports, rent a car.

Why Is Phillip Island Famous?

The Little Penguin Parade and the illustrious Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix are two of the island’s most well-known events, but there is much more to see and do. Phillip Island 101 is your guide to getting out there and experiencing everything. 101 kilometres of island magic will be discovered at any time of year.

Final Thought 

In conclusion, Melbourne to Phillip Island road trip offers an unforgettable journey filled with natural wonders, wildlife encounters, and scenic landscapes.

Explore the National Gallery of Victoria, encounter kangaroos and koalas at Maru Koala and Animal Park, and immerse yourself in the beauty of Churchill Island. 

Visit the Phillip Island Wildlife Park, enjoy beach adventures, and witness the captivating Penguin Parade. Please take advantage of The Nobbies with its stunning coastal views. This road trip combines nature, wildlife, culture, and leisure, providing an enriching and memorable adventure. Discover the beauty that awaits along the Melbourne to Phillip Island route.

Hi, I'm Md Abid Hasan. The owner & content editor of is a travel blog that covers road trips, day trips, and destinations guide.

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