Date: 1-4th December 2021
Travelled: 155 kms from Port Albert to Phillip Island, Victoria.
Visited: Phillip Island.
Stayed: Beach Caravan Park, $39, the usual services. S38.45129, E145.22957
Budget: 16 days @ $0 per day.
Leaving Port Albert we set the GPS for Phillip Island. We had been tossing around a stay on Wilson’s Promontory but the logistics of staying in the park and walking to the lighthouse would take more thought than we have time for this trip.
It’s a longer drive than we have done for a week or so but looking at the map and reviewing our data-base we couldn’t find anywhere particularly interesting at the right price in between.
Soon enough we drive onto the bridge crossing the Narrow to Phillip Island. Our first stop the tourist information centre, where we get the good oil on Phillip Island activities.
We drive on to Cowes, the Islands main town to the Beach Caravan Park. We jag a nice spot near the heated pool only a short walk to beach. We have organised a hire car for our visit to the Island so we can get around as we please and leave the Jayco at rest.
After settling in having some lunch and a little rest, we pick up the car, and go off exploring. Our first stop Swan Lake (not the ballet). Swan Lake is a large nature reserve in the south-west of the island called Summerlands.
From Swan Lake we drive a few kms to the end of the peninsula to view The Nobbies. Once again there is an extensive series of boardwalks providing access around Point Grant and the Blow Hole. The weathered black stone coastline and Nobbies views are spectacular. The mist sweeps across the Summerlands and the temperature drops perhaps 10 degrees in a few minutes.
Well that’s The Nobbies done but we’ll be back to Summerlands again this evening for the penguins. As is our practice we went for cheapest tickets for the Penguin Parade having to show our cards for the pensioner discount.
The evening looked bright enough, but no sooner had we left Cowes it was suddenly raining. It continued raining all the way to Summerlands and continued for another 15 minutes as we sat in the car. The rain eventually stopped and we make our way down to the viewing area.
40 minutes later as darkness descends we see our first penguins. Despite the cold we enjoyed the spectacle, particularly later watching from the boardwalks.
We wake to a bright sunny morning, giving us hope of a nice day. Coffee and breakfast, we are on our way to Cape Woolamai, the far south eastern peninsula of Phillip Island. The plan being to walk the trails that loop the State Fauna Reserve.
We return to the car after completing just over 8 kms but the steep climbs and deep sand make it seem much further.
Needless to say it was going to be on a low energy afternoon, chatting to the tuggers next door, going for a walk to the shops and a takeaway at the noodle bar up the street.
Next morning the weather has changed again, it overcast and a little drizzly, so we make a late start for Ventnor on the southern side of the Island. There are a few kms of gravel road to negotiate before we reach Pyramid Rock Lookout. From here our map says we can follow a series of boardwalks and trails to Berry’s Beach. The 5 km walk provides some excellent views of the coastline and some modern designer homes.
Best of all are the black wallabies that pop up here and there as we walk.
Our next stop is the National Vietnam Veteran’s Museum which is situated near the airport at Cape Woolamai. The museum has a very information 3D theatre and some very interesting displays.
Someone’s good with a chainsaw. Wandering around Rhyll we find this memorial apparently carved from a storm damaged cyprus-pine.
Our last stop (promise) is Churchill Island. There is an old heritage cottage and museum but it’s closed for a wedding. We really came to do the walk which is a little less than 5 kms around the island. The weather is closing in once again so it’s a quick walk and where happy to get back to the car.
So that was our stay in Phillip Island which we can highly recommend, but you do need a car.
Michael + Pam