Base yourself at Cowes, Phillip Island’s main settlement and a great place to enjoy fishing, water sports, and the local wildlife.
Go swimming at sheltered Cowes beach, have a picnic on the foreshore or dine out in one of the restaurants along the esplanade. Take a charter boat out to see the seals at Seal Rocks or visit the koalas on French Island. Watch the Little Penguins in the Penguin Parade come ashore at sunset at nearby Summerland Beach.
Cowes was originally named Mussel Rocks and was the main point of arrival by ferry from the mainland before the bridge linking San Remo and Newhaven was opened. Early visitors arrived by steamboat, stayed in one of the many grand guesthouses along the seafront and travelled around the island on horseback to enjoy the many natural wonders.
A variety of accommodation is available alongside a multitude of restaurants, shops and nearby attractions. The town also has boat-launching facilities, boat hire, cruise vessels and a jetty from which the ferry to Stony Point arrives and departs. Cowes has beautiful beaches with fine sand that face north onto Western Port, and views of French Island and the Mornington Peninsula.
The island changes gear as the action heats up for the World Superbike Championships in April and the Australian Motor Cycle Grand Prix each October. The Churchill Island Working Horse Festival in March is a popular event for families.
With a population of about 4,000, Cowes is 140 kilometres from Melbourne. Travel along the South Gippsland Highway from Melbourne, taking the Bass Highway before turning off to San Remo, where a bridge connects you to Phillip Island. You can also reach Cowes by passenger ferry from Stony Point on the Mornington Peninsula.
The city of Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, is the centre of a vibrant regions that surrounds..Great Ocean Road Information
The Great Ocean Road region hugs the contours of Victoria's rugged south west coast and offers..Victoria's High Country Information
The High Country in north-east Victoria is a special place with scenic alpine landscapes, a host of..Mornington Peninsula Information
The Mornington Peninsula, on the eastern side of Port Phillip Bay, feels like an island with a vast..Goldfields Information
The discovery of gold in Victoria's central region over 150 years ago has left a rich and lasting..Murray Information
Aboriginal people revere it. Nineteenth century trade flourished on it. Mark Twain likened it to..Yarra Valley And Dandenong Ranges Info
Immerse yourself in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges region, an hour's drive east of..Grampians Information
The rugged mountain ranges of the Grampians National Park mark the centre of this region and rise..Daylesford And Macedon Ranges Information
One hour north-west of Melbourne, the rolling hills and farmland of Daylesford and the Macedon..Gippsland Information
Located in Victoria's eastern corner Gippsland has some of the finest landscapes in Victoria. Hike..See all locations in Victoria