Of the nearly 3.5 million visitors Phillip Island receives annually, most do so as a long day trip from the teeming streets of Melbourne. But at only 39 square miles in size, Phillip Island is small enough to be enjoyed thoroughly and slowly. Those who stay overnight and really immerse themselves in the slow-paced nuances of this blissfully rural island can gain a deeper appreciation for its many offerings.
Start your journey with a day of experiencing Phillip Island's culture. Once you cross the bridge from San Remo, the historic Churchill Island Heritage Farm is only a few minutes away and serves as as a spot to learn the history of the area's settlers, get a feel for its agricultural roots, and see views of the island. For lunch, consider going out and catching your own at the Rhyll Trout and Bush Tucker Farm. Afterwards, opt for dessert from the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory or a glass of wine at the Phillip Island Winery.
Scour Phillip Island in search of its trademark wildlife. View lazy koalas from up in the treetops at the Koala Conservation Centre, or spot kangaroos, wallabies, and clucking kookaburras at the Phillip Island Wildlife Park. Drive out west to the Nobbies Center for a look at the island's fur seals, and close the day with the area's most famous attraction: the sunset procession of penguins that star in the Penguin Parade.
On your last day, get outside and immerse yourself in the island's natural beauty. Take a stroll down Woolamai Beach and watch surfers race through the waves, or consider taking a surf lesson yourself at a more gentle, protected break. Hike the trails along Cape Woolamai past the sculpted granite sea stacks, and slide down sand dunes looking back at the distant shores of San Remo.