Phillip Island Nature Park

Phillip Island day trip

We recently had an adrenaline fueled day on Phillip Island – our day included three safety briefings!  If you want to get the heart pumping then check out what we got up to on our Phillip Island day trip.

Our first stop was the Go Karts at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.

This was a winner with both adults and kids (children need to be aged 5+) and something I can imagine us doing again and again.  Read more…

After the Go Karts, we headed to Churchill Island for lunch.

The cafe at Churchill Island has recently had a bit of a menu overhaul and features fresh produce (the kids ordered the kids calamari and it was generous serves and delicious, I was allowed a small taste).  I ordered the fish and chips and it was as good as it looks. We have visited Churchill Island before – but if you have the time it’s a lovely spot to have lunch and let the kids explore, on this occasion, however, we had to keep moving.

From lunch, we headed onto the Phillip Island Sky Trail – part of A Maze’N Things.

The SkyTrail is about three stories high – and the day we visited it was relatively quiet so there was no real time limit, however on a busy day sessions run for an hour.  We managed to do the whole circuit in about 30 minutes (not that the kids wanted to stop after one lap) and the briefing and getting rigged up took about 15 minutes for 4 of us.  You need to wear flat closed toe shoes (and they have some you can borrow if you are in a heel).

Minimum height is 120cm and children under 140cm have to be accompanied by an adult – Charlie (aged 7) is 135cm and boy was he unimpressed to have me tagging along behind him, although there were spots that he definitely couldn’t quite manage the “sling line” on his own.  I could easily manage the course – so I suspect unless you had a bit of a fear of heights this may not be that big a challenge for older teens.  The two 9-year-olds loved it and we had to drag them off (same with the 7-year-old).

Where: 1805 Phillip Island Road COWES

When: Saturdays and Sundays from 11am

Cost: $18/climber or $60 for a group fo four

After the SkyTrail, we had an EcoBoat Adventure Boat Tour.

The kids loved this – this was the highlight of the day.  They squealed with joy during the boat ride and loved seeing the seals up close when we got to seal rock.  It was a very special adventure that will be long remembered.  Read more…

After our boat ride we had dinner in Cowes at the Asian Kitchen (49 Thompson Ave) – the food was great and easy and the venue family friendly.

After dinner, it was time for the Penguin Parade.

This was our second visit to see the penguins – but this was a much happier visit than last time.

This time we arrived late – and this was good for two reasons.  First, we weren’t sitting for an extended period out in the cold waiting for it to get dark – waiting, for what feels like forever when you’re with young children who have to sit relatively still, for the first glimpse of the penguins.  Second, once a few groups of penguins do come out of the water the crowd at the waters edge disperses back to the path leading back to the visitors centre.  If you come late you actually see some of those first penguins (and others who didn’t swim that day coming out of the burrows) making their way to their homes.  As you walk into the leaving crowd you arrive at the waters edge to empty front row seats – we actually walked straight up and sat on the sand (last time we got there an hour early and sat about seven rows back).  The only downside of this tactic is that you miss out on the pre-amble given by the rangers.. but after our jam-packed day I suspect any interesting facts about penguins may have fallen on tired ears.

It’s lovely seeing the penguins up close and doing their thing.  The are super sweet.  And I am happy to report that the crowd on that chilly Sunday night were very well behaved – not a flash camera in sight.  There were also many more rangers patrolling the space and happily chatting about the penguins.

Some exciting news…

RACV and Phillip Island Nature Parks have partnered to construct a new Penguins Plus facility at Australia’s iconic Penguin Parade on Phillip Island. Scheduled to open mid-November 2015, the new Penguins Plus facility will include an underground penguin viewing bunker, enabling visitors to view the little penguins at eye level through glass. New above-ground seating, designed to echo the adjacent sand dune landscape, will also become available accommodating up to 300 people.  You can check out our review of Penguins Plus here.

Other things to do at Phillip Island:

Disclaimer:  Meetoo travelled to Phillip Island in September 2015 as guests of Phillip Island Nature Parks.  All views are our own.  All details were correct at time of publishing.