Our trip to Victoria included a one night stay on Philip Island. It’s a place I’ve wanted to see for a while and was intrigued as to why many of the places are named after Isle of Wight towns. I haven’t read anything definitive to explain it, just that the early settlers (1800 or thereabouts) had just holidayed there or saw a similarity.
We travelled from Melbourne with our two intrepid travellers, Laurence and Maddy, with Laurence driving. It’s an easy drive around 90 minutes and you can drive onto the island across the Philip Island Road Bridge from San Remo.
Our first stop of the day was lunch at Saltwater, a restaurant directly on the seafront. After pizzas and fish tacos, we wandered over to see a “squadron” of pelicans awaiting their lunch.
As it was almost 4pm by now we had to get a move on to check into our accommodation. A little boutique guesthouse – The Castle, Villa by the Sea, located in the North of the island in Cowes.
Cowes was named by Henry Cox in 1865, a land surveyor who had just recently visited the seaport in England. Before this it was called Mussel Rocks.
We were already very impressed by the beautiful scenery on our drive up to Cowes. After checking in we walked along to the seafront. I could imagine how busy this place is in the Summer, such a wonderful island for a family holiday. Calm sandy beaches and grassy areas for picnics.
Dinner that night was in a Greek restaurant a short walk from our guesthouse.
The next day we had an early breakfast along the seafront before checking out at 10 am. I had a lot planned for today.
Our first stop was Rhyll, a little fishing port named after the one in Wales.
A beautiful carving by Brandon Lawrence. Brandon created this sculpture from the massive cyprus tree that was blown down in a storm in 2016. It is called The Ferry Captain and depicts all things nautical. It honours all the ferry captains over the years.
Continuing with our tour we drove through Philip Island and down to the South West to Ventor, where we had a brief stop to watch the surfers. This is also where the penguins live and there is a nightly parade on show. We gave this a miss the night before as it was extremely chilly, maybe a visit is on the cards for the summer.
Downwards now to the very bottom tip of the island – The Nobbies. Home to the fur seals of Philip Island. There is a wonderful walk around the cliffs that takes approximately half an hour where you can see the roiling rollers of the sea. It’s quite mesmerising watching the waves.
There is also an interactive Antarctic museum here which we didn’t visit but looked like a great place for families.
Driving back now across the island to Churchill Island, where a historic heritage farm is located.
Churchill Island was named by Lt. James Grant in 1801 for the name of the man who had given him the seeds first planted here. There are beautiful well kept historical buildings and magnificent gardens to explore. It is still a working farm where there are many animals freely roaming around. A truly tranquil place to while away an hour or two and soak up the peace.
The Farm and Surrounding Areas
Churchill House and Gardens
A fabulous weekend was had by all on this picturesque island. Below are some links for interest.
Lastly a map of Philip Island