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Monday, June 22, 2015

Discover Native Australian Wildlife, Coastal Adventure, Local Food + Wine and Plenty of Family Fun on Phillip Island

Phillip Island, situated in Western Port, is a place where visitors can immerse themselves in the magical natural wonders of Australia, from its distinctive animals to beautiful beaches, rugged coastline and picturesque landscapes.

With diverse coastline and bush land, wildlife encounters, idyllic coastal dining and family adventure, the Island has many experiences to share, all within an easy 90 minute drive from Melbourne.

Nature enthusiasts will love the island's beautiful and varied beaches that offer ideal conditions for surfing, swimming, fishing and boating; and its rugged, scenic coastline and native bush land with designated hiking trails and cycling tracks, which can also be taken in from above with a helicopter tour.

Food lovers can sample the region's delicious local wine and produce at the many restaurants and cafes scattered across the island or buy direct from the farm gate, cellar doors or Churchill Island Farmers' Market.

Families can create holiday memories with a wide range of fun-filled attractions including a three-dimensional maze, chocolate factory, go-karts and of course the world-famous Penguin Parade.

For full information on Phillip Island's natural attractions, experiences, events and accommodation offerings, visit www.visitphillipisland.com or call the Phillip Island Visitor Information Centre on 1300 366 422





WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS

As home to the largest colony of little penguins in the world, koala conservation centre and 20,000 Australian Fur Seals, there is plenty of opportunity to get close to nature and view wildlife in its natural habitat on Phillip Island.

One of Australia's premier wildlife experiences, the Penguin Parade draws thousands of international visitors to the island each year. Taking place at dusk each day, hundreds of little penguins emerge from the sea after a day spent fishing and waddle up to their burrows in the sand dunes. Visitors to Phillip Island can take a Guided Ranger Tour through the penguin colony before the parade starts. www.penguins.org.au

Wildlife Coast Cruises depart daily from Cowes Jetty and offer a range of cruises that let visitors experience the region's beautiful scenic landscapes and amazing wildlife in their natural environment. Wildlife Coast Cruises has been awarded the Advanced Eco Tourism accreditation and also achieved Tourism Accreditation Australia (TAAL) business accreditation. The Eco Certification logo is recognised globally and assures customers that the business is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. The accreditation also demonstrates Wildlife Coast Cruises operates to a high standard of environmental cultural and business practices with sound policies and procedures to support these.

Popular cruises include a trip to spy on the Australian Fur Seals at Seal Rocks off the rugged west coast of the island - breeding ground and nursery for over 20,000 seals. Visitors can have an up-close wildlife encounter and see young pups play and explore while adult seals bask on the rocks or fight for their territory.

In winter, Phillip Island welcomes the majestic, migrating great Southern Humpback Whales as they pass by Phillip Island from Antarctica. Wildlife Coast Cruises hosts Whale Discovery Cruises, taking visitors into ideal whale viewing areas. In addition to whale spotting, visitors see an abundance of native marine life, with sights of seabirds and playful dolphins. www.wildlifecoastcruises.com.au

Thrill seeking nature lovers can now sign up for the new Wild Oceans EcoBoat Adventure Tour which weaves its way beyond the island's shores on a high speed tour of the rugged coastline. Adventurers can expect encounters with the local Australian fur seal colony at Seal Rocks along with spectacular views of the Summerland Peninsula's cliffs and the explosive blowhole at The Nobbies. From June through to September nature lovers also have the added possibility of a breathtaking close encounter with migrating humpback whales. The Wild Oceans EcoBoat Adventure Tours run for 60 and 90 minutes.

The Koala Conservation Centre is an environmentally sustainable attraction dedicated to the wellbeing and future of koalas. Visitors can view the koalas in their natural habitat from the tree-top boardwalks and may even spot other native species such as echidnas, wallabies and bird life. The Visitor's Centre has educational information, a gift shop and café. www.penguins.org.au

The Maru Koala and Animal Park is an award-winning, family run attraction that has been operating at Grantville near Phillip Island since 1983. Here, visitors can 'get in touch with wildlife' by patting a koala, hand feeding albino kangaroos, talking with parrots, meeting a golden possum, and getting wrapped in a three meter python snake. Maru also has an 18-hole mini-golf course, information centre and café which can also cater for group meals.

www.marukoalapark.com.au

Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park invites you to explore 10 hectares of bushland, meet endangered species, feed kangaroos and wallabies. Enjoy encounters with colourful birds, reptiles, dingoes and many other animals. Learn about critically endangered animals and their conservation. Experience our bushfood garden, wetlands and more. Animal encounters on offer include koala petting, python or owl encounter. Visitors are amazed that even animals such as wallabies are much more active and responsive at night. Join a group tours or book a private tour.

www.moonlitsanctuary.com.au

Phillip Island is home to literally thousands of animal species, all gathered within a short distance of the main township of Cowes. Rare and internationally-protected birdlife can be seen in the wetlands while crabs, sea stars and other ocean animals can be found when fossicking in rock pools at the water's edge. Dolphins and whales (during migration) can often be seen splashing around in the waves and a fun wildlife activity can be found at San Remo pier when the fisherman's co-op feeds the pelicans each day at noon.

TOURING

Exceptional Phillip Island Tours, a brand new luxury tour company, offers travellers an insider's perspective to Victoria's natural holiday playground, with bespoke guided tours that go off the beaten tourist trails to uncover the region's hidden treasures. Small groups of up to 10 people travel in a spacious Mercedes minibus, embarking on scenic adventures through the island farmland and along spectacular coastlines, stopping off to discover delicious local produce right from the source. Guests can request a personalised tour to suit their individual interests, ensuring each trip is unlike any other.

www.exceptionalphillipisland.com.au

NATURAL EXPERIENCES

Beaches, bush, wildlife and sightseeing - Phillip Island boasts enough breathtaking natural beauty to fill an entire holiday of exploring. The Island is renowned as one of the most varied beach locations in Australia with panoramic coastal scenes of crashing waves for surfing and swimming, and gentle bays for fishing and sailing.

In March 2013 Phillip Island's surfing community celebrated the formal declaration of Victoria's first National Surfing Reserve at Cape Woolamai Beach. Australian surfing legend Layne Beachley hosted the event and said that Phillip Island has always been one of her favorite surfing destinations. The Reserve is made up of four sites along Phillip Island's coast: Cape Woolamai, Smiths Beach, Summerland and Cat Bay.

Smith's Beach on the South Coast has a great swell and is a favorite on the surf scene especially for learners. Cape Woolamai, Berry's Beach and Colonnades are other popular spots, often with waves a little less challenging than Smiths. Coaching and equipment hire is available through local surf shops at the main beaches.

Fishing is a popular pastime on the Island with a large variety of fish to be caught including flathead, snapper, salmon, whiting and flounder. A lazy day can be spent in the fresh sea breeze tossing a line in from jetties at Cowes, Newhaven, Rhyll and San Remo. Charter fishing expeditions are offered from Rhyll and San Remo and hire-boats are available from Cowes, Rhyll and Corinella.

Phillip Island is a compact holiday playground, measuring just 26 kilometres by 9 kilometres and with more than a quarter of this area conserved for the environment, the best and most enjoyable way to get around is to walk or ride a bike. The island boasts many designated tracks and hiking routes suited to all fitness levels and each revealing a different island treasure - its spectacular coast, flora and fauna.

Stand out tracks include: Penguin Parade to the Nobbies that winds around the majestic south coast along a small, unsealed road. Spectacular coastal views and crashing waves can be observed in a one-hour walk or short bike ride. The Bush to Bay track starts at the Koala Conservation Centre and travels through the native bush land to Rhyll. This track is seven kilometers long and is popular for wildlife spotting and discovering the native flora of the island. Kitty Miller Bay lies inside the bordering Watts Point and Kennon Heads, with wide rock platforms at the base of the headlands and reef in between them. Walking east for approximately an hour from the car park along the beach leads to the shipwreck site of the SS Speke, which came to grief in 1904 in strong gale force winds. Remains of the ship can best be seen at low tide when the beach expands to 50 m wide.

Another great way to take in Phillip Island is from the air! Phillip Island Helicopters operate a number of scenic flights and heli-adventures around the area. There are seven flights to choose from, all with unprecedented views of Phillip Island's spectacular scenery. Highlights include the Phillip Island Penguin Parade, Cowes and some stunning surf beaches. Flights can also be tailored to suit visitor's needs. www.phillipislandhelicopters.com.au

Phillip Island Golf Club is a beautiful spot to spend a lazy day taking in the Phillip Island scenery and relaxing with friends over a round of golf. Situated close to the beach, the course is regarded as one of the finest layouts in regional Victoria. Measuring 6,003 meters, golfers are able to stroll through its magnificent landscape and spot native flora and fauna while soaking up the open air and sunshine. At the end of the game, groups of ten or more golfers can unwind and refuel with an authentic, gourmet Aussie barbecue at the Phillip Island RSL offering a traditional menu of succulent meats and fresh salads in a buffet styled service.

FOOD FORAGING & DINING HIGHLIGHTS

The area's fresh air, rich volcanic soil and cool coastal climate make it excellent food and wine producing country. Organic meats, fruit and vegetables are produced on Phillip Island as well as unique preserves, marinades and spices with ingredients farmed from the native bush land. The Island is also home to two award-winning wineries – both picturesque spots to spend a lazy afternoon.

Rhyll Trout & Bush Tucker Farm offers visitors exciting natural experiences in beautiful native bush land. The farm's Bush Tucker Trail winds through three hectares of native food crops, producing numerous edible fruits, berries, seeds, leaves and flowers. A leisurely afternoon can be spent exploring the trail, learning about how Koori people harvested and used these plants from the wild. Visitors can also try their luck catching rainbow trout from the picturesque tree-lined lake and have it cooked into a delicious fresh fish and chip lunch. The farmhouse café and food store stocks jams, chutneys, marinades, bush spices and native tea blends with ingredients sourced from their bush tucker farm plantation, fruit orchard and serves Devonshire Tea with jumbo wattle-seed muffins. The food store now boasts a new range of Gippsland cheeses, breads, fresh eggs and special condiments. www.rhylltroutandbushtucker.com.au

Purple Hen Winery and Phillip Island Wines are both boutique wineries producing high-quality cool climate wines not readily available on the mainland. Both offer full cellar door facilities including wine tastings, light lunches and cheese platters. The lawn at Phillip Island Winery is a beautiful spot to spend a warm Sunday afternoon, with winery owner Tim O'Brien playing guitar and singing on Saturdays and Sundays.

Purple Hen Winery: www.purplehenwines.com.au
Phillip Island Wines: www.phillipislandwines.com.au

The Cape Kitchen opened its doors to food lovers in early 2015 and has been enjoying rave reviews ever since. Showcasing the best local produce in its changing breakfast and lunch menu and nestled in its picturesque waterfront location, it's an ideal location for some warming winter indulgence

www.thecapekitchen.com.au

Asian Kitchen Phillip Island one of Phillip Island's newest restaurants, Asian Kitchen welcomes guests 7 days for lunch and dinner from 11am to enjoy a range of Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian and Chinese dishes all prepared fresh to order in a modern, relaxed atmosphere. Ideal for groups and families, Asian Kitchen is fully licensed on premise with a wide variety of Asian beers, spirits and a comprehensive wine list.

www.asiankitchenpi.com

The Foreshore Bar and Restaurant situated in the quiet little village of Rhyll on Phillip Island. This unique setting with its amazing 180 degree water views has helped us to create a warm and relaxing environment for people to sit and enjoy good food, great coffee or a cool drink. You can dine on the balcony or inside in the rustic but stylish restaurant, have a drink at the bar or relax in the lounge area.

www.theforeshore.com.au

Rusty Water Restaurant and Bar where guests can indulge in an lunch or evening of fine food and beer & wine sampling famous for their sample paddles, 4 ales from their handcrafted range or choose a sparkling wine paddle.

www.rustywaterbrewery.com.au

The Fat Seagull Situated in the heart of the Cowes, The Fat Seagull is proud to extend to our guests a broad menu featuring some 82 different a la carte & take-away meals. Enjoy a range of gourmet pizza, pasta, steak, seafood and oriental dishes, in our warm, casual dining atmosphere, or to take home and enjoy.

www.thefatseagull.com.au

The Lone Pine Bistro at the Phillip Island RSL in Cowes features modern, comfortable surrounds with a great range of food and entertainment options. Executive Chef James Gross and his skilled team pride themselves on providing consistently high quality food at affordable prices, and with an extensive daily specials board, vegetarian and gluten free options there is something to suit all tastes. www.pirsl.com.au

FAMILY FUN

There is no shortage of family fun to be had on Phillip Island with numerous activities and attractions that will entertain, amuse and enthrall both the young and the young at heart.

Panny's Amazing World of Chocolate at the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory is a must for chocolate lovers and is a fascinating, interactive and educational celebration of all things chocolate. With activities including a carnival side-show of chocolate games, a chocolate replica of Phillip Island's Penguin Parade, a life-size chocolate wonderland and ever-changing varieties of chocolates to choose from, Phillip Island Chocolate Factory is without a doubt the sweetest adventure on the island. www.phillipislandchocolatefactory.com.au

A Maze'N Things has a huge three-dimensional outdoor maze and theme park that will entertain, confuse and challenge the whole family. It features optical illusions, puzzles, games, flying boogie boards and a giant slide. www.amazenthings.com.au

Phillip Island's Grand Prix Circuit is arguably the most spectacular destination on the international circuit and home to several major motorcycle and supercar events throughout the year. With rolling green hills and the pounding ocean as a backdrop, big and small kids alike can buckle-up like a real race car driver and stage their own Grand Prix on the scale replica Go-Kart track. Phillip Island Circuit is also home to the History of Motorsport and offers walking tours of the pit area and race control tower. www.phillipislandcircuit.com.au



With these and so much more including ten pin bowling, paint ball, 18 hole golf at Phillip Island Golf Club and mini golf at various entertaining courses, Phillip Island offers enough fun, interactive and stimulating adventures to create a lifetime of family holiday memories.

WHERE TO STAY


Phillip Island offers a wide variety of accommodation options to suit all budgets. Visitors can choose from resort-style luxury or family friendly apartments to romantic bed and breakfast establishments near secluded beaches. There is also unique hotel accommodation, motels, cottages, caravan parks, cabins, camping and backpacker accommodation.

Resorts

Set high on the rolling hills of San Remo, the gateway to Phillip Island, Silverwater Resort is Victoria's Natural Holiday Resort. At this family friendly resort, visitors will find seven hectares of facilities, including outdoor swimming pools, tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, a children's games room and playground, and a resort oval. The spacious accommodation options are a mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments, each light filled and with full kitchen facilities. The resort also features Watermark Restaurant, Bar and Café which caters for families. Visitors who stay during the school holidays can experience the fantastic 'Little Penguins' club where kids are invited to join in the fun of cooking with chef, arts and crafts, special afternoon activities such as didgeridoo making, and plenty more. www.silverwaterresort.com.au

Conveniently located in the centre of Phillip Island, Ramada Resort Phillip Island is spread across 65 acres of countryside. Guests will enjoy being a short four-minute drive to Cowes, the island's commercial hub boasting a multitude of dining and shopping options, as well as three minutes drive from the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, home to the World Champion MotoGP. The resort is in a prime position to many beaches, calm bays and surfing spots including the popular patrolled Smiths Beach. All accommodation options are in a private, natural setting, surrounded by native gardens and include an outdoor deck. The villas feature full kitchen facilities with modern European appliances, flat screen television and DVD player and in-room internet access. www.ramadaphillipisland.com.au

Holiday Parks

A leading Phillip Island Caravan Park located in Cowes; Anchor Belle Holiday Park provides a picturesque family holiday destination. Set amongst 2.5 hectares of bush, Anchor Belle is 100 meters to the beach, just two kilometers from Cowes main shops and restaurants, and central to local wineries and all major attractions. The Holiday Park offers accommodation to suit everyone's needs including luxury two story town house apartments, and two to three bedroom self-contained cabins. Anchor Belle also has an indoor heated swimming pool, and children's playground. www.anchorbelle.com.au



Cowes Caravan Park offers camping, caravan sites and accommodation on the beach. The Park offers a full range of quality budget accommodation on Phillip Island including one and two bedroom self contained cabins. The Park is centrally located to all major attractions including Amaze'n'Things, The Chocolate Factory, Churchill Island, Rhyll Fishing Park, and is only ten minutes by car to the Nature Park Penguin Parade, Seal Rocks, Grand Prix Circuit, and famous surf beaches. www.cowescaravanpark.com.au

Apartments

Phillip Island Apartments is a 4 star self rated property located in the vibrant seaside town of Cowes. Centrally located just a short stroll from local shops, restaurants, beautiful recreational beaches and within easy distance of Phillip Island's many attractions. Phillip Island Apartments offers comfortable and spacious one, two and three bedroom self contained apartments, which include full kitchen and laundry facilities, large living and dining areas and private balcony or patio. Guests can relax by the outdoor pool and gas heated spa, or cook up a storm on the BBQ. www.phillipislandapartments.net.au

The Waves offers stylish, beachfront, modern accommodation comprising a kitchen, a luxurious two-person spa and a private balcony with stunning bay views. Located directly across The Esplanade from Cowes' main beach, The Waves is ideally located within a few minutes' walk to cafes, shops and restaurants. With the inclusion of split system heating/air conditioning, 2 HD TVs and first-class guest amenities, The Waves offers affordable luxury in the heart of Phillip Island and is ideal both for families or a couple's romantic retreat. www.thewaves.com.au

Bed and Breakfasts

The newly opened Oak Tree Lodge offers an unforgettable experience of self-contained boutique indulgence, situated in the quiet Island village of Rhyll. The property has period elegance with a contemporary twist and overlooks a towering oak tree in an English garden setting. Luxurious and spacious, the property offers four stunning suites all with their own lounge areas, kitchens, bathrooms and all with outdoor seating areas. Three of the self-contained suites can be opened up via interconnecting doorways to provide larger accommodation for group bookings or for families to enjoy their stay in a bigger space. www.oaktreelodge.com.au



Backpackers Accommodation

The Island Accommodation is an award-winning, purpose-built, eco-friendly accommodation complex that has been specifically designed with state of the art facilities and comfortable living areas. The Island offers superior accommodation at a budge price with rooms ranging from private studio suites and family rooms to multi-share accommodation, designed for backpackers. www.theislandaccomodation.com.au

For more information on any of these attractions and to find out what else Phillip Island has to offer, visit www.visitphillipisland.com

Background Notes

Phillip Island, situated in Western Port, is a place of natural beauty, sandy beaches, tranquil wetlands, unique wildlife and fun, engaging experiences, a short 90 minute drive from Melbourne.

Known as home to the world famous Penguin Parade which provides a magical wildlife experience for visitors. As the sun fades in the sky each day, hundreds of little penguins waddle up the beach to the safety of their homes in the sand dunes.

Phillip Island boasts a huge array of activities to entertain everyone, from go-karting on the scale replica Grand Prix Circuit, enjoying a helicopter joy flight or learning to surf with a local. Indulge in a visit to the Chocolate Factory or get lost in the Maze, the kids can run wild on endless golden beaches while parents retreat to cafes and village shopping. For time out, enjoy a relaxed fishing charter or an indulgent day spa treatment.

Phillip Island provides a myriad of options for couples and families to consider. With a diverse array of accommodation choices from boutique hotels, to holiday parks and motels, resorts and apartments spread across the Island's villages and townships, visitors will find a spot to rest and be ready for the next day's adventures!

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