The Nobbies, Phillip Island

Summerlands, Victoria 3922

It is also home to the Nobbies Information Centre, which is perched on the top of the hill and is the perfect place to watch the resident Australian fur seals as they play on the rocks.

The Nobbies, Phillip Island

Just a kilometre from the Centre, there is a smattering of rocks known as Seal Rocks, which are home to the largest colony of fur seals in the country.

From the headland, you can wander along the boardwalks to look out over the sea and spot the variety of natural sea birds that call the area home. As well as this, there are plenty of other things to get stuck into while you’re in the area. Phillip Island is a haven for wildlife watching both on the land and sea. After you’ve visited the Nobbies and spotted the Australian Fur Seals, why not try whale watching or see if you can spot some of the migratory birds that make their way to Australia annually.

What are the Nobbies?

The Nobbies is an incredibly important site for Australia’s largest colony of Fur Seals. These cobblestone rocks that jut out of the water are a dramatic strip of land attached to the Phillip Island coastline. At the Nobbies Visitor Centre boardwalk that leads out to the lookout, keep an eye out for the penguins who nest underneath the boardwalk.

Australian Fur Seals

The seals that you’ll see on Seal Rocks just a couple kilometres out from the Nobbies are the largest of all fur seals in the world. They are recognisable by the brown hair that covers the body and prefer to live along rocky coastlines. This makes the Seal Rocks a perfect breeding habitat for the Australian Fur Seals. The seals are skilful and agile hunters, swimming in the ocean to find food. They mostly eat bony fish, however, are known to also catch squid and octopus. The seals traverse on land using their front flippers to get around and raising their bodies. There is a notable difference between the males and females, as the males are larger and have a dark mane of hair. The population of the Australian Fur Seals suffered in the 1800s due to a large number of hunters who were after their fur coats. From hundreds of thousands, this number dropped down to 20,000 but in recent years has made a steady incline in the population thanks to conservation methods initiated by Parks Victoria and other government bodies.

Things to do at The Nobbies and Surrounds

  • 1. Stroll the Boardwalk

    Nobbies Broadwalk

    The boardwalk was made especially so visitors could enjoy the stunning scenery that characterises Phillip Island’s rugged coastline. Stop off at the lookout points to spot some of the most iconic natural wonders in the vicinity.

  • 2. See the Blowhole

    The blowhole is an impressive sea cave that makes huge waves during the big southern swells. This natural wonder is well worth checking out if you’re in the area.

  • 3. Enjoy the Sea Bird Gardens

    The Sea Bird Gardens sprawl out in a flurry of spectacular colour in the spring, promising an exotic array of flowers for you to marvel at.

  • 4. Learn About the Local Area

    The educational signage dotted around gives you the chance to dive deeper into the history and cultural heritage of the area. Learn how Nobbies was formed and find out about the extensive collection of wildlife that calls it home.

  • 5. Wildlife Watching

    And, of course, the best thing you can do at the Nobbies is to keep your eyes peeled for the mesmerising array of wildlife on offer. From Silver Gulls that nest and raise their chicks there during spring, to Little Penguins and Australia’s largest seal colony, there’s a lot of animals for you to spot. Birdwatching is also a popular hobby in Phillip Island and the Bass Coast, with sightings of pelicans and mutton birds from Alaska making their annual journey south. There are many places along Phillip Island to interact with wildlife, one of these places being Churchill Island. This island which adjoins to Phillip Island by a singular bridge is home to the first European farm in Victoria. Nowadays, this operating heritage farm is home to horses, cattle dogs, sheep’s and Highland cattle.

  • 6. Antarctic Journey

    Antarctic Journey

    A newer instalment at the Nobbies Centre is the Antarctic Journey, a multimedia experience with interactive activities and displays that are sure to excite the whole family. Visitors have the opportunity to enter the chill zone, see your own thermal image or even sit on a makeshift iceberg. There’s a research lab for you to explore and a sound station so you can learn what the sounds of a whale call or even seals sound like. In the final exhibit, there is a breathtaking multimedia experience that will take you on a journey through the animals who live in the mysterious continent of Antarctica.

  • 7. Little Penguins at the Nearby Penguin Parade

    Travel a mere 5 minutes down the road and you’ll hit Summerland Beach, home to the nightly Penguin Parade. This is by far the most iconic attraction in Phillip Island as the Little Penguins make their way to the shore to nest and breed. Phillip Island is home to at least 32,000 fairy penguins however around 80% of their lives are spent out at sea collecting food. Australia is home to over one million penguins across the states of Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and Western Australia.

The Nobbies are a magnificent display of Australia’s natural beauty, including stunning cliff scenery, coastal views, and a plethora of animal life just waiting to be enjoyed.

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