How long does the Phillip Island ferry take?

How long does the Phillip Island ferry take?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 09/09/2022

Reading time: 3 mins

Beautiful Phillip Island. One of the most loved and visited locations in Victoria, this inviting island is located south-east of Melbourne.

Famous for its surf beaches, relaxed atmosphere, rugged cliffs, friendly locals, walking trails and of course the wildlife (did someone say Penguin Parade?), this delightful sanctuary is visited by thousands of international and domestic travellers every single week.

Whilst a lot of travellers opt to drive to the island – since it is only 90 minutes from Melbourne CBD – there is another great option to get you there – set sail on a ferry!

Ferries to Phillip Island

  • From the Mornington Peninsula

    The Western Port Ferry Service departs from Stony Point Jetty, stops along the way at Tankerton Jetty on French Island, and ends the journey at the bustling Cowes on Phillip Island.

    The trip takes only a maximum of 40 minutes and is a great way to score some extra ocean views on the way. You can bring your bike and your dog on the ferry, and this is a passenger only ferry – so you can leave your car behind.

    Stony Point and the jetty are on the eastern side of the Mornington Peninsula, so you will need to drive, grab a cab or take public transport to get there. From Flinders Street Station in Melbourne, you will take the Frankston trainline to Frankston, change to the Stony Point line, and ride to the end. The jetty is walking distance from the train station.

    When you reach the seaside town of Cowes, you can easily spend the day there enjoying the shopping, beach and restaurants, or if you want to see more you can take public transport to get around Phillip Island. You could even join a tour and get a guide to show you the best of the best.

  • From The Great Ocean Road and the Bellarine Peninsula

    If you are coming from the west, you can avoid a potentially tedious 3-hour drive through Melbourne’s CBD traffic by taking a ferry from Queenscliff to Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula.
    From Sorrento, you will drive 45 minutes to Stony Point, and continue the journey with the ferry we talked about above, down to Cowes on Phillip Island.

    It’s a longer journey than coming from Melbourne, but a reasonable option if you want to visit multiple Victorian locations in a short amount of time.

    The ferry from Queenscliff to Sorrento departs every hour on the hour from 7am to 6pm, and will have you in Sorrento in 40 minutes.

    You can take your car on this one, and the ferry is decked out with a play area to keep the kids entertained, and free Wi-Fi.

Getting to the Queenscliff Jetty:

If you’re coming from as far as the 12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Road, you’ll be driving for 2.5 hours before you arrive at the Queenscliff ferry terminal. If you’re somewhere along the Bellarine – like Ocean Grove or Portarlington – you’ll be in Queenscliff in 20 minutes!

Travelling to Phillip Island by ferry is an adventure itself, and a fantastic option for travellers who want to spend plenty of time on the island. Keep your eyes on the water as you may spot dolphins on the way, and if you’re really lucky and visiting in winter you might even see a whale or two.

For all up to date ferry timetables, check the carrier websites:

Stony Point to Phillip Island:

Queenscliff to Sorrento:

Alternatively, you can check Victoria’s public transport website –

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.