What is the best time to go to Phillip Island?

What is the best time to go to Phillip Island?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 06/02/2021

Reading time: 4 mins

Ranked among Australia’s favourite holiday destinations, Phillip Island offers adorable wildlife, stunning beaches and year-round family fun.

Whether you’re taking the kids to watch the penguins waddle up the beach, trying surfing for the first time, cuddling up to koalas, or enjoying fine Victorian produce, Phillip Island is a joy for anyone who gets the chance to visit. But when is the ideal time to visit?

Little Blue Penguins, Phillip Island

The best time to visit to Phillip Island is in the warmer months from November through to March. This is when the weather is fine and you can truly enjoy every experience this beautiful part of Australia has to offer without having to fight off the chill or rain!

The best time to visit Phillip Island is during the warmer months, from November through March. This is when the weather is fine, and you can truly enjoy every experience this beautiful part of Australia has to offer without having to contend with chill or rain.

While you can visit during the cooler months when crowds are smaller, chances are you won’t be able to enjoy the amazing nature of the island as much as if you went when it was warmer.

So, now that we have that settled, what are some of the unforgettable experiences you can enjoy on Phillip Island, lovingly nicknamed “Philly”?

The Penguin Parade, of course!

The Penguin Parade is easily Phillip Island’s most famous attraction. Occurring every night at sunset, it is a joyous celebration of nature where the island’s resident fairy penguin population return to their burrows with their day’s fishing bounty. This is a truly wonderful experience for families and travelers alike and has long been part of the Australian tourism to-do itinerary. The summer months are ideal for this activity as the weather is warm, and sitting on the beach to watch them come in is far more pleasant. However, the penguins come in later at night, which can prove troublesome for cranky kids, so be sure to plan for a long day out if this is the main reason you are visiting the island!

Ride some waves

Phillip Island is a surfer’s paradise, with a huge number of beaches serving up awesome swells year-round! The island is famous for having beaches that are perfect for both beginners and seasoned pros, with the likes of the National Surfing Reserve, Smiths Beach, Kitty Miller Bay, and Cape Woolamai providing world-class surf for all ages and experience levels.

See what’s underwater, too

While Phillip Island is famous as a surfing haven, what goes on underneath the water is just as incredible. Phillip Island is also perfect for diving and snorkeling, with stunning beaches giving way to coral beds and unique sea life, including zebrafish, weedy sea dragons, Port Jackson sharks, and much more!

A few honorable mentions…

While these are some of the most well-known things to do during your time on the island, here are a few other memorable adventures that make it such a wonderful getaway:

Churchill Island

Phillip Island’s smaller neighbor, Churchill Island, mostly consists of heritage farms and Victoria Gardens—the first European gardens in all of Victoria! Take a leisurely stroll around the path that winds through picturesque flower beds and both native and introduced trees. Then, stop off at the popular Churchill Island Cafe for a drink. If you visit on the first Saturday of the month, you’ll get to experience the fantastic Farmers market. Browse through stalls of delicious local produce and check out what else  the island has on offer here!

Phillip Island Wildlife Park

One of the best places to have reliably close encounters with a number of Australia’s cutest creatures, Phillip Island Wildlife Park is home to over 100 animal species, from kangaroos, wallabies, and echidnas to emus and other birds. Take the family along for a day out with lots of furry friends!

See the pelicans at San Remo Beach

The small fishing village of San Remo is the gateway to Phillip Island. Its beach overlooks the San Remo bridge, which connects the mainland to Phillip Island. Every day at midday, you can head down to the beach for a locally-run pelican feeding and educational talk. Learn more about pelican biology and watch them be fed with fresh seafood!

Phillip Island Coastal Reserve

This scenically diverse area is part of the UNESCO Western Port Biosphere Reserve and encompasses wildlife sanctuaries, woodlands, and stunning coastline. There are plenty of trails around this area to explore and no doubt encounter some Australian wildlife along the way!

And plenty more – you will see when you get there – Phillip Island is truly a special part of Australia!

Related article: What is the Penguin Parade Plus on Phillip Island?


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.