Phillip Island (Victoria)

Phillip Island is located about 140km away from Melbourne.

Named after Governor Arthur Phillip, Phillip Island in Victoria, Australia, forms a natural breakwater for the shallow waters of Western Port Bay. The island area is approximately 10,000 hectares and 26 kilometres long and 9 kilometres at its widest. It has 97km of coastline, and is part of the Bass Coast Shire.

A 640 metre concrete bridge connects the mainland town San Remo with the island town Newhaven. In the 2001 Census the island's permanent population was 7071. During the summer, the population swells to 40,000. 60% of the island is farmland devoted to grazing of sheep and cattle. Churchill Island and the area around it served as the location for the 1977 Australian film Summerfield.


Towns on and around the island include:


Phillip Island a tourist destination visited by 3.5 million people annually. The Penguin Parade at Phillip Island Nature Park, in which Little Penguins come ashore in groups, attracts visitors from all over the world, who come to see one of the few areas where this species of penguin can be seen. Another popular tourist attraction is the Seal Rocks, which host the largest colony of fur seals in Australia (up to 16,000).

In addition to the Penguin Parade, there is also a Wild Life Park where wallabies and kangaroos roam freely amongst the visitors and can be fed by hand. The Wild Life Park hosts over 300 animals, mostly native Australian species, including Wombats, Koalas, Kangaroos, Tasmanian Devils, various parrots and birds of prey, snakes and reptiles.

The island is recognised as having some of the most consistently reliable and varied surf conditions in the country. The island has hosted various surf events in the past, such as the Rip Curl Pro in 2005 and the Roxy Pro Women's Surfing Festival.

On New Year's Eve the island hosts the Pyramid Rock Festival. Other events include the Churchill Island Working Horse and Pioneer Festival.


Phillip Island is steeped in the history of Australian motor racing. A circuit composed of the island's interior roads was used for the original Australian Grand Prix in 1928 and continued to be used for the race up until 1935. In 1951 the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit was constructed. In 1960 the original Armstrong 500 was held, although with the bridge to the mainland unable to support heavy hotmix bitumen equipment the track broke after the third running of the race in 1962. In 1963 the race relocated to the Mount Panorama Circuit and over time evolved into the race known today as the Bathurst 1000.

The circuit closed in the late 1970s but was redeveloped and re-opened in 1989 to host the first international version of the Australian motorcycle Grand Prix. It continues to host the race today and is also a venue for the Superbike World Championship, V8 Supercars and the Australian Drivers' Championship.


Phillip Island experiences milder weather than Melbourne and is tempered by ocean breezes. The mean daily maximum temperature for February is 24.7°C (76.5°F), while for July it is 13.4°C (56.1°F). The mean annual rainfall is 782.3 millimetres (30.8 in), with June being the wettest month (88.1 mm/3.5 in). The prevailing wind for most of the year is a south-westerly which blows in off Bass Strait.

On the 10th of August 2005, snow was observed on the island. This was a very unusual event.


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