Tina is a travel and parenting writer, self-proclaimed comedian and food worshipper from Melbourne. Take a look at her hilarious and inspiring blog at www.hangrybynature.com
Published February 24th 2017
Phillip Island is the perfect weekend getaway destination if you're looking to immerse yourself in nature and wildlife with your family.
Under two hour's drive from Melbourne, it's located in Western Port - the small island harbours splendid sights and activities for young and old to enjoy.
Housing a wonderful combination of surf beaches, awe-inspiring cliffside hikes, and astonishing free roaming wildlife - Phillip Island is a haven for nature lovers big and small.
Here were my 5 of my absolute favourites during our weekend stay, and best yet - all these activities were free:
1. Visit The Nobbies & Cowrie Beach Make sure you pit-stop at Cowrie Beach on the way to The Nobbies for some picturesque snaps of a quiet and serene sandy bay scattered with remarkable black basalt rock formations and reefs.
Kids will love climbing and hopping about the rocks while you snap some unforgettable memories. A great place for a picnic break or to soak in some Vitamin D.
Head down to the boardwalk after discovering the Nobbies Centre, and let your little ones roam free and admire the breathtaking rugged coast, Seal Rocks (home to Australia's largest fur seal colony), sea cave and the wondrous blowhole.
Chances are that you'll probably see little penguins resting inside the man-made wooden house structures along the path, so you'll save yourself a family visit to the Penguin Parade.
The San Remo Fisherman's Co-operative carries out a daily pelican feeding at 12pm at the San Remo foreshore, open for public viewing.
Your kids will love witnessing these spectacular birds receive their daily meals - why not enjoy a meal of fish and chips yourselves? The famous San Remo Fish & Chips shop is located a few steps away.
3. Hit the Surf at Woolamai Beach Grab your boogie or surfboard and hit up the surf at Cape Woolamai's Surf Beach.
A 4.2km long strand of beach, it's a top pick for surfers and boogie boarders alike. The shores get battered with high waves and strong south-westerly winds, making it dangerous for swimming, but ideal for surfing.
If you're a bit of a thrill seeker like I am and aren't discouraged by these conditions, then make sure you swim or board between the flags, as the beach is patrolled during summer months.
4. Take an easy hike to The Pinnacles
Easily the highlight of our weekend getaway - I hadn't heard of this place until I stumbled upon this enlightening article.
An easy hour long or less trek for people of all fitness levels, the hike will take you along Woolamai Beach and up into the cliffs for magnificent views of Cape Woolamai, the beach, surf, and of course, the spectacular Pinnacles.
These tall-standing, ominous-looking granite rock formations formed roughly 360 million years ago and sprung up from the Earth's core, hence the pink tinge you can see on the surface today.
If you're feeling extra adventurous, or you're a passionate photographer and want to snap up close and personal photos of these incredible formations, you can follow a steep hike down. I was eager to do this, but seeing as we had a toddler strapped to us, it really wasn't the safest of ideas.
5. Watch the Sunset from Cowes Beach
When the sun sets late in the summer months, take a leisurely stroll down to Cowes Beach after dinner, grab some gelato on the way from Isola Di Capri, and relax on the sand and drink in the beautiful sun setting over the island.
A perfect and serene conclusion to the day before you head back to your accommodation for a restful night's sleep.