Check out our guide to where to stay on Phillip Island. So you can experience the best of the island – including the Little Penguins.

Just a couple of hours drive from Melbourne is Phillip Island – home of the world-famous Penguin Parade. To make the most of your visit, why not stay a few days and explore everything the island has to offer? From penguins to surf beaches, other wildlife like koalas and of course incredible coastal views. There’s even some great food including fresh seafood which can’t be missed!

Here’s our guide to where to stay on PHillip Island – form motel and hotel accommodation to caravan parks, and even accommodation at nearby San Remo. However, if you have a limited time but still want to visit Phillip Island, we recommend taking a day tour. A day tour with Go West lets you discover native wildlife, incredible views and hundreds of Little Penguins returning to the island after sunset. 

Where to stay on Phillip Island

Caravan Parks 

The Cowes Foreshore Tourist Park lets you stay on pristine parkland, right beside the calm waters of Western Port Bay bay. They have a range of accommodation styles depending on your budget – including camping, caravan sites, glamping and even beachfront cabins. This caravan park is great for families, with playgrounds, arcades, picnic facilities and beach activities nearby. 

Ingenia Holidays Phillip Island has a beachfront location with natural bush surrounds. There are plenty of different types of accommodation from bunk cabins to three-bedroom deluxe villas. You can also camp on a powered or unpowered site. There are also plenty of activities for the kids, with a jumping pillow, adventure playground, basketball ring and games room.

B&B Accommodation 

Glen Isla House offers elegantly designed accommodation. You can choose from a completely private retreat in your very own cottage. Or stay in the historic rooms that were originally part of the 1870 homestead. The entire estate is surrounded by gardens, with the beach nearby. This award-winning accommodation is sure to be a relaxing stay at Phillip Island. 

Genesta House Bed and Breakfast is one of a few original guesthouses on Phillip Island. It is five minutes walk from Cowes Beach and the town’s restaurants and shops. Choose from one of three individually decorated suites, each with a verandah overlooking the beautiful gardens. It’s a wonderful place to relax and explore the island’s many treasures. 

Motels and Hotels

Clifftop is the perfect place to have a romantic getaway. It is nestled between Smiths Beach, Bass Strait and a large stretch of farmland. It provides an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. For your stay you can choose from a range of private rooms, with plenty of amenities and luxuries on offer.

A stay at the Island Accommodation is a great way to save money, make friends and have a base from which to explore Phillip Island. This backpacker accommodation has plenty of open-plan spaces to choose from, plus a rooftop deck with excellent views of the island. There are several types of rooms – including private suites and multi-share rooms.

How to visit Phillip Island

Phillip Island is just under two hours drive from Melbourne. It can easily be reached by car or on a day tour from the city. 

The highlight of any visit to Phillip Island is of course watching the little penguins return from feeding in the ocean and waddle across the beach to their burrows in the sand dunes. The Penguin Parade at Summerland Beach is the best place to watch this phenomenon up close, without disturbing the penguins or their natural environment.

Take a day tour with Go West 

Discover beaches, wildlife and the best parts of Phillip Island on our day tour from Melbourne. Here’s what to expect if you take a Phillip Island Tour with Go West. 

  • Visit the famous Brighton Beach boxes
  • Take a guided tour of the award-winning Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park
  • Meet and feed a wide range of Australian animals including koalas, wombats, dingoes, and more
  • Visit Point Grant to view the Nobbies and Seal Rocks
  • Stroll the coastal boardwalks to enjoy amazing panoramic views
  • Finish the day at the world-famous Phillip Island Penguin Parade

Frequently Asked Questions 

Which penguins are at Phillip Island?

Phillip Island is home to a colony of Little Penguins. These are the smallest penguins in the world measuring  40 – 45 cm tall. They have a blue or grey upper body and white underbelly. They can be found nesting along the southern edge of Australia’s mainland and Tasmania. The largest colony – around 32,000 penguins – is on this island. 

What are the different tickets for the Penguin Parade?

You can choose from the following ticket options for the Penguin Parade:

  • General Viewing – Enjoy tiered seating in our general viewing grandstands overlooking the picturesque Summerlands Beach.
  • Penguins Plus – Get up close and personal with the Little Penguins from our extra special Penguins Plus grandstand.
  • Underground Viewing – Go underground and watch the Little Penguins waddle right past the window – some might even come up to the glass to say hello!

So what are you waiting for? Come and join us on a Phillip Island Day Tour from Melbourne!


Written by: Leah Furey – Digital Content Coordinator