Love is in the Air: How to Plan the Perfect Romantic Weekend on Phillip Island

Phillip IslandCoastline
Phillip Island  Coastal view

If you’re looking for a destination that offers stunning natural beauty, a serene atmosphere, and plenty of opportunities for romance, look no further than Phillip Island. This charming island is just off Australia’s southern coast in Victoria, about a two-hour drive from Melbourne. It is a popular destination for couples of all ages seeking a romantic escape. From breathtaking ocean views to intimate dining experiences and thrilling outdoor adventures, there’s something for every type of couple on Phillip Island.

In this article, we’ll provide tips and recommendations for planning the ultimate romantic weekend on Phillip Island, including the best places to eat, sights to see, and activities to do. With our guide, you and your partner can create unforgettable memories on this beautiful island.

Why Phillip Island is perfect for a romantic getaway

Phillip Island
Phillip Island; photo: Emily Fitzgerald and Visions of Victoria

If you’re planning a trip to Victoria or you’re a local seeking a romantic escape, Phillip Island is a destination you won’t want to miss. This island has something for everyone, from beautiful accommodations and delightful dining options to various outdoor activities. Naturally, you’ll want to see the famous penguin parade, but also be sure to explore the other sights and experiences on the island.

Phillip Island is a natural wonderland, boasting breathtaking beaches and stunning scenery. The island is home to a number of picturesque beaches, including the ever-popular Summerland Beach, which offers stunning views of the ocean and the nearby Nobbies rock formations. Couples can enjoy a romantic stroll along the beach, take in a beautiful sunset, or even take a dip in the ocean if the weather is warm enough.

Along the coast, visitors can find pockets of tranquility amidst incredible wildlife, stunning vistas, and surfers catching some of the best waves in Australia. Recently, Phillip Island was named a National Surfing Reserve, thanks to its rich surfing heritage and stunning backdrop.

Phillip Island’s World-Famous Penguin Parade

People Watching Penguin Parade Phillip Island
People Watching Penguin Parade Phillip Island

Every evening, visitors from all over the world flock to Phillip Island Nature Park to witness the famous Penguin Parade. As the sun sets, little penguins emerge from the ocean and race up Summerland Beach to their burrows. It’s a sight to behold, and visitors are advised to dress warmly as the beach can get chilly even in the warmer months. Head to the observation boardwalks or take a VIP guided tour for the best view.

Discovering Phillip Island’s Unique Wildlife and Natural Beauty

Wildlife Phillip Island

If you are a nature lover, you’ll be pleased to learn that Phillip Island offers much more than just gorgeous little penguins! It’s a naturalist’s paradise and you can explore Australian fur seals, koalas, whales, and short-tailed shearwaters. Take a walk through the island’s nature reserves to discover world-renowned wetlands and scenic boardwalks.

With plenty of beaches to choose from, you can either cool off in the summer or enjoy a beach walk in the winter. If you are a stargazer, Phillip Island provides excellent vantage points to gaze into the night sky, from spotting the milky way to the occasional Southern Lights.

You can also explore several nature reserves and parks, such as the Phillip Island Nature Park and the George Bass Coastal Walk. These places offer scenic views of the island’s rugged coastline and native flora and fauna.

Accommodation options on Phillip Island

Glen Isla House

When it comes to accommodation, Phillip Island has a range of options to suit every budget and preference. For couples looking for a luxurious and intimate experience, several high-end resorts and boutique hotels are on the island. Glen Isla House, for example, offers a luxurious B&B-style retreat in a stunning beachside location.

The historic Glen Isla House has been fully restored and features six individually decorated guest rooms with deck verandas and garden views. Guests can enjoy the crackling log fire and facilities of the main lounge, and breakfast is a highlight with produce and herbs from the kitchen garden. The house is adjacent to a pristine north-facing sandy beach and close to the Phillip Island Nature Park, where visitors can see nightly penguin parades, koalas, and fur seals.

For those couples planning a romantic getaway on a budget, there are also plenty of affordable accommodation options on Phillip Island, including holiday parks, motels, and self-contained apartments. The Kilcunda Oceanview Holiday Retreat, for example, offers stunning views of Bass Strait and direct access to the beach and rock pools and a variety of accommodation options, including the beautiful Oceanview Cottage, villas, cabins, powered caravan sites, and camping sites.

Romantic activities on Phillip Island: wildlife encounters, scenic walks, and more

The Nobbies boardwalk, a beautiful headland on the south-western tip of Phillip Island.
The Nobbies boardwalk, a beautiful headland on the south-western tip of Phillip Island.

Phillip Island offers plenty of opportunities for couples to indulge in some romantic activities. As you’d gather by now, one of the most popular activities on the island is wildlife encounters. Couples can take a guided tour to see the penguins up close at the Penguin Parade or visit the Seal Rocks Sea Life Centre to see the seals and other marine life.

The Koala Conservation Centre is also great for an up-close encounter with these cute and cuddly animals.

For couples who enjoy the great outdoors, there are plenty of scenic walks and hikes on Phillip Island. The George Bass Coastal Walk is popular, offering stunning views of the island’s rugged coastline and native flora and fauna. The Nobbies Boardwalk is another popular choice, offering panoramic views of the ocean and the nearby Nobbies rock formations.

For a more relaxing experience, couples can book a spa treatment or massage at one of the island’s many day spas. The Island Healing Day Spa, for example, offers a range of treatments, including hot stone massages and facials, in a peaceful and serene setting.

Other activities and attractions on Phillip Island
In addition to its wildlife encounters, scenic walks, and dining options, Phillip Island has plenty of other activities and attractions to offer. Couples can go fishing, surfing, or kayaking or visit one of the island’s museums or art galleries. The Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit is also popular, offering thrilling go-karting and car racing experiences.

Where to eat and drink on Phillip Island

Romantic Dinner

Phillip Island has various dining options to suit every taste and budget. For couples looking for a romantic and intimate dining experience, there are several high-end restaurants on the island, including:

Located on the waterfront with stunning views of the Phillip Island Bridge and Westernport Bay, Saltwater Restaurant is a must-visit for seafood lovers. Their menu features locally sourced produce and fresh seafood, with a focus on seasonal ingredients. From tapas to wood-fired pizza, there’s something for everyone to enjoy while taking in the picturesque surroundings.

Cape Kitchen
The Cape Kitchen in Newhaven is the perfect choice for those seeking a fine dining experience with stunning views. Overlooking the rugged clifftop and Bass Strait, this restaurant boasts beautiful tableware and supports regional Victorian producers, focusing on Gippsland. Start your day with ricotta and buttermilk hotcakes topped with poached pear, orange curd, and vanilla mascarpone, or try the heirloom beetroot potato rosti with goat’s cheese and puffed wild rice. For lunch, choose from a two- or three-course menu featuring dishes like Gippsland mushroom tempura, confit duck leg, braised beef cheek, and chargrilled cauliflower steak. The only downside is that Cape Kitchen is closed for dinner, but Saltwater, as mentioned above, is a great alternative.

Casual Dining Phillip Island

For those on a budget, there are plenty of more affordable casual dining options on the island, including cafes, bistros, and fish and chip shops.

Island Whole Foods – Vegan
Island Whole Foods is a must-visit for vegans, vegetarians, and health enthusiasts. This plant-based cafe is not only known for its gluten-free buckwheat pancakes, which are topped with pure maple syrup, coconut ice cream, and either bananas or berries, but also for being 100% plastic-free. Even those sceptical about vegan food will find something to enjoy on the breakfast and lunch menus. The cafe also offers a variety of superfood smoothies and smoothie bowls, as well as house-made raw treats like peanut butter slices.

The Rusty Water Brewery Restaurant and Bar
As the home of Phillip Island Brewing Company, Rusty Water offers a great selection of their own hand-crafted ales and a variety of beers from other like-minded craft breweries. The menu changes with the seasons and features a range of dishes made with locally sourced products and ingredients. Gluten-free and vegetarian options are also available. Whether you choose to relax on the outside decking or cozy up by the wood fires, the team at Rusty Water will make you feel right at home. With a team of internationally trained chefs, the restaurant offers a world-class dining experience on Phillip Island. And of course, no visit to Rusty Water is complete without sampling their delicious hand-crafted ales and beers.

San Remo Fisherman’s Co-op (SRFCO)
For the best fish and chips on Phillip Island, locals will tell you to head over to San Remo Fisherman’s Co-op. Although it’s not technically on the island, this tiny town just over the bridge is only a short drive away and serves up some of the freshest fish you’ll find. Established in 1948, the co-op has its own fleet of fishing and lobster vessels, ensuring that the seafood is always top-notch. Their specialty is thick, juicy battered flake, but they also offer crumbed calamari, potato cakes, dim sim, and battered scallops. Dine inside or outside on the lawn and enjoy the beautiful views of the San Remo Jetty.

Planning your itinerary for a romantic weekend on Phillip Island

Phillip IslandCoastline
Phillip Island’s Beautiful Coastline

When planning your romantic weekend on Phillip Island, it’s essential to consider your interests and preferences. Are you looking for a relaxing retreat or an adventure-packed weekend? Do you prefer luxury accommodation or budget-friendly options? Once you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, you can start planning your itinerary.

A typical romantic weekend away on Phillip Island might include visiting the Penguin Parade, a scenic walk along the George Bass Coastal Walk, a romantic dinner at a high-end restaurant, and a relaxing spa treatment. However, the island has plenty of other activities and attractions to suit every taste and budget. Make a list of the activities you both want to do and schedule in some downtime for relaxation and romantic moments. Don’t forget to pack warm clothing, as the weather can be unpredictable.

How to get to Phillip Island

Couple On a Roadtrip

Phillip Island can be easily accessed by car via a bridge connecting it to the mainland. If you’re coming from Melbourne or Gippsland, a road trip is the best way to get there and enjoy the scenic spots, attractions, wineries, and eateries along the way. The island is approximately 140 km southeast of Melbourne, and driving is the easiest way to get there. However, if you prefer not to drive, there are several tour operators that offer guided tours of the island. To get to Phillip Island from Melbourne by car, take the Monash Freeway (M1) to the Cranbourne exit, then turn into the South Gippsland Highway (M420). Follow this route to the Bass Highway (A420), through Grantville and Bass, then onto the Phillip Island Road (B420) to San Remo, over the bridge onto Phillip Island.

Phillip Island offers the perfect destination for a romantic getaway. With its stunning natural beauty, wildlife encounters, scenic walks, and dining options, there’s something for every type of couple on the island.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or an adventure-packed weekend, Phillip Island has something to offer. So why not plan your next romantic getaway on this charming island off the coast of Australia?

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