With only 3 nights to spare and 3 young kids who want to see and do a lot, Phillip Island is the perfect place for an easy family getaway from Melbourne,
Arriving down at Phillip Island in the evening, we headed straight for the famous Penguin Parade, Victoria’s largest tourist attraction, arriving just in time to see hundreds of the world’s smallest penguins meander out of the water to their homes in the sand dunes, just meters from us. From the viewing stands and boardwalks our family witnessed this magical procession (despite being tired, the one year old thought this was the best thing since sliced bread!) Visit www.penguins.org.au for more info.
The next morning we piled the family in the car and made the trip back over the bridge to the mainland to San Remo where we watched the pelicans being fed outside San Remo Fisherman’s CO-OP (be there at 11.30am so as not to miss out) then followed this up with a marvellous fish & chip lunch at the adjoining restaurant.
Not ones to rest, we proceeded to make our way to Panny’s Chocolate Factory for dessert! (www.phillipislandchocolatefactory.com.au) Now let me tell you what an adventure this is for kids (not to mention the grown-ups)! ‘The sweetest and most addictive attraction to Phillip Island!’ This place really is a celebration of all things chocolate, with interactive machines to play with and you can make your own chocolate on the spot!
While you’re down here, one place you can’t miss is Churchill Island Heritage Park. Here you literally step back in time. Children can experience a traditional Aussie working farm, cow milking, blacksmithing, sheep shearing, working dog demonstrations. Our kids met the Clydesdale horses, highland cattle, sheep, ducks (in dresses no less!), chickens and peacocks. There’s an adorable baby animal nursery too, and all this is set amongst heritage buildings and lovely gardens.
To get the most value, there’s a 3 Park Pass which lets you visit Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Koala Conservation Centre and the Penguin Parade. Visit www.penguins.org.au for more info.
Lastly, you can’t make the trip down the coast without a visit to Amaze ‘n’ Things (www.amazenthings.com.au). Aimed towards adults, children have just as much fun. Allow at least 3 hrs to take in the maze, ‘maxi’golf, Puzzle Island, and the Illusion Rooms where you can see water flow uphill and people fly, visit the shrinking room and get lost in the mirror maze. If you’re game, give the kids something to laugh at and fall off their 6.5m Look Out! Slide. My kids thought the photo capturing my moment of terror was hilarious! Check out www.amazenthings.com.au for more info.
We stayed 3 nights and still didn’t get around to seeing the Nobbies and venture into Cowes. There is so much to do here you’ll need to plan another trip.