Cowes is a quaint little town on the northern shore of Phillip Island, facing Victoria’s Western Port Bay. Cowes is the main township on the picturesque southern island and a popular destination for vacationers and daytrippers from Melbourne.
The island is connected to the mainland by a bridge and is easy to reach by car. Take a walk down Thompson Avenue, with its broad golden cypress trees, to The Esplanade along the waterfront. Together these streets form the beating heart of Cowes, with shops, cafés and restaurants for your convenience. Come here to enjoy an alfresco lunch on a sunny day and shop for souvenirs.
Browse Cowes’ foreshore with its golden beaches and sloping lawns. The bay’s calm waters are ideal for swimming. Afterwards, dine Aussie-style by “throwing a sausage on the barbie” in the public barbecue area. Take in the views from Cowes Jetty and chat with the local fishermen as the sun goes down.
Meet some of Australia’s iconic wildlife that calls Phillip Island home. Purchase a bag of animal food to feed the kangaroos and emus as you wander around the Phillip Island Wildlife Park or take the treetop boardwalk to get closer to a koala at the Koala Conservation Centre.
Phillip Island Penguin Parade in the evening is an opportunity to watch small penguins waddle back up the beach to their nighttime burrows. A local guide is there to answer all your questions.
Time your visit to coincide with one of the racing events at the Phillip Island Circuit. Highlights include the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix and the Superbike Championship. You only have to follow the sound of the roaring engines to find the venue on race days. On training days you can take a ride in the passenger seat of a real race car while a professional driver zooms you around the track. The History of Motorsport exhibit keeps the less adventurous visitor happy as well.
Take a cruise out on the bay for a chance to see the seals at Seal Rocks. Also keep an eye out for dolphins and seabirds. Watch the glowing sun set and the town’s Esplanade twinkle during a romantic twilight cruise. Take this moment to look back on your stay in Cowes and appreciate the many wonderful things this idyllic island town has in store.