Out of lockdown and feeling you deserve a little “sea breeze break” together with the chance to give your vehicle a much-needed drive? Just two hours (or so) from Melbourne and with the penguins already lined up to welcome you, Phillip Island ticks all the boxes for a fun weekend away. I’m heading there now, so why not join me for the ride?
A bit about the island
With fabulous views over the Bass Strait (pretty chilly ones at this time of year), magnificent surfing and swimming beaches, walking trails, great coffee, and of course the penguins and other Aussie wildlife, it’s a picture-perfect place to be!
How to get there
Getting there is easy – just head south (about 140km) out of the city on the M1. When you cross the bridge at San Remo onto the island, you’ll know you’ve arrived!
The best tyres for the ride?
Maxxis of course… all the way! If your vehicle’s a late model car or SUV, the Maxxis HP5 offers all the handling, grip and comfort you’ll need, while the top-performing VS5 is another no brainer for a safe and comfortable ride! Or if you want to make sure you get the best out of your SUV or 4×4 on all types of terrain – RAZR AT811s can be counted on to give you a great run both on- and off-road! Check out the full Maxxis range — or speak to your local Maxxis dealer to see which one is best for your wheels.
What do when you get there
Catch a wave or a spectacular sunset at Cape Woolamai…Combining an equally famous surf beach (this area is part of a National Surfing Reserve) with the majestic pink granite Pinnacles – take a walk to Phillip Island’s highest point, have a surf or just soak in the views.
Penguins on Parade… Phillip Island’s world-famous Little Penguins are a must-see sunset sight as they come out of the ocean and head for their burrows. There are a range of different viewing experiences and vantage points – make sure you book and check the seasonal penguin informational calendar to ensure you get your visiting times right.
Whale, seal and dolphin watching… Along with its famous penguins, Phillip Island is also well-known for its seal colony, dolphins and this is a perfect time of year to spot whales in the surrounding waters during their annual migration.
Coffee at Nobbies … Nobbies Centre is an ecotourism destination with an on-site café. Take in the views while you stroll along Nobbies Boardwalk to the magnificent Nobbies blowhole and don’t forget to look out for “Seal Rocks” – home of Australia’s largest colony of fur seals, just off-shore.
Daily pelican feeding at San Remo…This is one the kids are sure to love. Stop in at the Fisherman’s Co-op at noon and see the pelicans being fed their lunch. While you’re there, make sure you don’t pass up on some fish and chips for yourself – it’s fabulous, fresh and comes with a signature view!
Grand Prix Circuit Visitor Centre … Due to COVID this year’s MotoGP has sadly been cancelled, however this renowned Phillip Island site is still open for a visit. Along with the island’s motorcycle racing history on display, you can book in for some go karting and test out the iconic track for yourself!
Visit Churchill Island Heritage Farm… About a 10-minute drive from the bridge will get you to history-rich Churchill Island. In a beautiful, peaceful setting it offers a range of farming activities (another favourite with the kids) as well as being a wonderful place to take a walk or settle in at the café for coffee, cake and yet another island view!
Where to stay… There’s literally heaps of accommodation to choose from island wide – from central foreshore to villas on a hill (but you must book ahead). If camping is your thing, the NRMA Phillip Island Holiday Park has caravan and camp sites as well as range of cabins to choose from (some are even pet friendly!) — plus, they’re brilliantly located with amazing sea views!
Before you set off
It’s worth remembering that your tyres really are all that are between your vehicle and the road, so doing a check before you set off is ultra- important! As well as checking your tyre pressures are optimal, ensure your tread is up to the trip. In Australia, the minimum legal requirement for roadworthiness of passenger vehicles is 1.5 mm, however it is recommended you have at least 3mm tread on your tyres. You can use the tread indicators (small rubber blocks at intervals across your tyres) to check this yourself – but if you are in doubt it’s recommended you visit a tyre shop and get an expert to take a look.
From me, The Maxxis Man, until the next trip – safe travels and enjoy your island ride!
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