Celebrate life by the water and soak up the seaside holiday vibe in Cowes on Phillip Island, a great place to enjoy fishing, water sports, and the local wildlife. With the largest range of accommodation on the island and located just ten minutes from the Penguin Parade and the Grand Prix Circuit, Cowes is the perfect spot to use a base to explore the many local attractions.

Enjoy a day by the water at the calm north-facing beach, ideal for picnics, beach adventures and playtime with the kids. Cool off with a swim and then peddle on over to San Remo along the dedicated path.

Dine out at seaside eateries and renowned restaurants, check out contemporary and Indigenous artworks, or do a bit of shopping for souvenirs and artisan wares.

Use the boat ramp or take a charter boat out to see the seals at Seal Rocks, visit the koalas on French Island, and don’t miss the chance to see the little penguins at nearby Summerland Beach.

To learn about early life on the island, stop by the Phillip Island Historical Society Museum where you’ll find exhibitions on geology, maritime history, aboriginal culture and the life of the early settlers. Delve deeper into the local Indigenous culture and the island’s wildlife at the Shearwater Festival.

Island life changes gear as the action heats up for the World Superbike Championships in February and the Australian Motor Cycle Grand Prix each October. The Churchill Island Fun Festival in March/April is a popular event for families.

Cowes is 140 kilometres from Melbourne. Travel along the South Gippsland Highway from Melbourne, taking the Bass Highway before turning off to San Remo, where a bridge connects you to Phillip Island. You can also reach Cowes by passenger ferry from Stony Point on the Mornington Peninsula.

Nearby Accommodation

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new jumping cushion

Anchor Belle Holiday Park

Cowes, Bass Coast

Camping right on the Beach

Cowes Caravan Park

Cowes, Bass Coast

Deluxe Family Ensute Cabin

A Maze’N Things Holiday Park and Motel

Cowes, Bass Coast

Nearby Things to Do

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Image of vehicle with tour guide Nick Stephens

Phillip Island Designated Driver

Cowes, Bass Coast

EcoBoat in action

Wild Oceans EcoBoat Tour

Cowes, Bass Coast


Koala Conservation Centre

Rhyll, Bass Coast