A couple of hours outside Melbourne, lies the Bass Coast, home to the scenic locale of Phillip Island. With its rugged windswept coastlines and picturesque farming country, Phillip Island is a landscape of extremes.
First settled by Europeans in the 1800s, Phillip Island was already home to many of this country’s native species; whilst visitors of a different kind – the island’s most famous attraction - the Little Penguins – have made Phillip Island their favourite stopover for 1000s of years,
In the 1920s a couple of enterprising local residents began the first organised viewings of the Little Penguin’s, whose nightly escapades as they scrambled across the shoreline to their sand dune burrows had become legendary. .Almost 100 years later, and over 1 million visitors have watched the ‘Penguin Parade’ on the Summerlands Peninsula (Part of the Phillip Island Nature Park). Whilst the penguin’s habitat has shrunk greatly over the years (they once made the whole island their home) the park is now a leading player in presenting environmental, economical and socially sustainable nature based eco tourism.
With a mantra to protect and preserve, the folk at Phillip Island Nature Park have vast conservation projects in place to restore the habitat of these tiny creatures. In 2009 they planted 90,000 new trees and they currently play host to the world’s leading team into research on Little Penguins, seals, sea birds and marine animals (Watch out for the doco Penguin Island on TV later this year). The newly opened Koala Conservation Centre also embraces the same philosophies as its Penguin Parade counterpart and the emphasis is on allowing visitors to view the koalas without impacting on their habitat. It’s the birds and mammals that roam free here whilst the humans are the ones kept behind fences and barricades... making Phillip Island Nature Park a unique place to visit.
Hook yourself up with a three park pass and you’ll get to check out not only the Penguin Parade, the Koala Conservation Centre but also the Churchill Island Heritage Farm home to beautiful gardens and a real working farm complete with Clydesdales and some of the hairiest cattle you’ll see...
If that’s not enough to entice you – consider the beautiful coast line with spectacular views and kilometres of boardwalks to explore and some of the best surfing breaks in Victoria... A side trip to Phillip Island is definitely on my recommended list for any visiting relations in the future.
Nestled high on the hillside overlooking Smith’s Beach, lies the gorgeous B&B, Clifftop. Run by partners Lucas Bracken and Adam Tinsey, this B&B is styled with the luxury and comfort of its guests in mind.
From the bathroom with twin head showers and eco friendly beauty products to the crisp white linens and plump pillows – you’ll immediately feel pampered. Throw open your curtains and soak up the 180 degree ocean view and watch your cares and woes fade away.
Adam and Lucas offer plenty of tips so you can get the most out of your island getaway but disappear from sight as soon as you don’t need them – the most perfect of hosts.
An idyllic setting for that romantic getaway with the one you love.