Phillip Island is a popular quick-trip destination from Melbourne. It's about 45 miles (75 km) directly south-east of Melbourne, which is itself easily accessible from other parts of Australia. Here's how to get to Phillip Island.
Duration: 90 minutes
Driving from Melbourne to Phillip Island is convenient, but because of the island's location in Western Port Bay and the particular geography of the area, you'll have to drive a longer way around to get there. Driving to Phillip Island will take you along an 86 mile (140 km) route, which takes about 90 minutes.
Although Phillip Island is, indeed, an island, it's only separated from the mainland by a narrow channel. A bridge connects San Remo on the mainland to Newhaven on Phillip Island.
Duration: 2.5+ hours
One bus line travels from Melbourne's Southern Cross Station to Phillip Island, stopping at Newhaven and Cowes on the island. Several buses depart each day. The bus takes much longer than self-driving because they stop at various places en route, but they are an option for travelers without their own wheels.
By Road and Ferry
Duration: 75 minute drive, plus 45 minute ferry
A passenger ferry operates between Stony Point on the Mornington Peninsula (1.5 hours from Melbourne) to Cowes Jetty on Phillip Island, traveling via French Island. This is a passenger-only service, so if you have your own car you'll need to park it at Stony Point. If you don't have your own car, you can get a bus to Stony Point, but this makes the journey rather long, and may only be worthwhile if you're staying on Phillip Island for a night or two.
By Private or Group Tour
As Phillip Island is a popular destination for a day trip or short overnight trip from Melbourne, there are many opportunities to take a guided tour. These cater to a range of interests, including wildlife watching and outdoor activities. Talk to your local specialist about planning a tour to suit you.
By Charter Plane or Helicopter
If you're on a generous budget, it's possible to charter a small plane or even a helicopter for a sightseeing flight to Phillip Island. Charter flights from Essendon Fields Airport, just north of central Melbourne, or Moorabbin Airport, south-east of the city, can be arranged.
From Elsewhere in Australia
If you want to visit Phillip Island and are coming from elsewhere in Australia, it'll almost always be necessary to come via Melbourne first. Melbourne is Australia's second-largest city, so is well connected to other parts of the country by air, rail, bus, and road.