Phillip Island is about 45 miles (75 km) south of Melbourne, but there are more and less direct ways of getting there, depending on your mode of transport. Here's how to get from Melbourne to Phillip Island.
Duration: 90 minutes
Driving from Melbourne to Phillip Island is convenient, although you'll have to take a bit of a long way around. Because of Phillip Island's location in Western Port Bay and the particular geography of the area, you'll have to drive an 86-mile (140-km) route to get there, which takes about 90 minutes.
Phillip Island is only separated from the mainland by a narrow channel. A vehicle bridge connects San Remo on the mainland to Newhaven, in the east of Phillip Island.
Duration: 2.5+ hours
If you don't have your own car, several buses per day travel from Melbourne's Southern Cross Station to Phillip Island, stopping at Newhaven and Cowes on Philip Island. The bus takes much longer than self-driving because it stops at various places along the way.
By Road & Ferry
Duration: 75-minute drive, plus a 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. It's a passenger-only service, so if you have your own car you'll need to park it at Stony Point. (If you want to take your car onto the island, you'll have to go the longer way around, outlined above). You can get a bus from Melbourne to Stony Point, but this takes much longer than self-driving.
By Private or Group Tour
Many visitors to Melbourne want to spend a day on Phillip Island, and a private or group tour with a guide is a convenient way of doing so. These can cater to a range of interests, including wildlife watching and outdoor activities. Talk to your local specialist about planning a tour to suit you.
If you have the budget, you can even charter a small plane or helicopter for a sightseeing flight to Phillip Island. Charter flights from Essendon Fields Airport, north of central Melbourne, or Moorabbin Airport, southeast, can be arranged.