San Remo is the gateway to Phillip Island on the eastern entrance of Western Port and dates back to 1840. The township that grew up around the port of Griffiths Point became a popular tourist spot and in 1888 was renamed San Remo. Before the suspension bridge was built in 1940, visitors had to rely on ferries for access to Phillip Island.
Commercial fishing began in 1909 and continues toady with fresh and cooked fish available form the San Remo Fisherman's Co Op.
Childrens beach is a sheltered family beach, while Foots Beach has an excellent surf beach.
San Remo has a great shopping strip with many sidewalk cafes, antique shops and a supermarket. A chemist and medical centre are available 7 days a week.
Located on the north coast of the Island, Cowes was originally called Mussel Rocks and renamed in 1865 as it reminded a sea captain of Cowes in England. Mussel Rocks remains to the west of the Cowes Jetty and is a special spot for me, as it was the place chosen by us for our wedding photos!
Cowes has a romantic history from the 1900's to the 1960's when guests arrived by the steam boat Genista and stayed at one of the many guesthouses on the Island. In the early days the guests travelled by horse drawn carriages from the Jetty to their guesthouse. There are many romantic stories about these early days and locals are only too ready to share these with you.
The beaches are truly beautiful and the views across to French Island and the Peninsula are stunning. From the Jetty you can travel to Seal Rocks, French Island and Stony Point!
Hire a bike, a paddle boat or just relax with a book on the sand.
Filled with restaurants and cafes this would have to be the centre point of activity in the region. Venture out and enjoy . Restaurants, cafes and clubs offer a convenient place to enjoy an evening out with friends.
Enjoy the tranquility of staying close to the beach, with local shops and supermarkets offering convenient shopping. Cowes offers diverse living with ever changing streetscapes catering for both campers right through to luxurious, up market rentals.
Rhyll is a sheltered port on the north east tip of Phillip Islandwhich offered safe mooring for early explorers.Rhyll's fascinating early history is marked by several memorials.
Rhyll has an excellent all tide boat ramp, slipway, two jetties, yacht club, angling club and sail school. Other services include boat hire and a general store. A dining and food precinct is found along the waterfront with the Foreshore Tavern, Sol and Cafe Temuku. There is also a great fish and chip shop and cafe.
BBQs, a playground and tennis courts provide entertainment and the original Rhyll Hall is used by the community for functions.There are also public toilets,bbqs and a playground on the foreshore.
Surf Beach, Surfies Point, Crazy Birds and Forrest Caves
As their names indicate, these are popular surfing spots. For detailed information on the most suitable surfing conditions please ring Island Surfboards on +61 3 5952 3443 or Islantis Surf shop on +61 3 5956 7553. These beaches are not patrolled but there are many lovely rock pools to swim in. The closest patrolled surf beach is at Woolamai. Access from The Esplanade, off Phillip Island Road.
The villages of Surf Beach and Sunderland Bay developed because of the spectacular beaches and ocean views.
The winters on The Esplanade are not for the fainthearted as the winds blow in but the views are spectacular!
This is our own mini Great Ocean Road - the views are breathtaking and the surfing excellent! The walkways and stairs to the beach are very accessible - just remember these are surf beaches and not patrolled. They are fantastic for walking in winter, when you may make the only footprints in the sand.
Phillip Island's highest point is Cape Woolamai - a granite rock that rises out of the ocean. Cape Woolamai Beach is famous for the golden beaches and the rolling surf. It is special for me as the Woolamai Surf Life Saving Club was the venue for our Wedding Reception! The stunning views, the windswept shores and the sunset to die for - unforgettable memories!
Walking tracks, viewing platforms and excellent car parks - take the track to the Pinnacles, the Woolamai Lighthouse and the old granite quarry. Harry Cleeland, one of the Island's pioneers tells a great story about the lighthouse - ask one of the locals!
Visit in the evening and watch the Short tailed Shearwaters - this is home to the largest colony on Phillip Island.
But what is Cape Woolamai most famous for? The surf! The beach is patrolled in the summer by the Woolamai Surf Lifesaving Club and the Club runs a very successful Nippers program each January.
In January the Club runs the highly successful San Remo Channel Challenge and Dennis Harris has been a mover and shaker for as many years as I can remember!
Enroll the kids in the Nippers Program where they will learn to swim and surf and respect the ocean.
Just over the bridge from San Remo is the small and beautiful fishing village of Newhaven. The village is the hone to a magnificent Newhaven Marina and the Newhaven Yacht Club.The village has pretty walks and the lovely private Pines Beach accessed from Forrest Avenue.
Newhaven is well known for the famous Boys Home, built by the Anglican Church and run by the Mission of St James and St John, now owned by the Knox College. The local day schools Newhaven College and Newhaven Primary School are also located in the village.
Newhaven has a cafe, supermarket and health centre, as well as a fabulous children's park and playing fields.
Purchase fresh fish, oysters and crays from the jetty!
It doesn't get much better than this!
Also located in Newhaven -
Phillip Island Information Centre
National Vietnam Veterans Museum
Phillip Island Airport
Phillip Island Helicopters
Islantis Surf Shop
Pannys Chocolate Factory
Ventnor is situated to the west of the main township of Cowes. It hugs the coastline with magic views to Flinders and French Island . Inland are kilometres of farming land that has been in the same families for many generations. The Phillip Island Vineyard is located just down the road on Berry's Beach Road and the Island Primary Produce is sitiated on the Ventnor - Cowes road. Follow this road out to the famous Penguin Parade and Nobbies Centre. Surf at Shelleys Beach and Cat Bay or simply enjoy the views. The beaches of Ventnor are quiet and seem to go forever! At the end of Grossard Point road is the grave of an early settler Captain Grossard who was accidentally shot at the McHaffie Homestead, it was his dying wish to be buried on this rugged coastline. Summer days are calm and the waters gentle, in winter the winds can blow and snuggling in front of a fire and watching the waves is a must. Ventnor is also home to the Phillip Island Pony Club and the gardens and walk created under the supervision of Don Burke of Burke's Backyard.
Picturesque and leafy, Silverleaves is located 2 kms east of Cowes, and has a beautiful sandy north facing beach. Known as the hidden gem of the Island with meandering quiet streets, ideal for walking,
jogging and bike riding. This is the beach holiday spot you remember as a child - the locals catch up each summer, the children have all grown a little bit more and then suddenly the next generation arrives! Silverleaves was developed in 1953 by the local farming family the Sanders. The village is made up of estates, Sanders Estate, Woods Estate, and the last estate Woodlands. As you may have guessed the Woods were also farmers! Many of the descendants of these families have houses in the Silverleaves village and some of the original families are still holidaying in Silverleaves!
Original beach shacks dot Silverleaves, some are renovated and others have been replaced by more up to date beachhouses. Silverleaves is very leafy and heavily treed so the cottages and houses sit amongst this greenery.
A fantastic walk along the beach heading east takes you to Observation Point - often you will be the only visitor there for the day, so tread carefully and quietly as this is an important bird breeding area.
Surfing and swimming are the reasons visitors flock to Smiths beach. With two beautiful beaches to choose from - Smiths and YCW there is always somewhere to catch a wave. Smiths is patrolled over the summer period by the Woolamai Surf Lifesaving Club.
Nestled between the sea and rolling hills, Smiths is truly a beautiful beachside retreat, away from the hustle of Cowes, it has a General Store/Cafe and Island Surf Shop.
There is plenty of parking at both beaches and change rooms and toilet block located at Smiths.