Wild Ocean Eco Boat
There’s a spot along Phillip Island’s southern coastline, between the Nobbies and Penguin Parade, which rivals the views of Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. For the first time this rugged coastline can be explored up close on the Wild Oceans EcoBoat Tours. Phillip Island Nature Parks has teamed up with John Dickie, the island’s long-time local boat tour operator, to offer the new daily tours.
As locals attest, the waters surrounding Phillip Island teem with wildlife. From June to September, migrating whales such as southern rights and humpbacks are spotted, along with smaller orcas or ‘killer whales’. Keep your eyes peeled for any ‘rafts’ of little penguins out fishing, or look towards the shore to spot a soaring bird of prey such as a peregrine falcon.
Within 20 minutes of departing from the Cowes jetty, the Wild Ocean EcoBoat Tours arrive offshore to one of the Australia’s largest fur seal colonies. Underwater cameras aboard the boat reward guests with a unique glimpse into the playful antics occurring beneath the waves as seals surround the boat. Visit in January and you’ll see fur seal pups taking their first swim lessons. Extend the thrills aboard the EcoBoat Adventure tour for spectacular close-up views of the Nobbies blowhole and Phillip Island’s rugged southern coastline.
The return journey takes guests past the Nobbies and the coastline of Summerland Peninsula. Discover the Aboriginal and European history of the area and pass by Cat Bay, a National Surfing Reserve famous for its longboard break. Return to Cowes jetty in time to explore the sights of town before heading out to see the little penguins waddle ashore at dusk for the world-famous Penguin Parade.
Tours operate daily with up to three trips per day in the peak summer season. Two tours are on offer:
- EcoBoat Adventure: 90 minutes and includes Seal Rocks, Nobbies blowhole, Summerland Peninsula and Cat Bay.
- EcoBoat Express: 60 minutes and includes Seals Rocks, Nobbies and Cat Bay.
Prices start at $85AUS per adult. To find out more, visit penguins.org.au, head to a Phillip Island Nature Parks visitor centre, or drop by the Wild Oceans EcoBoat Tours office at Cowes jetty.