On my last day in Phillip Island, I visited The Nobbies which was called Seal Rocks back when I was a kid – not sure why they changed the name, Seal Rocks sounds better to me.
This is a wonderful place to do a very easy, short walk around the coast and the boardwalk offers incredible views. This would be a great place to take kids (I went there many times as a kid) and also great for people who aren’t able to walk long distances.
I especially loved the juxtaposition of the bright green grass against the deep blue sea. The volcanic rock formations around the coastline are also interesting to look at.
Where: 1320 Ventnor Road, Summerlands. The Nobbies is located 149km (approximately 2 hours 14 minutes of driving) from Melbourne’s CBD. The Penguin Parade is close to The Nobbies.
When: Any time of year. Just beware that you will be more likely to spot a snake in warmer weather (as I did at a beach nearby shortly after I visited The Nobbies). I think I went at the perfect time – early Spring. The attractions at Phillip Island can get quite busy during school holidays, Summer in general and during the Grand Prix (roads are very busy during Grand Prix).
Length/Time: 800 metres return which is approximately 20 minutes return.
Difficulty/Experience Level: Easy, no experience required. Could be done by a small child with ease. Some parts of the boardwalk are wheelchair accessible but not all of it.
Terrain: Boardwalk. Any casual footwear should suffice for this.
Other notes and tips:
-The most important thing to note is that this area opens and closes at different times depending on the season to protect the native penguins. For opening times please check out this link .
-I didn’t go to the actual Nobbies Centre so I can’t recommend it or not. There are toilets and a café at the centre.
-Bring a $2 coin if you wish to use one of the outdoor binocular machines for 2 minutes. Apparently, there are more inside the centre which are more expensive ($5) but you can use them for a longer amount of time (5 minutes).
-There are lots of animals (mostly native birds) wandering on the road in this area so please drive slowly and be prepared to stop for adorable animal families to cross the road.
In regards to the above photo… this no joke haha. I didn’t spot any on the actual boardwalk, however, keep this in mind when you go for walks on the Island. I went slightly off the beaten track at a beach nearby to The Nobbies and FINALLY spotted my first snake in the wild. That scared the living daylights out of me and I drove straight home after that.
As I read on a sign, The Nobbies area was initially not as green many years ago, as it was trampled over by visitors. Thanks to the boardwalk that was installed to protect vegetation and the native animals that live in this area, the area is incredibly green and lush and has a thriving wildlife population.
The sea is so wild in this area and full of large rock formations, it is quite entertaining to watch the wild seas move in all different directions and also to watch explosions of the blowhole. There are some seats in some parts of the boardwalk if you have time take a seat and watch Mother nature’s free show.
I definitely recommend slotting this into your itinerary when visiting the island. It won’t take up too much time, it is free to do the boardwalk and it is a relaxing, easy stroll that any nature lover would enjoy!