Best Things To Do In Cowes, Australia: A Town Worth Exploring

things to do in cowes australia
Adrian Chew
Adrian Chew 
| 3 min read

Cowes is the main township and commercial hub of Philip Island, Australia. It is situated on the northern side of the island. Cowes can be reached by ferry from Stony Point on Mornington Peninsula and is a 2 hour drive from Melbourne. Cowes is the ideal base to explore Philip Island’s many attractions. The township is located just 12 kilometres (7.45 mi) from the famous Philip Island Nature Park. It caters to busy holiday crowds with a good selection of restaurants, hotels, cafes, gift shops, and supermarkets. Cowes has so much to offer to tourists, whether you want to be up in the air, on the water, or have your feet planted on dry land, there are rare adventures and activities in Cowes for all ages.

1. A Maze'N Things

Posted by A Maze'N Things on Tuesday, 31 January 2017

This unique park truly amazes with an array of intriguing activities. Experience a Mirror Maze, Rotating Room, and Australia’s largest 3D timber maze. See water balls and chairs go uphill, people in mirrors and others shrinking right before your eyes. This is a fun family attraction, but it’s also perfect for friends or groups looking for things to do. Be surprised and astonished with illusions, puzzles and magic. You can get here through various modes of transportation such as ferry, private vehicle, or bus. A Maze'N Things is about an hour and a half away from Melbourne and is located on Phillip Island, Australia.

A Maze'N Things

Address: 1805 Phillip Island Rd, Cowes, Phillip Island, Victoria 3922, Australia

Website: A Maze'N Things

Opening Hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

Price: Children: 26 AUD (18.8 USD); Adult: 39 AUD (28.2 USD); Family: 118 AUD (85.5 USD)

2. Phillip Island Nature Parks: The Penguin Parade

“Hey babe, take a waddle on the wild side” When was the last time you visited the Penguin Parade?

Posted by phillip island nature parks on Saturday, 11 March 2017

Phillip Island Nature Parks is about a 90 minute drive from Melbourne and is a conservation park featuring spectacular coastal scenery, charming heritage, and an abundance of wildlife. It is the home to one of Australia’s most charismatic species, the penguin. As the sun fades in the sky, the little penguins waddle up the beach making a ‘huk’ ‘huk’ noise and waddle back to their sand dune burrows on shore. This is such an incredible sight indeed! Signature tours can be arranged for viewing from platforms, offering an intimate viewing experience. This tour is highly recommended when you are on Phillip Island and suitable for all age groups. The penguin viewing times vary throughout the year from 4 pm to 8 pm. Time to mingle and have a closer look at those cute penguins.

Phillip Island Nature Parks: The Penguin Parade

Address: 1019 Ventnor Rd, Summerlands, Victoria 3922

Price: from 33 AUD / 25.10 USD (Adults), need booking in advance

Opening Hours: Varies throughout the year

Duration: 1 to 2 days tour

Access: Drive from Melbourne

Contact: +61 3 5951 2800

Near by Food: various options and differs according to tour package

Website: The Penguin Parade

3. Cowes Night Market

Posted by Cowes Night Market on Saturday, 21 January 2017

Head over to the Cowes Night Market. It is a great place to relax and enjoy a night on the island. Cowes Night market comes alive with market stalls selling local produce, arts and crafts, boutique products, gifts, and collectibles. Moreover, the many food vendors and stalls accompanied by live music make the atmosphere here so lively and touristy. The night market is close to the beach, making it a perfect place to have a stroll after eating. This attraction is worth a visit and its definitely nice to watch the sunset.

Cowes Night Market

Address: The Esplanade, Cowes, Phillip Island, Victoria 3922, Australia

Opening Hours: 5 pm to 9 pm on Saturdays

Access: 90 minutes drive from southeast of Melbourne

Contact: 0419 560 293

Near by Food: You can buy various foods and drinks from the market

Website: Cowes Night Market

4. Stand-up paddleboarding

Kitsilano Beach - stand up paddleboard rental 01
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Joe Mabel used under CC BY-SA 3.0

For the adventurous, test your balance and challenge yourself to stand-up paddleboarding. Come and discover the fun of stand-up paddleboarding to enjoy the coast and the countryside. Besides, it is a really awesome experience for the young hearted. It gives you the pleasure to experience the freedom of surfing. Let the wind blows through your hair.

5. Purple Hen Winery

Happy Queens Birthday Weekend! We are open all long weekend, 11am to 5:30pm. Just follow the Rainbow :)

Posted by Purple Hen Wines on Saturday, 11 June 2016

Discover the well-kept secret of this award winning winery. The Purple Hen Winery is located on a beautiful part of Philip Island, down a quiet country road surrounded by farmland and shimmering waters. It is a family-owned and operated winery producing premium cool climate wines. The winery can be reached by car and the journey takes about 90 minutes from the southern part of Melbourne. Apart from that, it is situated overlooking the Western Port Bay with stunning views of Swan Inlet, Churchill Island, and Denne Bight. Purple Hen Winery has 7.5 hectares (18.5 acres) of vineyards. But, do not search the grounds for a purple hen as it is just an icon of the winery.

Purple Hen Winery

Address: 96 McFees Rd, Cowes, Phillip Island, Victoria 3923, Australia

Price: 6.56 AUD / 5 USD for wine tasting (per person)

Opening Hours: 11 am to 5.30 pm (Thursdays-Mondays). Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Access: By car from south of Melbourne

Contact: +61 3 5956 9244

Near by Food: Various delicacies made from wine

Website: Purple Hen Winery

6. Phillip Island Wildlife Park

E Taz dove lo lasciamo?? 😂😂🇦🇺 "È blin per quant è trist"

Posted by Daniele Piagnerelli on Thursday, 23 February 2017

Phillip Island Wildlife Park is the best place to see Australian wildlife. It is home to over 100 different species of Australian animals. For something different, you can see and experience close encounters with animals in their natural habitats. While you are at the wildlife park, you can pet or feed the animals. This wild park is only 2 kilometres (1.24 mi) from Cowes town, so it should not be too hard to find. Take pictures and see kangaroos and wallabies roam freely throughout the grounds while you are there. It is an experience beyond the norm for first timers. On the other hand, it is a memorable experience for kids and they surely will be fascinated by it, too. Phillip Island Wildlife Park is for everyone including families. This place is highly recommended, especially for wildlife enthusiasts.

Phillip Island Wildlife Park

Address: 2115 Phillip Island Road, Cowes, Phillip Island, Victoria 3922, Australia

Price: 23.60 AUD / 18USD (Adults), 11.80 AUD / 9 USD (Children, 4 to 14 years old)

Opening Hours: 10 am to 5 pm daily

Duration: Half day to 1 day

Access: Within distance from Penguin Parade

Contact: +61 3 5952 2038

Website: Phillip Island Wildlife Park

Exciting visit

Cowes is an exciting place to visit. There is like nothing like a great Aussie adventure here. Animal lovers will be thrilled being close with koalas, kangaroos, and many other wild animals in their natural habitat. Its close proximity to Melbourne makes it a popular destination for just a day trip. Visitors flock to the island at sunset to watch the famous penguin parade. A short drive from Cowes is the Koala Conservation Centre. This is another Australian attraction. All these make Cowes special from other cities in Australia.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our Privacy Policy for more information on how we use your data

I was born and raised in a small town called Muar, Johor in Malaysia. After my parents got married, I moved to Kuala Lumpur and currently residing in Selayang, Selangor. My favourite pastime...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Cowes
Good things are meant to be shared!