Phillip Island is an Australian island located about 140 km (87 mi) south-southeast from Melbourne, Victoria. Named after Arthur Phillip, the first Governor of New South Wales, Phillip Island forms a natural breakwater for the shallow waters of Western Port. It is 26 km (16 mi) long and 9 km (5.6 mi) wide, with an area of about 100 km2 (39 sq mi). It has 97 km (60 mi) of coastline and is part of the Bass Coast Shire.
A 640 m (2,100 ft) concrete bridge (originally a wooden bridge) connects the mainland town San Remo with the island town Newhaven. In the 2011 census the island's permanent population was 9,406, compared to 7,071 in 2001. During the summer, the population swells to 40,000. 60% of the island is farmland devoted to grazing of sheep and cattle. Churchill Island and the area around it served as the location for the 1977 Australian film Summerfield.
The southern and western coasts of the island lie within the Phillip Island Important Bird Area, so identified by BirdLife International because of its importance in supporting significant populations of Fairy Penguins, Short-tailed Shearwaters and Pacific Gulls. In addition, there is a wildlife park where wallabies and kangaroos roam freely amongst the visitors and can be fed by hand. Seal Rocks, at the western end of the island, hosts the largest colony of fur seals in Australia (up to 16,000).
Phillip Island experiences milder weather than Melbourne and is tempered by ocean breezes. The mean daily maximum temperature for February is 24.7°C (76.5°F), while for July it is 13.4°C (56.1°F). The mean annual rainfall is 782.3 millimetres (30.8 in), with June being the wettest month (88.1 mm/3.5 in). The prevailing wind for most of the year is a south-westerly which blows in off Bass Strait.
On the 10th of August 2005, snow was observed on the island. This was a very unusual event.
Phillip Island is a tourist destination visited by 3.5 million people annually. The Penguin Parade at Phillip Island Nature Park, in which Little Penguins come ashore in groups, attracts visitors from all over the world. They come to see one of the few areas where this species of penguin can be seen.
The island is recognised as having some of the most consistently reliable and varied surf conditions in the country. The island has hosted various surf events in the past, such as the Rip Curl Pro in 2005 and the Roxy Pro Women's Surfing Festival.
Phillip Island is steeped in the history of Australian motor racing. A circuit composed of the island's interior roads was used for the original Australian Grand Prix in 1928 and continued to be used for the race up until 1935. In 1952 the Phillip Island Auto Racing Club was formed. They commenced construction on the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit which opened in 1956. In 1960 the original Armstrong 500 was held, although with the bridge to the mainland unable to support heavy hotmix bitumen equipment the track broke after the third running of the race in 1962. In 1963 the race relocated to the Mount Panorama Circuit and over time evolved into the race known today as the Bathurst 1000.
The circuit closed in the late 1970s but was redeveloped and re-opened in 1989 to host the first international version of the Australian motorcycle Grand Prix. It continues to host the race today and is also a venue for the Superbike World Championship, V8 Supercars and the Australian Drivers' Championship.
Towns on and around the island include:
- Cape Woolamai
- San Remo
- Wimbledon Heights
 Notable residents
 See also
- Phillip Island The Age, Travel Section
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Phillip Island (Statistical Area Level)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2012-10-17.
- 2001 Population Statistics Bass Coast Shire Council Website
- "IBA: Phillip Island". Birdata. Birds Australia. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
- Inter Island Ferries About Phillip Island
- Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology Snow in Victoria
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- Official Phillip Island Tourism Association site Accommodation and attractions on and around Phillip Island.
- Phillip Island Ferry Service
- Phillip Island Nature Park Web Site Includes Penguin Parade and Koala Conservation Center.