For the love of Phillip Island

For the love of…

Phillip Island

Nice to wake up at 8, a sleep in for everyone. A slow morning of breakfast and showers before driving into Cowes, the main drag of Phillip Island. A friend Elianie from Melbourne and her husband are in Phillip Island for the weekend so we plan to catch up with them today, which will be nice. 

I mentioned earlier, we are staying in Newhaven which is at the very entrance of the Island. I had no idea just how big this Island is. Anton and I came here years ago to watch the moto GP but we didn’t explore the Island and I’d been to see the penguins when younger but remember very little of that. 

Newhaven is 16km via car from Cowes. Mostly one lane of very slow traffic but we may have missed the worst of what’s to come being on the road at 930am. A friend gave me a couple of tips on where to eat. One of those being a cafe – although she gave decent directions, we can’t seem to find the place without knowing the name. 

We did spot a cute cafe called Waterboy, which could potentially be what was recommended but a twenty five minute wait for a TAKE AWAY coffee seemed ridiculous. Next stop was a patisserie – good feta and spinach triangles but according to Anton bad coffee. Cafe Liguano, which offered a better choice and a “Raffi Coffee” too. According to Eliane, this is the best coffee on the island.


We wandered the streets. Lots of Asian eateries and the infamous two dollar shops  – tourist towns love a good junk shop. The Ocean meets the bottom of the Main Street and a jetty with tourists waiting for charters or fishing off the pier.

We’d planned to go to Churchill Island Heritage Farm but we will save that for tomorrow as an interactive Easter festival is on for the kiddies with an Easter egg hunt. Yeoww! 

So instead Anton switches into work mode and we visit the National Vietnam Veterans Museum. He was has been doing some work with these guys under the Veterans portfolio, therefore he’s keen to visit. It was insightful to learn more about one of the most controversial wars Australia has been involved in. Raff is baffled why the heli-topter and frucks are indoors. 

We’ve hit our extended timer by stretching Raff out from her sleep so it’s home to bed for her. While she sleeps Anton and I enjoy a home made cheese board and red wine – who am I kidding, red wine, I wish. 

When Raff wakes we decide to go for a walk around the coastline of Newhaven. It’s a peaceful and less commercial area, hosting big blocks with a range of new and older style homes. Don’t get too far because swings and slide. That’s us sorted for the next hour! 

It’s food o’clock AGAIN. Believe it or not. I’m starting to feel the effects of all this extra food we have been eating. So sluggish and full. I’ve been so slack on the exercising this pregnancy so feeling extra yuk! 

Before heading into Cowes for dinner, we decide to follow through with going to watch the penguins tonight. We’ve been undecided about going because it’s late and apparently a decent wait time to see anything. Right on Raff’s sleep time – are we asking for trouble Mamas? 

Our decision is made when I ring to book in for penguin viewing and it’s sold out. Apparently very common, for the most attended tourist attraction in Australia. We manage to get beach viewing tickets for tomorrow night and are told the best part is walking back over the board walk as the penguins are all off to bed and easier to see. TIPS : When purchasing tickets, get in early – days before you know you’re going. We got the lowest grade tickets but read lots of info that the penguin plus or higher grade tickets offer a better experience. If you are an RACV member buy your tickets through their website. Great savings. 

We learn fairly quickly the back streets are the best option. Traffic into the main drag ain’t moving along too quickly. 

On recommendation by a mate, we go to Thai on the island. It looks a bit hit and miss – like most Thai joints I guess, the older the furniture and the more one-arm-up-gold-rocking cat (or are they bears?) ornaments, the better the feed. 

We opt for vegetarian choices. Rice and two stir fry dishes – one oyster sauce and one chilli paste. Both are fresh and light and don’t taste over loaded with MSG. Let me confirm that later on – I’ll see if I’m up at 3am sculling cups of water. All three of us are pleased with our vegetarian dinner. This clever restaurant even sells Bundaberg – in all the flavours – Pink grapefruit and creaming soda, please. We leave satisfied and full – not sure we’ve been empty yet! In an attempt to spread the added kilos evenly throughout our bodies, we take a walk across the road to the beach. 

Raff’s been on about water – beach since the swimming pool at Lindenderry on Friday morning so she dips her feet in the water and enjoys the texture of the sand. Not wanting to move along from the water is inevitable, but the water fun is easily replaced with a dance at the band playing up the hill. The Cowes festival is on. More food trucks than one can imagine and an old rock and roll band for the kiddies to Boogie too. Very cute to watch rows and rows of tiny people shaking their hips. 

All danced out, we make tracks for home. From what I’ve read on the Phillip Island reviews and tourist sites – the number one thing to do aside from see the penguins – is to rug up as it gets cold! They ain’t wrong, it gets chilly at night. There’s a tip for you. 

It’s the buzz of the Easter Bunny coming tomorrow. We are all as excited as each other. Raff reads her Easter Bunny book to us and sleeps with her bucket ready for Bunny coco (coco equals egg in Italian) collection tomorrow. The cutest! 

Once she’s out, we plan our Easter Egg hunt for tomorrow but don’t place the eggs out until morning as we want to put them outside. Raff loves this old car that is in the garage so we will include that in the Easter egg hunt! Oh my gosh – bursting with excitement. These childish moments make me so excited. 

Apart from that it’s cup of tea and TV time. There’s an interesting doco on ABC about Facebook. Gee Mark Zuckerberg – is a powerful player, possibly the most powerful bloke in the world right now? So powerful that his social media platform is shaping the way our future is heading, politically and socially. That’s insane. It’s prompted me to be more vigilant with what I like and post and share, I’ve tightened up all of my personal pages and removed a bunch of people that no longer needed to be reading my info. There is a bio stored on all of us. 

Following this is a four corners doco on Jack Charles, in the social and community sector, where I work – he is well known and often attends functions and conferences. He was quite involved in one of my old work places so I had the privilege of meeting and listening to him speak on a number of occasions. If you haven’t heard of Jack Charles – have a google cause he’s an interesting man,

All this TV sees me done for the night. Time to hit the hay at 930. Getting more and more wild as the days go by. Love an early bedtime. Night legends.. x


Anna Owens is the founder of ownsit! A mama working in Community Development and Partnerships Education. Anna is a colour crazy, creativity enthusiast who loves to design, collect shoes, eat & travel.. x

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