Top Day Trips
1019 Ventnor Rd, Summerlands, Phillip Island
One of Australia’s most celebrated natural attractions, the nightly Penguin Parade on Phillip Island is less than 2 hours from Rosebud. Make it a day trip – walk along the clifftop boardwalks at the free ecotourism Nobbies Centre, watch for Australian fur seals and migrating whales, visit some of the many family attractions and explore the interactive displays at the Penguin Parade visitor centre before the little penguins emerge from the water in the evening.
Our tip: do book tickets before you go, as the Penguin Parade is sometimes sold out. For a good view, it’s worth paying extra for the up-close viewing platform, Penguins Plus. There’s also a 3 Parks Pass for discounted entry to the Penguin Parade, Koala Conservation Centre and Churchill Island Heritage Farm.
An historic and charming seaside village just across Port Phillip Bay, Queenscliff has grand Victorian streetscapes, majestic hotels, antique shops, gourmet food stores featuring local produce and lots of excellent eateries. There are two small museums, plenty of bayside walks and a very pretty foreshore with huge pine trees that provide shady picnic spots.
Drive to Sorrento (about 20 minutes), then catch the Searoad ferry to Queenscliff. You can take your car, but local transport makes exploring very easy. McHarry’s Buslines has 4 daily return departures from Queenscliff, with a stop at Point Lonsdale’s lighthouse and Ocean Grove (route 82). The 2-hour trip returns to Queenscliff 30 minutes before the ferry departs. You will need a Myki card to pay for your fare (buy in Rosebud before departing). Or you can just hop on and hop off the Bongo transit electric vehicles as they make their circuit of Queenscliff’s attractions. Special tours are available by arrangement.
Via Searoad ferry from Sorrento
Another great day trip from Rosebud. Drive to Sorrento (about 20 minutes), then take the Searoad vehicular ferry to Queenscliff. The 40-minute trip across Port Phillip Bay includes a peek at the multi-million dollar clifftop mansions above Sorrento and Portsea, and in winter you may see migrating whales. From Queenscliff, head for the Great Ocean Road and experience what’s been voted the best coastal drive in Australia. There are plenty of seaside villages enroute for lunch or a coffee, and lots of beach and bushwalks on this spectacular route.