Gippsland - Wilsons Promontory NP - the history of French Island - the nature of Venus Bay - Phillip Island and the Penguin Parade Tour Code G4 14 -   ()

Gippsland – Wilsons Promontory NP – 

the history of French Island – the nature of Venus Bay –

Phillip Island and the Penguin Parade


G4 = Minimum/maximum 4 clients private charter travelling in a top of the range

4WD vehicle with specialist driver/guide


Visitors to Melbourne from interstate or overseas have on their list a visit to Philip Island to see the famous Penguin Parade, combine this experience with a visit to nearby French Island and also spend time discovering the beautiful bays, wilderness and rugged beauty of Wilsons Promontory. Time to walk, to explore and to enjoy a cruise the coast line make this experience something different and rewarding.

Melbourne – French Island & The Penguin Parade Phillip Island Day 1

Depart your Melbourne accommodation at 7.00 am and travel direct to Westernport Bay, in South Gippsland travelling through suburbia and farm lands. Join the ferry to French Island – a seldom visited island where you gain a glimpse into the past. A little farming, bushland, koalas, an island with lots of history. It was occupied by the French in British Colonial days – French Island will amaze you.

Return ferry trip to the tourist mecca of Phillip Island which is quite different – excellent scenery, beautiful coastline and tonight you will experience the arrival of the Fairy Penguins as they emerge from the water and waddle across the sand and bush tracks to their burrows and nests – great viewing – the Penguin Parade is recognized as one of Victoria’s greatest tourist attractions.

Penguin Parade: The daily parade of little penguins draws thousands of visitors from around the globe every year. Line the observation boardwalks at Phillip Island Nature Park at dusk to see them race up Summerland Beach to their burrows. Bring warm clothing year-round, as the nights on the beach can be cool.

Over 4,000 of the 32,000 little penguins living in the waters around Phillip Island have their burrows around Summerland Beach. Native to Australia and the smallest of their species at just 33 centimetres, the little penguins leave their burrows about an hour before sunrise and swim up to 100 kilometres each day before returning at dusk.

History of French Island: is the largest coastal island of Victoria, located in Western Port, 61 km southeast of Melbourne. In 1997 about 70 per cent of the island was declared the French Island National Park, and is listed in the register of the National Estate. The island is an unincorporated area and declared locality of Victoria. The population of the island in 2011 was around 116 people, of which about 60 are permanent residents. French Island is relatively isolated and undeveloped. There are no mains water, mains electricity, or medical services on the island. There is one small general store and post office located on Tankerton Road about 3 km from Tankerton Jetty.

In April 1802, a French expedition ship Le Naturaliste under Jacques Hamelin explored the area, as part of the Baudin expedition to Australia. He named the island Ile des Français, since Anglicised as French Island. In the 1880s, koalas were introduced to the island.

Morning and afternoon tea, lunch and dinner
Silverwater Resort San Remo

Exploring Phillip Island, Venus Bay and Wilsons Promontory Day 2

After breakfast this morning return to Phillip Island to view Seal Rocks, Shelly Beach and the surf beaches at Woolamai and Surfies Point. Morning tea along the way to Wilsons Prom National Park on route a short walk along the beautiful beach at Venus Bay. Lunch in one of the small townships and then settle into your eco retreat private cabin at Wilsons Prom. The remainder of the day available for mountain or beach walks or to climb Mount Oberon as the sun sets over this huge national park. Affectionately known as ‘The Prom’, it is one of the state’s best loved parks – and with good reason. Be awed by Victoria’s largest coastal wilderness area.


Phillip Island is located off Australia’s southern coast, near Melbourne, and is known for its storied motor circuit, as well as for its wildlife. At Phillip Island Nature Park, spectators gather nightly to watch the Penguin Parade, when fairy penguins make their return to burrows on the beach. The Nobbies outcropping is the viewing site for Seal Rocks, an offshore basking place for fur seals.

Venus Bay is a wide bay and the town of Venus Bay is situated on a narrow peninsula of land located 180 km south-east of Melbourne. At the 2006 census Venus Bay had a population of 509. The name Venus Bay was given to the bay by a French expedition under Nicholas Baudin. This was apparently after George Bass’s trading ship the Venus. (The expedition traded with Bass in Sydney in around 1801)

Wilsons Prom National Park Affectionately known as ‘The Prom’, it is one of the state’s best loved parks – and with good reason. Be awed by Victoria’s largest coastal wilderness area in Wilsons Promontory National Park. This 50,000 hectare reserve is threaded with a labyrinth of walking tracks that showcase all manner of magical realms sheltering abundant wildlife. Where you’ll be surrounded by a visual feast of tranquil rivers, intimate coves, granite mountaintops and lush, forested valleys. Discover secluded beaches, cool fern gullies and spectacular rock formations. The best way to enjoy the spectacular scenery is on one of the many walking trails throughout the peninsula.

Breakfast, morning and afternoon tea, lunch and dinner
Wilson Prom National Park – Tidal River Wilderness Retreat 3 star

Sunrise on Mount Oberon and Coastal Cruise Day 3

If you are energetic we will take you back to Mount Oberon to photograph the view over The Prom at sunrise. Then travel to nearby Port Franklin were you will join your coastal cruise on a small, fast boat that will be exclusively for you on the exciting cruise along the rugged coast line of The Prom. Your destination is Sealers Cove – as the name implies a popular stop on the sailors’ schedules when hunting for seals and to take cover in adverse weather conditions. Only now accessible by boat or a National Park walking trail. Cruise down the canals out to Corner Inlet then begin your discovery of the magnificent Wilsons Promontory coastline. Be enthralled with the scenery, watch for seals and dolphins and (weather permitting) enjoy the ride to Refuge Cove – the Prom’s best kept secret. Morning tea on an isolated beach with return to the mainland for lunch at a local café in a small town called Foster. Your return journey will be through the rural region of Gippsland. Afternoon tea at the historical theme park of Coal Creek in Korumburra which highlights the coal mining era of the late 1800s. The itinerary today maybe varied slightly due to weather conditions for the cruise – this will be a great day rain or shine. Arrival at your hotel will be approximately 6.00pm.


Mount Oberon Climb A walk to the top of Mount Oberon in Wilsons Promontory National Park. Stunning views are available from the summit. Starting from Telegraph Saddle car park, this walk follows the management vehicle track up Mount Oberon. Steps below the summit lead to postcard perfect, panoramic views over Tidal River, the coast and offshore islands. Be prepared – even in summer months the summit can be windy, cool and clouded. Beware of unprotected cliffs.

Coastal Cruise Highlights: Hop on board a 7.8m RIB (Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boat) in the picturesque fishing village of Port Franklin. Cruise down the canals out to Corner Inlet then begin your discovery of the magnificent Wilsons Promontory coastline. Be enthralled with the scenery, watch for seals and dolphins and (weather permitting) enjoy the ride to Refuge Cove – the Prom’s best kept secret. Disembark onto the pristine sands of the cove and explore on your own before returning to the boat for the scenic cruise back. The boat is taken in very close but there may be a little water to contend with (knee/thigh level) depending on the tide. Please bring a spray jacket, even on a warm day, as the boat can whip up its own wind and it can get cool and in some conditions we are subject to some great spray off the waves. Sunscreen and sunglasses are a must and although hats are great, unless they have a tie underneath, we generally find we have to do a U turn and pick them up!

 South Gippsland: a region of Gippsland in Victoria, which is a well-watered and consists of low, rolling hills descending to the coast in the south and the Latrobe Valley in the north. Low granite hills continue into Wilsons Prom, the southern most point of Victoria and mainland Australia. Rivers are generally very short and impossible to dam owing to the lack of potential storage sites, but groundwater of good quality is readily available. The major industries are forestry and dairy farming, and the principal towns include Cowes (on Phillip Island), Leongatha, Korumburra, Wonthaggi and Foster.

Breakfast, morning and afternoon tea, lunch


Prices valid to 31st March, 2017.

Departs: Daily

you choose your departure date , year round (excluding 22nd December to 2nd January)

Tour cost includes:

  • Pick Up and Drop Off from your hotel.
  • The provision of a modern, top of the range four wheel drive vehicle.
  • The services of an experienced and accredited driver / guide.
  • The provision of specialist guides who join the tour where necessary to provide guided town tours or additional information.
  • The provision of 3 and 4 star accommodation – twin share basis.
  • Morning and afternoon tea.
  • The provision of two cooked breakfasts, three picnic/café lunches and two 2 course evening meals. Welcome drink prior to evening meal.
  • The payment of all accommodation, visits, attractions and entry fees as per itinerary.
  • Tours departing daily excluding 23rd, 24th, 25th December


  • Travel to/from Melbourne
  • Evening supper.
  • Single accommodation – available on application.
  • Items of a personal nature.
  • Provision of alcohol with meals except where stated on itinerary.
  • Travel insurance.

Special Note: Travel insurance is highly recommended – please read Austour’s Conditions of Travel as listed on our website. Refer Bookings.

Accommodation and itinerary may change on a seasonal basis depending upon road access and client discussion before departure.

Special family adventure – this tour is available utilising a more economical adventure safari range of accommodation, cabins or tents, contact Austour for a personalised itinerary to meet your needs.

Please contact our reservation team regarding enquiries and bookings.