Island Whale Festival

Friday 1 July 


Festival Hub - Cowes

St Philip's Church

Find a range of interesting displays and Whale Festival Information at the Festival Headquarters in Cowes.

Stallholders and activities include:

  • Totally Renewable Phillip Island
  • Conservation Regulator – Dept of Environment, Land, Water & Planning
  • Wildlife Coast Cruises
  • Victorian Fisheries Authority
  • Boomerang Bags Phillip Island & San Remo
  • Westernport Water
  • Turn The Page book sales
  • Phillip Island Visitor Information

Free 9.30am-5pm

102 Thompson Avenue, Cowes

8am & 1pm

Winter Whale Cruise

Wildlife Coast Cruises

Embark on a 4-hour winter whale adventure discovering Phillip Island’s picturesque coastline. Depart Rhyll to circumnavigate the island, experiencing unique rocky shores and remarkable surf beaches. Stopover at Seal Rocks to view thousands of fur seals and be on the lookout for migrating humpback or southern right whales and playful dolphins.

8am – 12pm and

1pm – 5pm

Bookings Essential

Departs Rhyll Jetty, 16 Beach Rd

8.30am & 1pm

Dolphin and Whale Cruise

Wildlife Coast Cruises

Experience a 3-hour winter dolphin and whale adventure along the rugged southern coastline of Phillip Island. Depart San Remo cruising past the striking cliffs and caves of Cape Woolamai, on the lookout for migrating humpback or southern right whales and playful dolphins.

8.30am – 11.30am and

1pm to 4pm

Bookings Essential

Departs San Remo Jetty, 170 Marine Pde

10am - 4pm

Box Wars

Build your own whale

The warriors of Boxwars have come from the cardboard forge to the Island Whale Festival to hold their infamous kid’s workshop. The goal is to build many marvellous cardboard whales for the kids of Phillip island. Join us to graze the corrugated seas of infinite plankton…

Cost – $5 each

Token to be purchased on the day

(Parent supervision required)

Festival Hub – Marquee, St Phillip’s Anglican Church, 102 Thompson Ave, Cowes


Welcome to Country & Smoking Ceremony for Festival Opening

Bunurong Land Council

A welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony will be provided by the Traditional Owners of the land, the Bunurong people of the Kulin Nation. Proudly presented by Westernport Water.

Free – 10.30am

Festival Hub

St Phillip’s Anglican Church, 102 Thompson Ave, Cowes


10am - 12 noon

Stories and Craft


Join the librarians to celebrate the whale festival with creativity: stories for little ones, fun craft activities for all the family.

Suitable for 4 – 8-year-olds.

10am to 12 noon

St John’s Uniting Church, 86 Chapel Street, Cowes


Whale Tail Identification

Dolphin Research Institute & Two Bays Whale Project

Calling all budding marine biologists! How many flukes & fins can you identify? Learn how scientists identify individual whales by the patterns or marks on their fins or flukes (tails), that are similar to fingerprints for humans. See how many you can identify correctly.

11am – 11.45am

Free – bookings recommended

Masonic Hall, 92 Church St, Cowes


SOLD OUT - How to draw cartoon whales workshop

Zev Landes - artist

Join local illustrator & artist Zev Landes (the creator of our whale mascots) in a fun workshop learning how to draw whales.

No drawing experience necessary.

Suitable for all ages & levels of ability.

Free – Booking Recommended

11am – 12pm

Festival Hub – Marquee, 102 Thompson Ave, Cowes

11am - 1pm

Create Clay Sea Creatures

Phillip Island Visitor Information Centre

Come and get creative and make your own favourite sea creatures out of clay to take home. Learn about the amazing sea creatures that live in the rock pools and the ocean. Kids must be accompanied by an adult.

Free: Drop-in

11am – 1pm

Phillip Island Visitor Information Centre, 895 Phillip Island Road, Newhaven

2.30pm & 4pm

Whale Out Of Water


Kids of all ages will love learning about the humpback whale & their journey from Antarctica to QLD. From their evolution from a land mammal to their unusual feeding adaptation & their incredible songs. This program celebrates these awesome giants of our coast & investigates how plastic & climate change is impacting the ocean & what we can all do to help protect what we love. See a life-size replica of a female humpback.

2.30pm – 3.15pm

4pm – 4.45pm

$7 per person 

Festival Hub, St Philip’s Anglican Church, 102 Thompson Ave, Cowes

4.15pm & 4.45pm

Regenerating Australia

Destination Phillip Island

What would Australia look like in 2030 if we simply listened to the needs of its people? Regenerating Australia is the latest film from Damon Gameau, the award-winning director of 2040 & That Sugar Film. This 17-minute short film is based on a 4-month interview process with a diverse group of Australians who shared their hopes & dreams for the country’s future.

It is a new story for our nation: a story of empowerment. A story of solutions. A story of regeneration.

Watch trailer here

Free – Booking Recommended

4.15pm – 4.35pm

4.45pm – 5.05pm

Penguin Parade Theatre, 1019 Ventnor Rd, Summerland

(17 min run time. Note: 15 mins from Cowes)

9.30am - 4pm

Face Painting

Maru Koala & Animal Park

Visit Maru Koala & Animal Park on your way to Phillip Island and meet your face painting artists.

9.30am – 4.00pm

$10 per person (pay at venue)

Maru Koala & Animal Park,

1650 Bass Highway, Grantville


Sip and Paint a Whale

Studio 3922

Come and join in the fun and learn some acrylic painting techniques. Laugh, drink and leave with your own masterpiece. All materials provided. BYO drinks.

6.30pm – 9pm

$50 pp – Must be 18 years +

Bookings Essential – limited spaces

Studio 3922, 140 Thompson Ave, Cowes (workshop behind Island Brakes)

May - Oct

Bass Coast Whale Discovery Trail

South Coast of Phillip Island & Bass Coast

Follow the whale trail at iconic viewing points along Bass Coast and Phillip Island to search for whales. The trail leads you to a range of viewing points with interpretive signage providing an insight into migratory whales and their behaviours. Maps are available at Visitor Centres and Cowes Cultural Centre.


© 2022 Island Whale Festival