Island Whale Festival

Sunday 3rd July

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.

Session Times: Bookings Essentials

8am-12pm and 1pm-5pm

Departs Rhyll Jetty, 16 Beach Rd, Rhyll

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.

Session Times: Bookings Essential 

8.30am-11.30am and 1pm-4pm

Departs San Remo Jetty, 170 Marine Pde, San Remo


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


Whale Tail Identification

Dolphin Research Institute's Two Bays Whale Project

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

Free – Bookings Recommended

9.30am – 10.15am

Festival Hub, Masonic Hall, 92 Church St, Cowes

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

10am - 3pm

Local Artist Pop Up

Pauline Grotto, Carly Meade & Eirian Chapman
Browse the works of local artists Pauline Grotto, Carly Meade and Eirian Champman at the Woolamai Surf lifesaving club over the Island Whale Festival weekend!
🎨Pauline GrottoWhite Grotto Designs is the artwork of Australian and Phillip Island/Millowl local artist, Pauline Grotto. She works with a range of mediums including sculptures, paintings and printing, all of which reflect our natural surroundings and her love for nature. She is known for her bold colours and creative pieces.
🎨Carly Meade – Is an artist, art teacher, and mum of two (three if you count the fur baby), born and living on Millowl/Phillip island. Her experiences and life on the island has lead her to see and feel the environment from a unique perspective, which she shares through art. The impressionistic landscapes she creates are influenced by the incredible coastlines, and other loved and recognisable locations, right on her doorstep.
🎨Eirian Chapman – Is an artist and graphic designer based in Millowl aka Phillip Island. Eirian creates works for advertising, editorial, digital and the retail environment. From large murals to packaging, some of her clients include Destination Phillip Island, Kiehl’s, Apple, Facebook, Spotify, The Hollywood Reporter, Drunk Elephant, Air BnB, Melbourne Zoo and much more!

Free – Walk-in

10am – 3pm

Woolamai Surf Life Saving Club, Cape Woolamai

10am & 12pm

Spot A Whale

Dolphin Research Institute & Two Bays Whale Project

Learn how to spot a whale with local researcher David Donnelly, while enjoying the magnificent views of Cape Woolamai. This is the perfect location to learn the tell-tale signs of a whale presence in our coastal waters.

Free – Bookings Recommended

Session Times:

10am-11am and 12noon-1pm

Woolamai Surf Life Saving Club, Woolamai Beach Rd, Cape Woolamai

(Note: 20 mins from Cowes)


Following a Passion for the Natural World

Chris Farrell

Join published natural history author & wildlife photographer Chris Farrell to hear about his journey to fulfil his childhood dreams. Learn how through simple and advanced photography you can help the endangered Southern Right Whale by recording sightings as a citizen scientist & why sightings are important around Philip Island and Vitoria.

Free – Bookings Recommended

10.15am – 11am

Festival Hub, Masonic Hall, 92 Church St, Cowes


What’s in a Face?

Dr Kasey Stamation

Learn about how DELWP studies the critically endangered Southern Right whales using the unique patterns on their heads and find out how you can join the WhaleFace community & contribute to this important research.

For more information on WhaleFace visit:

Free – Bookings Recommended

11.15am – 12.15pm

Festival Hub, Masonic Hall, 92 Church St, Cowes


Design Your Very Own Whale Rock

Phillip Island Visitor Information Centre

Be creative and design your own whale rock. Take your rock home and make sure you look after it, or you may even want to hide your rock so someone else can find it! Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Free – Drop-in 

11am – 1pm

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

11.30am, 1pm & 2.30pm

Whale Out Of Water

Dolphin Research Institute

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.

Bookings required –  $7 per person

Session times:

  • 11.30am – 12.15pm
  • 1.00pm – 1.45pm
  • 2.30pm – 3.15pm

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


Whale Tail Necklace

Karen Allen Art

Come along and create your own whale necklace with local Artist, Karen Allen at North Wind Studio in Ventnor. We will be using fimo clay (clay that can be cooked in an oven). Kids will leave with their very own whale tale creation.

Age: 6+

$35.50 per person – Bookings Essential – limited numbers

11.30am – 1pm

North Wind Studio, Ventnor


Killer Sperm Whales

Benjamin Francischelli

Killer Sperm Whales were some of the biggest predators that ever existed. With teeth the size of artillery shells and a skull the size of a small car, they lived alongside the Megalodon.  Their last stronghold was in Melbourne (Australia) and palaeontologist Ben Francischelli is on the hunt to find their 5 million-year-old remains underwater.

Free – Bookings Recommended

12.30pm – 1.30pm

Festival Hub, Masonic Hall, 92 Church St, Cowes

1, 1.30, 2 & 2.30pm

Whale Tails Art

Phillip Island Nature Parks

Drop-in and join the fun & get creative with our marine-themed arts and crafts activities.

Free – Bookings Recommended

Session times:

  • 1pm    
  • 1.30pm   
  • 2pm   
  • 2.30pm

Nobbies Visitor Centre, 1320 Ventnor Rd, Summerland

1 - 3pm

Meet the Ranger & Volunteers

Phillip Island Nature Parks

If you’ve ever wondered how fast a little penguin can waddle, how deep they can swim or how many call Phillip Island home, drop into our Ocean Room at the Nobbies Visitor Centre and meet some of our amazing wildlife Researchers. Learn about key conservation projects and how we learn about and conserve some of our key local species. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Free – Drop In


Upstairs – Ocean Room, Nobbies Visitor Centre, 1320 Ventnor Rd, Summerland


Marine Career Session - I want to be a Marine Biologist

Dr Sue Mason & Dr Rebecca McIntosh

Many of us have said this growing up and either to follow marine science as a career path or would like to know what it is like to work in the field. This session is an opportunity to hear from and ask questions of local marine scientists, project officers, educators, and wildlife managers.

Free – Bookings Recommended

1.45pm – 2.45pm 

Festival Hub, Masonic Hall, 92 Church St, Cowes


Whales of Victoria

Dolphin Research Institute's Two Bays Whale Project

Where do whales come from and where do they go? Have you seen whales today? Join this discussion & presentation on the whales we see each year. Learn about how you spot and report sightings. Presented by David Donnelly, Two Bays Whale Project.

Free – Bookings Recommended


Festival Hub, Masonic Hall, 92 Church St, Cowes


Common Good - Citizen Science and Common Dolphins

Dr Sue Mason

Common dolphins are often spotted along the Bass Coast. Are these local common dolphins similar to those in Port Phillip who exhibit residency behaviours and a social structure not typical of the species? Help untangle the mystery by sharing your tour boat images to #FinIDatSea

Free – Bookings Recommended

4.15 – 5.15pm

Festival Hub, Masonic Hall, 92 Church St, Cowes

4.15 & 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 and Animal Park

 Visit Maru Koala Park on your way to Phillip Island and meet our face painting artist.

9.30am – 4pm

$10 per person (pay at venue)

Maru Koala & Animal Park,

1650 Bass Highway, Grantville

All Day

Bubbles not Balloons

Destination Phillip Island

Balloons are a HUGE killer of our marine life and populations of some species are declining due to marine pollution. The display will focus on “When Balloons Fly Seabirds Die”. Take part in making bubbles and spread the message.

Free – All Day

Festival Hub, St Philip’s Church, Cowes


© 2022 Island Whale Festival