Bass Coast ShireCommunity profile

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Phillip Island

About the profile areas

The 2016 Estimated Resident Population for Phillip Island is 10,665, with a population density of 1.07 persons per hectare.

Location and boundaries

Phillip Island is surrounded by Western Port Bay and Bass Strait.

Name origin

Phillip Island is named after Captain Arthur Phillip, the first Governor of New South Wales.

Settlement history

Settlement of the area dates from 1826 when a temporary British settlement was established at Rhyll. Land was used mainly for sheep grazing. Population was minimal until the 1860s, when the first land sales were made, with the township of Cowes established in the 1870s. Substantial growth did not occur until the 1920s, spurred by tourism. The most significant development took place from the 1940s, after the first bridge to the island was built. Growth continued from the 1960s, when some farming land was subdivided for housing. The population increased substantially from the early 1990s, a result of large numbers of new dwellings being added to the area.

Land use

Phillip Island is a rural, residential and resort area.

Major features

Major features of the area include the Cowes township, Phillip Island Penguin Parade, Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, The Nobbies, Seal Rocks, The Nobbies Centre, Churchill Island, Cape Woolamai State Faunal Reserve, Churchill Island Marine National Park, Cowes Golf Club, Aussie Golf Ranch, Amaze N Things, Phillip Island Vineyard & Winery, Rusty Water Brewery, Phillip Island Airport, Phillip Island Wildlife Park, Swan Lake, Rhyll Wetland & Bird Sanctuary, Phillip Island Leisure Centre, Phillip Island Nature Park, Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Phillip Island Chocolate Factory, Mutton Bird Colony & Rookeries, Conservation Hill Reserve, David Forrest Koala Reserve, Koala Conservation Centre, Oswin Roberts Koala Reserve, Swan Lake Reserve, Ventnor Koala Reserve, numerous beaches and several schools.

Included areas

Phillip Island encompasses the localities of Cape Woolamai, Churchill Island, Cowes, Newhaven, Rhyll, Silverleaves, Smiths Beach, Summerlands, Sunderland Bay, Sunset Strip, Surf Beach, Ventnor and Wimbledon Heights.