Phillip Island: Day 1 – Arrival

If you have noticed, our trips are mostly from last year (2016). When I realised that I have accumulated photos from our trips last year, it made me think that I should start blogging and posting them. Apart from that, I also thought that I could help other families by sharing our budget and things we did to save on these trips.

We are quite tight with our budget last year. We usually have a savings account which we spend on trips/travel and this is on top of mortgage and also household expenses, which can be quite a burden.

For this particular trip to Phillip Island, just 1.5 hrs drive from our place, or 2 hrs from the CBD, we timed the drive during Little Miss’ afternoon nap and she woke up just as we approached our first pit stop.

Porter Republic

Clarice woke up when we arrive in San Remo, a town just before we crossed the bridge to Phillip Island. We decided to have coffee break at Porter Republic, as recommended by my very good friend at work who spends a lot of time on the island.


After our coffee, we let Little Miss run around on the grass just across the cafe with the view of the bridge and the island.



We stayed at Oceanic on Thompson apartments in Cowes, Phillip Island. They have 2 blocks of apartments, one on Thompson street and another one, Phillip Island apartments, on Bass Avenue – which looks newer to me. We booked through in December 2015.

Fee for 2 nights, one bedroom apartment was $330 – which was pretty good in my opinion.

We actually had to go to the reception at Phillip Island apartments to collect our keys as there is no reception at our apartment building. There was a problem with our car park gate swipe but it was resolved immediately by the receptionist who was very lovely.

To our surprise we were given a 2 bedroom apartment even though we paid for a one bedroom. Although our apartment block is definitely older than the other one, the place is very decent, roomy with a big sofa with chaise. TVs are in the living room and in every bedroom. The kitchen was equipped with white goods, cutlery and crockery. Bathroom was spacious, with a shower and a bath – complete with washing machine and dryer. Unfortunately I didn’t take images of our apartment!

dsc02277Another view from San Remo looking towards the island.

dsc02295Crossing the bridge


For this trip we didn’t want to splash our money on dining. Many people may think we are tight, but many families are and we were saving for an overseas trip at that time.

We actually cooked a big batch of pasta the night before, enough to last for 2 meals (lunch and dinner) for the 3 of us, and froze it in a container. We then used a freezer bag to keep it cool in the car and transferred it directly to the freezer when we arrived.

The next thing we did was to visit the nearest supermarket to buy fruits, healthy snack and bottled water – also this gave us the opportunity to scout restaurants and cafes to visit.


It was getting quite late in the afternoon and as we were going to see the Penguins that night, we bought a quick and easy meal for dinner. It was banh mi – vietnamese pork roll from Kim’s Hot Bread Bakery just on the main road closer to the beach. Surprisingly it was really really yummy!

Tip:  bring a portable booster seat / baby seat that you can attach to any dining chair. It will make your life much easier during mealtimes! Ours is the Ingenuity baby base 2-in-1.

After our meal, off we went to see the Penguin Parade, which will be in the next blog post!


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