Amazing educational geological excursion, Phillip Island, Victoria

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Seagulls on basalt wall Cowes
Seagulls on basalt wall Cowes
Phillip Island, Victoria, is one of the most popular and interesting tourist destinations near Melbourne, just a two hour drive away. With the geological information provided on this blog for specific sites around Phillip Island you will be able to understand Phillip Island, indeed Victoria, from more than the usual tourist perspective. As you enjoy the tourist highlights you can learn about the geology too.

Geology is about history, and history is about understanding our past. That impacts our perspective on what we are doing in the present, and our vision for the future. Remarkably, your understanding of geology impacts you to the deepest personal level, your image of who you are, your outlook, and your purpose and goals.

All geological explanations are driven by the way geologists interpret rocks, and that rests not on facts but on their beliefs. The big difference between the information presented in these blog posts and that in conventional geological publications is that I have interpreted the geology within a biblical framework. We assume that the account of the global Flood in the book of Genesis in the Bible records a real historical event.

You will see that, when we start with this assumption, the geological evidence makes sense. To make that interpretation we need to visualize the sorts of processes that were occurring on the continent at the time the rocks were formed. This is no different from the way that conventional geologists work; they also need to imagine how they think the processes operated in the past too. All geologists have to imagine something because we cannot travel back in time and make observations.

Set your own pace. Visit the sites at the times that suit you, and stay for as long as you like. Do as much or as little as your situation allows. Explore, fossick, observe.

Checklist for features in Phillip Island to ensure you see everything.
Checklist for features in Phillip Island to ensure you see everything.
Altogether I have described 19 sites, including the geological features and points of interest. Visit those sites that take your fancy. Enjoy the sun, the air, the exercise, and the outdoor adventure.

To give yourself a flying overview of the geology of Phillip Island and see something of how it relates to the geological history of Australia you need only visit three sites (see box below). If you want more you can visit some of the other sites or simply read about them on this blog. However, you gain geological experience by looking at lots of rocks.

The coloured geological map shows what rocks can be found and their location. Check the legend on the map so you can understand the order in which the rocks were deposited and locate them in the field. The order is worked out from the relationships between the rocks. Also, you can download a checklist so you can make sure that you have seen all the important features mentioned for the sites.

I hope you will enjoy a geological adventure and that you will be stimulated to find out more. I trust it will help develop your view of the Bible and prompt further study to understand its message, of how the Creator made this world, what he has done in the past, and how that affects you personally. This is an issue that has big implications and so it is important to be informed. Enjoy.

Key Sites to visit for quick overview

There are three main sites:

  • Site 6—Pyramid Rock;
  • Site 9—Cape Woolamai Beach and
  • Site 13—Bonwicks Beach, San Remo.

These are suitable for individuals, families, and groups, such as school excursions and youth activities. You can visit these three sites in a morning or an afternoon.

Extra sites suitable for groups and families to visit:

  • Site 1—The Nobbies and
  • Site 14—Kilcunda Beach.

For the enthusiast:

  • Site 5—The Wreck of the SS Speke has exposures of Cambrian greenstone but access requires some fitness and balance.

The other sites around the island and surrounding area are included so you can see more about what is going on as you enjoy touring the island.


  • The material provided by the Department of Primary Industries, Victorian Resources Online was invaluable. The geological information presented in many excellent web articles has been relied on extensively as well as the maps, documentation, and descriptions (
  • Geoscience Victoria also has available geological reports of the Mornington Peninsula and the Queenscliff 1:250000 map area, which have been most helpful.
  • Maps courtesy Google Maps ©2012, Imagery ©2012 Cnes/Spot Image, DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, Map data ©2012 Google, Whereis(R), Sensis Pty. Ltd.

Guide available as a booklet

All the entries for these geological excursion sites on Phillip Island are taken from the geological excursion guide for Phillip Island. The complete guide is available as a booklet on Aussie store.