A Travellers Guide to Phillip Island for MotoGP


Planning on heading to Phillip Island for the MotoGP for the first time? Fantastic.

The island is the place to be when the world’s best riders arrive in town, be it for Australia’s MotoGP round or the World SuperBike event.

In saying that though, you could use this advice for any major event at the iconic Philip Island Grand Prix Circuit. Most of the tips are still relevant.

I’ve had the privilege of having travelled to Phillip Island numerous times for different events, and I’ve picked up quite a few tips in my time there. So I’ve put all that information together into this handy blog post to help you, no matter if it’s your first time, or even if you haven’t been to the island in a few years.

What Is The Race Track On Phillip Island?

Phillip Island Penguin Parade

The race track that hosts the MotoGP and World Superbikes (as well as all the other events) is officially called the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, and is located just outside of the town of Cowes on the island.

How Do You Get To The Phillip Island Circuit?

The easiest and quickest way to get to Phillip Island is to drive (or ride) the two/two and half hours from Melbourne.

I’ve detailed the other options for getting to Phillip Island in this post, but having your own transport is easily the most convenient option for you to get to a from the circuit as well.

Where To Stay On Phillip Island For MotoGP?

For the diehard fans, easily the best option is staying at the circuit.

It’s only an option during the large-scale international events like the MotoGP and World SuperBikes, but if the sole purpose for visiting the island is for the race, and you don’t mind roughing it, it’s probably ideal. Just keep in mind it books out quickly.

That said, I tend to prefer to have a much more sturdy roof over my head when I’m sleeping, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. If you’re not the camping type or just want to look at the other options on offer around Phillip Island. You’ve got plenty.

Being a popular summer holiday destination for Victorians, there are numerous holiday houses all over the island. And when I’m down there, I tend to stay in a house we book with a group of other media professionals. It’s just a much more comfortable option.

That said, if you are travelling by yourself or with a partner, something more hotel-like might be a better fit for you. My top picks are the Ramada Resort by Wyndham Phillip Island for a really convenient resort style option that has everything you might need. However for something a little cheaper, Amaroo Park is very comfortable.

Getting To And From Phillip Island Circuit?

Phillip Island Circuit

Unless you are camping at the track and well stocked up, you are going to need a car (or maybe even a motorbike) to get around the island.

Phillip Island is not all that big, but you will definitely need some sort of transport to get around as there aren’t many taxis and ride share services like Uber are quite limited at this stage.

That said, the local bus service – South Coast Bus – does put on dedicated bus services to get patrons to and from the circuit each day, linking up with most of the towns around the island. It is a limited service, but it will work if you don’t have any other option.

What To Do In The Evenings?

Phillip Island is a buzz when the MotoGP comes to town, particularly the main town of Cowes. It’s pretty easy to find the best spots around the island, they’ve got the biggest crowds.

You will definitely want book ahead if you want to sit down at any of the restaurants for dinner. But in saying that, most of them are really well setup to cater to the extra crowds with some sort of well setup takeaway options as well.

One night while you are in town for the MotoGP, you will need to visit Pino’s Trattoria. I won’t give it all away, but once you get inside you’ll understand. The food is pretty good too.

Spending Time in Phillip Island Before or After?

Phillip Island is a tourist destination in its own right. So there are plenty of things to do there so don’t feel you need to join the crowds rushing back home as soon at the race finishes.

In fact you’ll save yourself a lot of stress if you stay a couple of extra days and see what else the island has to offer before heading home. And its well worth it.

As a motorsport fan, I’d obviously definitely recommend getting over to the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit Visitors Center, be that during the race weekend or after the event has finished. They’ve for a scale version of the circuit that you can race Go Kart’s on. It’s a tonne of fun and you get to boast about the fact that you had the chance to race at Phillip Island as well.

With that said, there is plenty more to discover around Phillip Island than just the race track. I’ve put together a whole blog post detailing all that Phillip Island has to offer that you can read here.

Phillip Island MotoGP Tips

Phillip Island is a fantastic venue for spectators; there are many great vantage points all around the track.

Make sure that over the course of the racing that you make your way around the whole track and sample all different spectator points. A couple of my personal favourites are the top of Lukey Heights and Doohan Corner (Turn One).

In my opinion, the best way to do that is to walk around, and its a great venue to do just that. However the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit does put on a bus service to help circulate spectators around the track. It’s certainly a faster way to get back to you favourite spots once you’ve worked out where they are.

Something else you need to consider before heading Phillip Island is the weather. Backing onto the Bass Strait weather on Phillip Island is highly unpredictable. It can be stunning and hot one day and cold and raining sideways the next. Sometimes it can even flip between those extremes in a single day. So just make sure that you account for that when heading to the island and bring both the sunscreen and a rain jacket.

Pyramid Rock Lookout

If you’d like to get more information to help plan your trip to and around Australia… Check out the rest of my blog posts.

Also, make sure you check out the travel tools that I use the most to help you save some money when booking your next trip.

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By Rhys Vandersyde

Traveller, Photographer, Content Creator - I've spent the last 20 years actively seeking out new destinations and new adventures. Find out more about me here: vandersyde.com.au

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