Cowes is first and foremost a holiday and party town. Cowes is not encounted, but is destination resort. Cowes is a fun and nice place to visit, and to stay a few days is recommended. Like all resort towns if the weather is off, so too is this destination.
Cowes is located on the northern side of Phillip Island and faces towards French Island. The area was originally known as Mussel Rocks. In 1865, a government surveyor Henry Cox returned from a holiday retreat in England and named the town he surveyed after the seaport town of Cowes on the Isle of Wight. The Post Office opened on 1 August 1869.
In recent years Cowes has seen a rapid expansion in its size. Many estates and apartments have been built in and around the town on what was previously rural farmland. An estimated 70% of houses are owned by absentee owners, most of who live in and around Melbourne.
The main road of the island (Phillip Island Road) leads into Cowes and becomes the main road of Cowes, Thompson Avenue. A distinctive feature of the road is the 1 km lining of Golden Cypress trees which were planted in the early 20th century.