Phillip Island is named after the first Governor of New South Wales, Arthur Phillip; Phillip Island forms a natural breakwater for the shallow waters of Western Port Bay. It is 26 km (16 mi) long and 9 km (5.6 mi) wide, with an area of about 100 km2 (39 sq mi). It has 97 km (60 mi) of coastline.
A 640 m (2,100 ft) concrete bridge (originally a wooden bridge) connects the mainland town San Remo with the island. The island it served as the location for the 1977 Australian film ‘Summerfield’. In the early sixties the island also featured in the film ‘On the Beach’.
In addition to the major tourist attraction of Penguin Parade, there is a wildlife park where wallabies and kangaroos roam freely amongst the visitors and can be fed by hand. Because of its importance in supporting significant populations of Penguins and gulls Seal Rocks, at the western end of the island, hosts the largest colony of seal in Australia (up to 16,000).
Phillip Island is steeped in the history of Australian motor racing. A circuit composed of the island's interior roads was used for the original grand prix in 1928 and continued to be used for the race up until 1935. The circuit closed in the late 1970s but was redeveloped and re-opened in 1989 to host the first international version of the motor cycle Grand Prix.