Concierge.com's insider take:
About a third of a mile offshore from Melbourne, the 40-square-mile Phillip Island is best known for its resident colony of adorable fairy penguins (about 90 minutes by car or bus, with an additional half hour needed to reach the penguins). Every evening, hordes of camera-toting tourists converge to watch thousands of the fat feathered creatures waddle from sea to burrow; the parade can be witnessed from viewing platforms or from a secluded sand strip with infrared goggles and a naturalist guide. Contact Phillip Island Nature Park for more information (Cowes; 61-3-5951-2800; www.penguins.org.au). Phillip Island also has large colonies of koalas, Australian fur seals, and shearwaters; spectacular coastal walks; and excellent fishing and surfing. Stay overnight at the Glen Isla House, a luxurious country home with an exceptional private dining room and wine cellar (230-232 Church St., Cowes; 61-3-5952-1882; www.glenisla.com); or hole up in an ultra-modern suite at The Hill of Content, which caters to couples (33 Rhyll-Newhaven Rd., Rhyll; 61-3-5965-0100; www.thehillofcontent.com.au).