The Nobbies Centre offers a front row seat to nature’s powerful drama. Marooned out on the western end of Victoria’s Phillip Island, the Nobbies is a spot where the jagged rocks are met by the fury of the sea. The area is best known for the 16,000 fur seals that make their home on the rocks, and the spring season from October-January is when males fight to claim their territory and mothers feed their young. Above the rocks and crashing surf, hundreds of sea birds float and glide on gusty currents in the sky—almost to the point that their avian cloud can partially block out the sun.
A series of boardwalks and lookout points leads from the center to the coast, although the seals are rarely close enough to be seen with the naked eye. Instead, it’s the power of the wind, waves, and sea spray that offers immediate drama. When a storm rolls in off the Southern Ocean and encounters the slippery rocks, the walls of whitewater furiously exploding are reason enough to visit. If the wind is whipping up a chill, escape to the confines of the educational center and warm up with a coffee or tea, and keep your eyes peeled for Little Penguins that burrow under the boardwalk. While the Centre itself is a quick visit, it’s the sweeping views from the coastal boardwalk that make this a visitor favorite.
The Nobbies Center opens at 11am and closes an hour before sunset—perfect timing for making your way to the sunset penguin parade. Pack a jacket for the chilly winds, and a bring binoculars or a zoom lens for the best view of the seals.