San Remo is the gateway to Phillip Island on the eastern entrance of Western Port.
It is a significant ocean and bay fishing port and a popular feeding spot for flocks
of friendly pelicans.
San Remo was settled in 1840 when the deep water port at Griffiths
Point was used to export local products such as wattlebark, farm produce and cattle.
The township that grew up along the port became a popular tourist spot and in 1888
was renamed San Remo after the town on the Italian Riviera. Visitors these days can
enjoy ocean fishing and boat charters that leave from the jetty. The San Remo
Fisherman’s Cooperative is the leading supplier of fresh fish for the region.
San Remo offers a diverse of eating options, from Thai and Chinese to Pub fare
and the local cafes. Tennis, squash and bowling greens are available and there is
a safe sheltered beach and an excellent surf beach in town. Pelicans congregate
around the barbecues and playgrounds on the foreshore daily at 12.30am for the
Take in San Remo’s scenery and historic landmarks on foot. The George Bass Coastal
Walk begins at the southern end of Punchbowl Road and is a scenic six kilometre walk
(one way) to Kilcunda (also a great spot for lunch!). Wander along the foreshore
ramble to Bore Beach where the historic coal bore can be seen and on to Shelly Beach,
Griffiths Point and Quarry Rocks, where stone was quarried around 1870 to build
business chambers in Melbourne.
San Remo is located 125 kilometres south-east of Melbourne. It is approximately a
90 minutes' drive from the centre of Melbourne, 70 minutes from Ringwood utilizing the
new East Link road, and 50 minutes from Berwick. Travel along the South Gippsland
Highway from Melbourne, taking the Bass Highway before turning off to San Remo.
Set on the mainland side of the linking bridge, San Remo is the first village to
greet road visitors to one of Melbournians’ favourite getaways, Phillip Island.
Perched at the entrance to Western Port, the 10,300ha island is a year-round
destination for tourists and day-trippers drawn to the safe beaches and fishing spots
off the resort towns of San Remo, Cowes and Rhyll.
The island’s chief attraction, however, is the wild birdlife, headed by the fairy
penguins which present a nightly, public parade as they waddle up Summerland Beach to
their rookery and chicks after spending the day at sea, fishing.
If your wildlife preferences lie with the landlubbers, you’ll find emus, kangaroos
and wallabies lining up for a handout at the 32ha Phillip Island Wildlife Park where the
bushland also harbours wombats, eagles and pelicans. San Remo, which attracts its share
of fishermen, is a comfortable base from which you can explore the island.