Phillip Island Attractions
Churchill Island - Worth The Time
"I scarcely know a place I would sooner call mine than this little island", wrote Lt James Grant reporting on his visit to the 57 hectare tongue of land separated from Phillip Island by a narrow strait shallow enough to wade across the low tide.
The year was 1801 and he named the island Churchill Island after an English gentleman who supplied Grant's Australia bound survey ship, the Lady Nelson with a variety of seeds and vegetables for "the future benefit of our fellow men, be they countrymen, Europeans or Savages".
Grant was by no means the last to fall in love with the island. As the years rolled on, its pleasing mixture of historic associations, rural aspects, rambling gardens and views over Western Port have endeared it to a succession of owners.
The island has been open to the public since 1976 and is now under the management of the Phillip Island Nature Park, open daily from 10am a small charge is made for admission.
There are two sides to Churchill Island. The most obvious features are the historic buildings and gardens, but just as important are the remnants of its natural vegetation and the birdlife which takes advantage of the island refuge.
The islands first official owner, John Rogers, built a cottage in the mid 1860's which still stands, as does the island residence of the former mayor of Melbourne and well known building contractor Samuel Amess.
It's well worth spending an hour or so looking over the buildings and displays. Visitors with an interest in gardens will enjoy wandering around the homestead, and if you want to get a real feel of what might have been take a walk around the island. Information at Phillip Island Information Centre or Churchill Island.