Bass Coast info
Congratulations! Finishing secondary school is a huge achievement and you deserve a break before you start work or study. If you're visiting Phillip Island or surrounds, then you've made a great choice. This area is home to some of Victoria's best beaches, beautiful natural and man-made attractions and great surf.
We want you to have a great time while you're here, but make sure you respect the local environment and remember that people live here permanently. Even though you're on holidays, many of us aren't, so be aware of noise restrictions.
Bass Coast welcomes visitors who appreciate all the area has to offer and who are considerate to residents, visitors and the environment. There's lots of useful information on this site and at www.basscoast.vic.gov.au (new window). Enjoy it, don't spoil it.
While in Bass Coast, whether it's Phillip Island, San Remo or Inverloch, remember this isn't Melbourne and there aren't all the services the city has to offer. It's a pretty laid back place. We're proud of its beauty and love the lifestyle it offers, and it's important you respect that.
Here are a few tips on how to enjoy your stay here.
You can register online (new window) or at the Newhaven or Cowes Information Centres. You must have a student ID card to register. Registration entitles you to discounts at local businesses and helps make your stay safer and more enjoyable.
Your registration includes:
- Official wrist band
- Access to "Get Home" buses
- Support from youth workers
- Discounts from local businesses
- Free water
Volunteers and youth workers will be on hand during this time to provide information and support. Some transport will be available to take registered participants home.
The Red Frogs crew are back to help out again this year. They do a great job and are appreciated by everyone. Check out the great stuff they do at www.redfrogs.com.au (new window).
Remember you don’t have to write yourself off to have fun.
The Visitor Information Centres have plenty of info about the area, where to stay and what to do. Log onto www.visitbasscoast.com.au (new window) and find out what is available. If you need a Phillip Island Map, see below.
Making a mess or breaking stuff only means some one else has to fix it so enjoy it, don’t spoil it.
What you can't do
- Drinking or carrying alcohol in open containers is illegal in public spaces - this includes at the beach, in the streets, in car parks and even outside the place you are staying
- Camping/sleeping in cars in streets, car parks, public spaces is illegal
- Lighting of camp fires is prohibited
- Skateboarding is illegal unless in designated areas
- Loud noise restrictions apply so loud music, revving cars and unreasonable noise is an offence
These laws will be enforced by community safety rangers, police and private security.
Bass Coast has many residents living here permanently. Though you are holidaying, these people are living a normal life like you do when you're home, so please be respectful, friendly and considerate to the locals and keep noise to a minimum.
At this time of the year places like Phillip Island can still be very quiet: enjoy it, don't spoil it. Here are some important things to know:
- Register online (new window) or at the Newhaven or Cowes Information Centres (you must have a student ID card) and collect your wrist band to be eligible for the discounts and freebies available
- Red Frogs and Youth workers will be patrolling near the main foreshore not far from the hotels, so if you are having any problems, feel unsafe, or even just have a question to ask, feel free to approach them
- Many shops close early, so plan ahead with meals
- Most things generally cost a bit more than in Melbourne
- Bring your Medicare card or number with you and carry ID
- Pack warm clothes, as it can be very cold and sometimes wet, even in December
- All licensed venues are strict on ID
- Bring a torch, it can be very dark at night due to limited street lights
- Mobile phone coverage can be very patchy
- Avoid drinking out of glass containers in all instances
- Avoid noisy parties as they will attract police
- If you respect your neighbours they will respect you
- Stick with your friends and look out for each other
- Call for 000 (or 112 if your mobile phone is out of range) if you feel unsafe or things get out of hand
- Avoid drink spiking by not leaving your drinks unattended
- Take care of your belongings to avoid theft
- Be certain your driver is sober, capable and trustworthy
- Be on guard to strangers or dodgy sorts, and beware of "toolies"
- Have a phone card and emergency cash with you at all times
- Drink plenty of water
It is most unlikely that beaches in Bass Coast will be patrolled during this period.
Unknown beaches can be unpredictable, so:
- 'Play it safe, take your mates' - never swim or surf alone
- Never swim when you have been drinking or taking other drugs
- Don't swim at night
- Check it is OK to swim before you get in
- If you don't know the depth of the water, don't dive in
- Look before you leap
For more tips and info head to www.watersafety.vic.gov.au (new window).
- Plan your trip - accommodation, money, transport, food, activities, warm clothes, wet weather gear and people you will be with
- Let someone at home know where you are going and when you'll be back
- Pack some fun stuff - guitar, cards, footy, frisbee
- When you plan your night out, think about how you will be getting home
Roads and transport
Public transport to Bass Coast and Phillip Island is very limited. It's also very limited once you are here.
A ferry service runs between Stony Point and Cowes. For details contact Inter Island Ferries (new window) - (03) 9585 5730.
Taxi services are also fairly limited, with taxis running in Phillip Island, San Remo, Wonthaggi and Inverloch. Expect long waits for taxis. These towns have ranks in their CBDs and can be contacted on:
- Cowes & San Remo - (03) 5952 2200
- Wonthaggi - (03) 5672 2333
- Inverloch - (03) 5672 2333
Registered school leavers will be entitled to the shuttle bus service provided by Red Frogs and other volunteer groups.
Hoon driving has become a problem in recent times and police will crack down on offenders. You can dob in a hoon by calling the Hoon Hotline or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Medical and health services
If you need help, ask. Always call 000 (or 112 if out of range) in a medical emergency.
The only hospital in Bass Coast is at Wonthaggi - (03) 5671 3333. There is no hospital on Phillip Island.
Medical clinics around Bass Coast are as follows:
- Phillip Island Medical Group - Cowes - (03) 5951 1800
- Cowes Bulk Billing Surgery - (03) 5952 5877
- San Remo Medical Clinic - (03) 5678 5402, after hours 132 660
- Wonthaggi Medical Group - (03) 5672 1333, after hours (03) 5671 3333
- South Gippsland Family Medicine, Wonthaggi (bulk bill) - (03) 5672 4111
- Inverloch Clinic - (03) 5674 1207
Cowes, San Remo, Wonthaggi and Inverloch all have banks in their CBD areas. Most banks have external ATMs, and EFTPOS facilities are widespread.
Visit our Contacts page to find your bank's nearest ATM.
Police, Ambulance and Fire
000 (112 if mobile out of range)
Poison Info line
13 11 26
24-hour drug and alcohol line
1800 888 236
13 11 14
Centre Against Sexual Assault
1800 806 292
1300 224 636
1300 557 123
V/Line (public transport info)
13 61 96
Bass Coast Shire Council
If you have any further questions please contact the Bass Coast Shire Council on 1300 226 278.