The Vibe Tribe and a few talented tag-alongs packed up the car one chilly Friday with all the essentials (chocolate, Cards Against Humanity, cheese and wine…) and left Melbourne, just in time to beat the traffic! The air was crisp, the sea stormy. Winter was well and truly upon us as we arrived in Phillip Island for a girl’s weekend away.

Now you might think of this little island destination as merely a summer holiday hideaway full of fab beaches, and the home of the fairy penguin (who are totally adorable). Today we’re here to tell you SO much more. Read on for our top tips to experiencing Phillip Island like never before.

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WHERE TO STAY

Ummmm where else but the cutest house on the island. This villa is available to rent via Stayz, sleeps 6, and has all the modern amenities you could need (read: heater). Despite the temperature being close to freezing by the time we arrived, the house was surprisingly warm and very cosy once the heater was pumping. Not only was there a flat screen TV stretching almost across a whole wall, there was also a stupidly elaborate gourmet BBQ (that took us girls the better part of 30 minutes to figure out how to work), an outdoor shower (perfect for a post-surf rinse off) and two decks looking out over various #instaworthy seaside village views.

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BRUNCH

We had two more friends drive up first thing in the morning and they were ready for eggs and avo! After some serious outfit planning (think: beanies, trenches and faux fur coats) we made our way 10 minutes down the road to Mad Cowes Café & Foodstore in Cowes for brunch. Order at the counter and it will come out in minutes. Coffee is as good as any Melbourne café, and the view is the picture-perfect Esplanade. A stroll down the road takes you to the Pier – a must go for all those Pier Party pics.

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BEACH

It may be winter, but a seaside destination calls for a visit to the beach. We wrapped ourselves up in all the clothes we brought along and drone in hand, walked from our villa to the nearby beach: Surf Beach.

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THE ULTIMATE GIRLS NIGHT IN

Back from the beach it became apparent that it was wine o’clock. The sparkling was popped and the tunes pumped. The scene was set for the ultimate girls night in. Nothing has ever resulted in more doubled-over laughter than a fair few bottles of wine and a two-hour game of Cards Against Humanity.

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BRUNCH 2.0

Morning 2.0 we spent a very lazy morning in bed with tea and toast.  So Brunch was a tad later, but worth it in every way. Arriving at The Cape Kitchen, it was clear that not even the cold temps could ruin the view, in fact there was something quite beautiful and romantic about it all. We feasted on picture perfect dishes of fritters and eggs, then strolled along the cliff face until our noses turned numb from the wind.

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BECAUSE #WINERY

A road trip to a winery is always a good idea, and lucky for us Purple Hen Wines provided the goods! For just $5 you can try a huge array of wines, from a cool climate savvy b right through to a winter-friendly merlot! Post tasting we took our time strolling throughout the vineyard and by strolling, I of course mean we had a full-blown photoshoot, complete with location changes and a ‘candid’ scene of us walking slow-mo up the rows of vines. Otherwise nobody would have ever known we were at a fancy winery for the weekend!

We left Phillip Island feeling full, toasty and a little bit festive, all promising each other we’d get out of the city and do this more often. All up, highly recommend Phillip Island for a super chilled, deliciously Instagram-worthy winter break from the hustle and bustle.