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Churchill Island – Phillip Island Heritage Farm

Accessible from a small one-way bridge on the northeast side of Phillip Island is nestled on the fertile and windswept island that is known as Churchill Island.   

In 1801, lieutenant James Grant disembarked from the Lady Nelson with seeds provided by farmer John Churchill after whom the island was named. The seeds were given with the intention for them to be planted for the “future benefit of our fellow-men, be they Countrymen, Europeans or Savages”. The site became the first garden in Victoria with the initial wheat seeds and corn-producing a rewarding harvest of healthy plants.  


Churchill Island – Phillip Island Heritage Farm
Image: shaggy Highland cattle, Kiddiehood

The area was frequented by the Boonwurrung/Bunurong aboriginal people for years before Europeans visited. The western port bay is a sheltered waterway that is now a protected breeding ground for fish and birds. Canoes and campfire remains were found on the island but there was no recorded sighting of the people themselves.  

Now you will find the Churchill Island Heritage Farm, visitor centre, walks and café. When driving up to the Heritage Farm you are welcomed by the most gorgeous shaggy Highland cattle. The visitor centre is filled with interesting historical information detailing some of the hardships faced by early settlers in the region and the transition of the land from family to family. It is well worth spending some time here to read these fascinating stories. 

Churchill Island – Phillip Island Heritage Farm
Image: Homestead, Kiddiehood

The heritage farm has a collection of buildings that have been lovingly maintained and filled with functional antiques of the times. The lavender garden was brimming with bees, the shell path crunching underfoot and gnarled Moonah trees (which are included on the National Trust Historic Register) all gently interplay to connect you to times gone by.    


Churchill Island – Phillip Island Heritage Farm
Image: Nelly the Clydesdale, Kiddiehood

The farm animals include pigs, sheep, goats, chickens and the most beautifully natured Clydesdale called Nelly who was remarkably patient with the excited kids who were eagerly pulling up handfuls of grass to feed her.   

Churchill Island – Phillip Island Heritage Farm
Image: Blacksmith demonstration, Kiddiehood

There are activities scheduled throughout the day, when I was there the blacksmith demonstration was on at 10.30am and then there was a gap until 2pm when the cow milking, sheep shearing, working dogs and whip-cracking events were scheduled between 2pm and 3pm. 


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Churchill Island – Phillip Island Heritage Farm
Image: Churchill Island, Kiddiehood

Opening hours for the heritage farm is from 10 am – 4.30 pm, if you arrive earlier there are walks along the coast that allow you to take in the coastline and the scenery for a couple of kilometres over an undulating path that is periodically studded with seats to enjoy the view.

The café has beautiful views overlooking the front paddock and western port but if you prefer you could bring a packed lunch and enjoy it as a picnic out on the lawn area which has a couple of tables.  

Churchill Island is a beautiful location and well worth a visit when you are in the area.  

Churchill Island
Open: 10 am – 4.30 pm daily (last entry to farm is 4 pm)
Location: Samuel Amess Drive, Churchill Island, Victoria
Price: $6.75 – $33.75
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