Outdoor pursuits include hiking, cycling and – most notably – surfing.


There are some enjoyable walking trails around the island, detailed in the Walks and Trails brochure available from the tourist information office. One of the most popular trails is to Cape Woolamai, the highest point on the island, with a 4km loop taking you to see the stunning Pinnacles lookout; it's good for whale sightings in winter.


Excellent surf beaches attract day-tripping board riders from Melbourne. The island’s south-side ocean beaches include spectacular Woolamai, which has rips and currents and is only suitable for experienced surfers. Beginners and families can go to Smiths Beach, where Island Surfboards offers surfing lessons and hires out gear. Around the Nobbies, Cat Bay and Flynns Reef will often be calm when the wind is blowing onshore at the Woolamai and Smiths areas. Boards and wetsuits can be hired at Island Surfboards in Cowes and Smiths Beach, and at Rip Curl in Newhaven.


In summer, the beaches at Cape Woolamai, Smiths Beach and Cowes are patrolled.