Penguin Parade Review
A nightly parade of miniature Little Penguins, often called as Fairy Penguins, waddling from the sea to their burrows in nearby dunes is this island's main draw, attracting onlookers year-round and crowds on summer weekends and holidays. But Phillip Island, a pleasant 1½-hour drive from Melbourne, has many other attractions. At low tide you can walk across a basalt causeway to the Nobbies (rugged coastal rocks); a boardwalk here takes you around the windswept coastline to a blowhole. Thousands of shearwaters (also known as mutton birds) nest here from September to April, when they return north to the Bering Strait in the Arctic. Farther out, Seal Rocks host Australia's largest colony of fur seals; up to 20,000 creatures bask on the rocky platforms and cavort in the water here in midsummer. Boat tours cruise past these playful creatures in all but the coldest months.
There are several ways to view the Penguin Parade: general admission, with viewing from concrete bleachers; the Penguin Plus experience, which puts you on a smaller viewing platform that is closer to the action; and the Sky Box, an elevated tower where five adults join the ranger who is narrating the action. The Ultimate Penguin Tour, for private groups, includes headphones and night-vision equipment and a spot on the beach. The spectacle begins at around 8 pm each night; booking ahead is essential in summer and during public holidays. Bring warm clothing—even in summer—and rain protection gear. Make sure to arrive an hour before the tour begins. A good deal for visitors staying for a day is the 3 Park Pass, giving admission to the Penguin Parade, the Koala Conservation Centre, and Churchill Island.
- Address: Summerland Beach, Phillip Island, Phillip Island, VIC, 3922
- Phone: 03/5951-2800
- Cost: General admission A$21.65; Penguin Plus viewing platform A$41.20; Sky Box A$62; Ultimate Penguin Tour A$76.30; Three Park Pass from A$36.85
- Hours: Daily
- Location: Phillip Island
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- $1331* & up -- Fly to Australia from the West Coast, R/T Air New Zealand
- $3099 & up -- Australia & New Zealand 4-City, 12-Night Trip Qantas Vacations
- $1029 & up -- 12-Nt. Australia & New Zealand on Celebrity American Express Travel
- Amazing Australia IExplore
- $2099 & up -- 8-Night New Zealand & Australia Escape w/Tours — $2,099 Qantas Vacations