The driver/tour guide, Jonathan, was very friendly and informative throughout the day giving us lots of local information and plenty of time to take in all the stops. The penguin parade at the end of the day was well worth the trip in itself.
Ride on the Puffing Billy Steam Train
Kangaroos, Koalas, & Wallabies
See Penguins at Sunset
Three Iconic Melbourne Experiences in One Day
The very best of day trips from Melbourne. Ride on a century-old train through the forest, meet and feed some of Australia’s iconic, native wildlife, and visit Phillip Island for spectacular views of landscapes, as well as the locals (the seal population). End a memorable day by watching penguins waddle to shore on the Penguin Parade.
- Adult (16+): AUD $195
- Child (0-15): AUD $175
(Enquire for group discounts for groups of 5 people or more)
- Penguins Plus Viewing Upgrade – Add $30 (subject to availability during December-January) – all guests must be aged 12 years or older
- Guided Ranger Tour (formerly Private Penguin Parade Experience) Upgrade – Add $60 (subject to availability during December-January) – all guests must be aged 12 years or older
- April – October: 9:00 – 10:00 AM
- November – March: 10:00 – 11:00 AM
Inner-city pickup service from most accommodation providers and specified pickup points.
- May – October: Tuesdays & Thursdays
- November – April: Tuesdays, Thursdays, & Saturdays
12 hours (Return around 9:00 PM to midnight depending on the season)
Maximum of 24 guests
- Scenic journey on Puffing Billy Steam Train
- All transfers in air-conditioned comfort
- Experienced and informative guide
- Access to our free translation app
- Free onboard Wi-Fi
- General entry to both Moonlit Sanctuary and the Penguin Parade
Meals other than stated
What to bring
- Snacks and a refillable water bottle
- Warm weather: sunscreen, a hat, and warm clothes for when the sun goes down
- Winter: warm clothes and layers as coastal winds can make conditions quite cold
Good to Know
- Please note you must arrive at your pickup location at least 10 minutes prior to your allocated pickup time.
- No prams or strollers permitted.
- We are able to provide an infant seat (0-3 years) or a child booster seat (4-8 years) free of charge. Please note we have only a limited number available each day and they must be pre-booked. Contact us with your request and provide the age of your child along with your confirmation number and booking details.
- Download the Go West Tours app from the App Store or Google Play prior to your departure for access to our tour language commentary. Available in Arabic, Malay, Cantonese, French, German, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese, and Hindi.
A memorable journey on the century-old steam train, Puffing Billy through Sherbrooke Forest, situated in the heart of the Dandenong Ranges
Guided tour of the wildlife exhibits at Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park
Explore Phillip Island’s scenic coastline at The Nobbies Boardwalk
Gaze out to sea and be met with spectacular views at Point Grant
Watch the little penguins waddle up the shore to their nests at the magical Penguin Parade
Spot other local wildlife like Australian fur seals on the beautiful coastline of Phillip Island
What You’ll Do
Depart Melbourne and travel eastwards to the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges where you’ll step back in time with a memorable journey on the historic Puffing Billy Steam Train. Maintained in mint condition by dedicated volunteers, the century-old steam train still runs on its own mountain track between Belgrave and Gembrook, through the heart of Sherbrooke Forest.
Alighting from the train, we’ll travel onwards to the multi-award-winning Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park. Here, we enjoy a guided wildlife walk where we have the opportunity to meet and hand-feed many species of native Australian animals. Learn about iconic species such as kangaroos, koalas, emus, and wallabies, as well as some of our lesser-known favourites including quolls, owls, bandicoots, and Tasmanian devils.
Arriving on Phillip Island, we’ll visit Point Grant from where you can take in spectacular panoramic views of The Nobbies and Seal Rocks while strolling the coastal boardwalks.
And then it’s onwards to the main event, where just after dark every night the world’s smallest penguins waddle ashore after spending the day fishing out at sea. You’ll be truly enchanted as the stars of the show emerge from the surf and pass right before your eyes on their journey back to their homes. Your guide will ensure you are able to get the very best vantage point to enjoy the Penguin Parade.
FAQs for the Puffing Billy and Phillip Island Tour
Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park is home to many common and rare Australian animals including kangaroos, wombats, emus, and Tasmanian Devils (and more). The kangaroos and wallabies can be fed with food purchased from Moonlit Sanctuary’s counter. Please do not feed any animals inside enclosed areas!
Koala handling is not included on this tour. You will, however, still see these furry little guys in their habitats at Moonlit Sanctuary. From here, you will also be able to take photos of them munching away on eucalyptus or sleeping throughout the day!
Photos are permitted at all locations except the Phillip Island Penguin Parade. Penguins’ eyes are very sensitive, and any bright or sudden flashes can frighten them. Please do not use cameras of any kind including phones and camcorders at any time during your visit to the Penguin Parade.
Over the many years that we have operated to this destination, only a very small proportion of our guests have expressed interest in swimming during the tour. However, if you’re keen to have a dip, this is possible at Brighton Beach, as well as at the town of Cowes (when we visit here in the summer months).
Please note that we do not make any special “swimming stops” so if you’re keen to have a swim you’ll need to do this in the available time, rather than expecting time to be allocated for this purpose. We also note that changing facilities are not available, so you will want to keep this in mind if planning to enter the water at all.
We do not include meals on this tour, but there are opportunities to purchase meals at appropriate times throughout the day. Guests are also welcome to bring food with them if they prefer.
As the time that the penguins arrive on the beach changes significantly during the course of the year, our return time to Melbourne also varies significantly.
On an indicative basis, this tour returns to Melbourne at approximately the following times:
- Nov – Feb: midnight
- March: 11:00 PM
- April: 10:00 PM
- May – Aug: 9:00 PM
- September: 9:30 PM
- October: 10:30 PM
Have more questions?
Reviews From Our Previous Guests
Then traveled to the Nobbies and their spectacular views and finally the highlight of the tour, the penguin parade. It was better than advertised, we were lucky with the weather and 876 penguins came ashore. We accompanied some of them as they made their way to their burrows.
The day sped by and was quite a lot of fun!
Of course the highlight is the penguin parade which is totally worth it. Our driver cum guide, Emma was professional and efficient. Thumbs up and thank you!
Let me start off by saying I LOVE penguins and was very excited for this tour from the moment we booked. Even with that, this tour exceeded all my expectations. Our tour guide Gary was great and kept us on the perfect schedule to beat all of the crowds to the main attraction the Penguin parade.