Visit the world-famous attraction – the Phillip Island Penguin Parade – just a short drive from Melbourne.
“Can you spot the Little Penguins emerging from the water?” The Penguin Parade is one of Phillip Island’s iconic events. Watch as hundreds of wild penguins waddle up the beach to their homes on the shore – it’s a truly marvellous spectacle to behold! Our Phillip Island tours from Melbourne will be sure to get you acquainted with the cutest little penguins in Australia on our Penguin Parade tour.
Our Phillip Island day tour is a great way to explore one of Australia’s most popular holiday destinations. You’ll get the opportunity to visit the iconic Brighton Beach Boxes and meet Australian wildlife at a multi-award-winning conservation park before reaching the highlight of the tour – the nightly Penguin Parade. Your tour on Penguin Island is an experience you’ll never forget.
There are multiple ways of viewing the Phillip Island Penguin Parade!
The main penguin viewing area at Summerland Beach has tiered seating and provides a 180 degree elevated viewing of the Little Penguins on parade. Watching them arrive and waddle across the beach to their sand dune burrows at sunset is a magical experience for all. This is included in the cost of your tour with us.
The Penguins Plus viewing platform is inspired by the natural elements of the surrounding landscape and offers visitors up-close viewing of the little penguins, complete with ranger commentary on the fascinating lives of the penguins. Limited to a maximum of 300 people, the platform overlooks the most popular pathway at the Penguin Parade, providing some great penguin viewing. (Add $25pp)
Guided Ranger Upgrade
Join a group of no more than ten at the Penguin Parade for a fully ranger-guided experience. Includes priority seating in a secluded section of the beach, away from other seating locations, as well as access to the Penguins Plus boardwalk. (Add $55pp)
Participate in Penguin Conservation
As a not-for-profit organisation, funds raised through Phillip Island Nature Park’s ecotourism activities are invested into vital research, conservation and education programs. Their conservation team is committed to protecting wildlife, reducing the effects of climate change and protecting and enhancing threatened plant and animal species.
What you can do at the Phillip Island Penguin Parade
Get up close for the beach arrivals
The Penguin Parade is your chance to witness hundreds of the island’s Little Penguins returning from the ocean at the end of the day. These amazing birds live on the land, but hunt for their food at sea. After sunset they waddle across the beach to the sand dunes.
When they are hungry, they leave their burrows in the early morning. After one or multiple days at sea, with full bellies, they return to land. To avoid predators, they will wait for the sun to set before leaving the ocean and waddling across the sand.
The best spot to view the beach arrivals is close to the sand. This is true whether you have booked General Viewing, Penguins Plus or Underground Viewing. However – if you do not get the closest seats, generally you only have to wait for about 20 minutes after the first penguins arrive. It’s at this time that some people stand up to leave, but the penguins will continue coming – so you can move closer to take in the action.
View the action in the sand dunes
Once you have seen plenty of penguins crossing the sand, you can continue to watch them in the sand dunes. Little Penguins make burrows in the sand dunes to stay warm and safe from predators. As you walk along the boardwalks back from the beach, you will see the Little Penguins walking right beside you.
In addition, depending on the season, you may hear mating calls, the excited cries of penguin chicks calling out to their parents. You’ll spot plenty of penguins in the sand dunes and witness them waddling right past your feet.
Check out the Visitor Centre
To learn some penguin fun facts, it’s worth taking a look around the Penguin Parade Visitor Centre. The Visitor Centre is the first building you will enter when you arrive at the Phillip Island Penguin Parade. It has a large space dedicated to learning about the island’s most famous residents – the Little Penguins.
You can learn all about what they eat, how deep they can dive, or what other animals are stalking them in the ocean.. It’s a great introduction to learn about the lives of the Little Penguins. There is also a shop with plenty of penguin souvenirs. Plus, you can grab dinner or a snack from the restaurants and cafes.
Take a tour to the Phillip Island Penguin Parade
- Visit the colourful and famous Brighton Beach boxes
- Take a guided tour at the award-winning Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park
- Meet and feed a wide range of Australian animals including koalas, wombats, dingoes, and many more
- Stroll the Point Grant coastal boardwalks to enjoy amazing panoramic views of the Nobbies and Seal Rocks
- See the penguins waddle by in the Phillip Island Penguin Parade at sunset
The Parade is at Summerlands Beach. This is on the southern coast of Phillip Island, just under a 2 hour trip from Melbourne. The Penguin Parade provides facilities for visitors to watch this natural spectacle without disturbing the Little Penguins. For more information and book your place click here.
Written by: Leah Furey – Digital Content Coordinator @gowest.com.au