A visit to Phillip Island in Spring is a chance to see wildlife in full swing – it’s breeding season for many of the island’s animals, including Little Penguins. 

The warmer days in Spring bring life back to Phillip Island. Sunny days are followed by cooler nights and the build up for summer is on. 

For wildlife lovers, spring is an exciting time because it is the breeding season. It’s also a time when many migratory birds reach Phillip Island to nest. 

If you are planning a visit to Melbourne in Spring, we highly recommend taking the Phillip Island tour to experience nature at its finest. The day trip from Melbourne takes you to Moonlit Sanctuary, Point Grant, Woolamai Beach and the world famous Penguin Parade. 

Note: Spring in Australia is during the months of September, October and November.

Why you should visit Phillip Island in Spring

Little Penguin breeding season 

In spring the Little Penguins breeding season is in full swing. A visit to the nightly Penguin Parade will reveal a lot of noise, and perhaps even a little action in the sand dunes! 

Phillip Island is home to the largest colony of Little Penguins. There are tens of thousands of the birds nesting on the island. Each night thousands of them can be seen at Summerland Beach returning from a day fishing in the ocean. After emerging from the ocean they make their way across the sand and waddle back through the sand dunes to their burrows. 

Australia’s Little Penguins are 40 – 45 cm tall and weigh up to 1.2 kg. They have a blue or grey upper body and flippers, with a white underbelly. Juveniles are generally brown in colour. They have a black bill, pale pink webbed feet and large toes. The adult colouring provides camouflage for them at sea. Their predators can see only white from below and only blue from above. 

They are found nesting along the southern edge of Australia’s mainland and Tasmania. The majority of colonies exist on islands such as Kangaroo Island and Phillip Island. 

Short-tailed shearwaters arrive on Phillip Island

In Spring, short-tailed shearwaters can be seen flying overhead in the evenings as they return to Phillip Island to renovate their sand dune burrows. Short-tailed shearwaters on Phillip Island are migratory birds that nest on the island over summertime. 

Phillip Island is a nesting ground for thousands of these birds. They are also known as mutton birds. They travel from Alaska to build nests and incubate their eggs on the island. During this time they build nests in burrows around Cape Woolamai and they fly out to sea during the day for fishing. They fill the skies as they return to their nests in the evening. 

Migrating whales in spring

Southern right whales pass by the coast on their migration back down south. At times they have even been spotted frolicking and searching for food in Western Port Bay. Southern Right whales are the most common, but Humpback whales and even Orcas have been spotted there as well.  

These whales make a journey north from Antarctica each year to breed and give birth to their young in warmer waters. They then return to the icy waters down south. There are a few breeding areas or ‘nurseries’ along Victoria’s coastline. But in particular the sea life around Phillip Island seem to attract the whales to that area. 

What to expect on a Go West Tour 

Experience the amazing Penguin Parade

The main attraction on Phillip Island are the resident Little Penguins. At the end of each day you can see the Little Penguins returning to the island with full bellies, after a long day fishing at sea. They waddle out of the waves and across the sand in groups. When they reach the sand dunes it’s time to split up and go their separate ways, home to their burrows for a good night’s rest. 

The Penguin Parade facilities provide seating and boardwalks so you too can walk through the sand dunes and view these penguins up close – without disturbing their daily ritual. It’s an amazing sight and a highlight of any trip to Phillip Island to see penguins up close. Our tour guides will ensure you get to experience the enchanted view from the very best point.

Visit the famous Brighton Beach Boxes on the beaches of Brighton

Melbourne’s Brighton Beach has the largest concentration of bathing boxes in the area. There are almost 90 boxes lined up along the one beach. You can visit Brighton Beach on our Phillip Island tour to marvel at the long row of colourful beach boxes. It is a great spot for photos and it has an interesting history.

 Get up close to the adorable koalas, wallabies and great eastern kangaroos at the Moonlit Sanctuary

Walk through the Sanctuary to see the wild Australian animals in their natural habitat at the remarkable Moonlit Sanctuary conservation parks. Stroll through the beautiful wildlife park or along the bush walking tracks where you will spot iconic Aussie animals, such as wombats, wallabies, kangaroos and echidnas!

Get in touch with nature by visiting Point Grand and the Nobbies

Home to some amazing marine wildlife and Australia’s largest colony of Fur Seals, the Nobbies offers truly stunning coastal viewing over Bass Strait. Take a moment to stroll along the boardwalk and spot the Seal Rocks in the distance where the largest colony of Fur Seals in Australia live. It truly is a remarkable experience for all nature-lovers!

Take a walk across the sand at Woolamai Beach

When time permits, we visit Woolamai Beach on our day tour from Melbourne. It’s a chance to view the big waves, see incredible view to the headland and along the southern side of the island – and take a walk across the sand.

 Cape Woolamai at Phillip Island is renowned for its stunning pink granite cliffs, surf beach, and incredible wildlife. It is also one of the top surf spots on Phillip Island. With big swells and beach breaks, it is for experienced surfers. 

Touring with Go West 

With 22 years in business, Go West Tours is still a family-owned and operated tour business and we are as committed to providing guests with an unforgettable experience as we were back in 2000. We are the most highly-awarded tour operator in Melbourne and we guarantee to provide you with an experience that is memorable for all the right reasons.


Written by: Leah Furey – Digital Content Coordinator @gowest.com.au