Find out what it’s really like to take a tour to Phillip Island near Melbourne – home to the famous Little Penguin colony!

Our Go West intern Jess recently took a tour to Phillip Island and is ready to share all the details! From hand feeding kangaroos and wallabies to watching thousands of Little Penguins waddle by. This is a tour Jess recommends for “all animal lovers”!

We asked her all about her experience on the Phillip Island Penguin Parade Day Tour from Melbourne with tour guide Ben – and here’s what she had to say.

What was the highlight of the Phillip Island Tour and why?

The highlight of the Philip Island Tour was seeing the penguins at the Penguin Parade. It was amazing to be able to see these tiny little creatures in their natural habitat. Watching all of the penguins waddle to their burrows is something that I will never forget. It was also the perfect season to visit the Penguin Parade, since it is hatching season for the penguins. If you are lucky you are able to see some baby penguins waiting for their parents.

Which animals were you able to see on the tour?

During this tour I was able to see a lot of wildlife varying from wombats, kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, dingoes, wallabies and of course penguins. Moonlit Sanctuary also offers a wildlife conservation show which introduces you to some Australian wildlife, such as barking-owls, Tawny Frogmouths and quolls. There are also a lot of wild wallabies and geese when getting closer to the Penguin Parade location. 

What was the Penguin Parade like?

The Penguin Parade was located all the way at the end of Phillip Island, which gave an amazing view over the coastline. It was fantastic to see all of the tiny penguins come to shore and find their burrows. To my surprise there were much more penguins than I expected. You are also able to follow groups of penguins to their burrows after most of the penguins have come to shore. If you are lucky you are able to see the penguins enter their burrows and find their young ones. 

What did you enjoy most at Moonlit Sanctuary?

The highlight of Moonlit Sanctuary was feeding kangaroos and wallabies. At the Sanctuary you get the chance to buy some food and walk through a wallaby and kangaroo enclosure, where you can then come up close and feed the Australian wildlife. This was my favourite part of the sanctuary, since I was never able to get up close with these adorable creatures in my country before. 

Can you tell us a bit about the Brighton Bathing Boxes?

The Brighton Bathing Boxes were originally used for people to put their bathing suits on. However, nowadays they are just used for storage. The Bathing Boxes are all bright coloured and unique to one another. Some have patterns on it and the beach also gives a nice view of the city, which makes it an amazing place to take some nice pictures. 

Who would you recommend this tour to and why?

I would recommend this tour to all animal lovers who want to get up close with some wildlife. It is an amazing experience that you will never forget. This tour would be suitable for all ages, since it does not include a lot of hiking. During the winter it is best to put on some layers and warm clothing, since it can be cold due to the Antarctic winds.

Can you tell us a bit about your guide?

My guide during this tour was Ben, who had an amazing sense of humour throughout the entire trip. He was able to engage with every guest and tell relevant information in the meantime. His sense of humour kept everyone amused during the tour. Additionally, he also put on a great playlist during the bus ride. 

How does this compare to other tours you have taken?

The Philip Island Tour has more wildlife and more opportunity to interact with animals than any other tours. This is the perfect tour to have if you like to explore a bit of Australian wildlife. Additionally, the tour offers some great views as well. The tour varies from feeding wallabies, seeing a penguin colony to the amazing landscapes at the Nobbies and Phillip Island. 

Who were some of the people you met on tour?

During this tour I met people from all around the world including guests from Australia, England, New Zealand and more. Everyone on this tour was amazed by the penguin colony at the end of the day. The whole group had a really good chemistry and everyone kept on joking around. I was also able to talk to some employees of the penguin parade and they gave me some interesting information about the penguins on Phillip Island.

Can you tell us a bit about each of the destinations on the Phillip Island tour?

Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach is an amazing place to take pictures in front of the colourful bathing boxes. You are also able to stroll down the beach walking past the 80 beach boxes. While walking you are able to enjoy the beautiful view of the city in the distance. During the drive to the beach you are also able to spot some beautiful houses, since Brighton Beach is located in one of the richer suburbs of Melbourne.

Moonlit Sanctuary 

At the second stop of the day: Moonlit Sanctuary you are able to discover and get close up to some wildlife. The sanctuary has a lot of unique animal species. They also offer daily shows, tours and animal encounters, such as petting koala’s, walking with dingoes and much more. You are also able to have a nice lunch or snack at their restaurant. As I mentioned before my favourite part of the sanctuary was feeding the kangaroos and wallabies. This is something that you should definitely do. 

The Nobbies Boardwalk 

At the Nobbies you are able to walk down a boardwalk with an incredible view. Enjoy the walk looking over the ocean and the Nobbies rock formations.  If you are lucky enough, you are able to see Australia’s largest fur seal colony sitting on the seal rocks in the distance.

Phillip Island Penguin Parade

The Phillip Island Penguin Parade was most definitely the highlight of my day. I was able to sit in the Penguin Plus section during the parade, which was most definitely worth it. The Penguin Plus viewing area has a lot of space and you are able to see the penguins up close from every single spot. There were so many penguins and they all first took a dive in the small pond before continuing with their walk next to the boardwalk. The penguins were really tiny and had a blue colouring. Being able to walk next to the penguins on the boardwalk was a fantastic experience that I will never forget. Unfortunately, no one is allowed to take pictures of the penguins after sunset due to the flash of cameras. 

Want to take a tour?

If you’ve read this and want to join in a Phillip Island Day Tour – you can book via our website. Here’s our full itinerary, so you know what to expect:

  • A visit to the famous Brighton Beach boxes
  • 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
  • Visit Point Grant to view the Nobbies and Seal Rock
  • Stroll the coastal boardwalks to enjoy amazing panoramic views
  • See the penguins waddle up the Phillip Island Penguin Parade at sunset

We hope to see you on tour soon!


On Tour with Jess is written by: Jessica Senden – Marketing Intern