Penguin Parade

Wildlife Reserve in Phillip Island

One of Victoria's major tourist draws, this parade of little penguins (Eudyptula minor) showcases the world’s smallest, and probably cutest, penguins. The main complex, which was under renovation when we visited, includes amphitheatres that hold up to 3800 spectators who come to see the little fellas just after sunset as they waddle from the sea to their land-based nests. An underground viewing section, premium seats and VIP platforms are available for those wanting prime views; book well in advance.

Penguin numbers swell after breeding in summer, with as many as 32,000 arriving on a given night, but they’re in residence year-round. After the parade, hang around the boardwalks for a closer view as the stragglers search for their burrows and mates. Bring warm clothing, and take note there's strictly no photography or videoing. Be sure to arrive an hour beforehand – check the website for their ETA.

There are a variety of specialised tours where you can be accompanied by rangers to explain the behaviour of penguins; check the website for details. If you plan to see other attractions on the island, consider purchasing a Parks Pass.

At the time of research, the popular tours led by Indigenous rangers had been postponed; staff were hopeful that these would resume in 2019.


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