PhillipšŸ§Island

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Phillip Island, a short drive or bus ride from Melbourne, is famed for its nightly Penguin Parade. While undeniably a bucket list experience, planning is key to maximize your visit.


The Penguins

The Penguin Parade is a natural spectacle, not a zoo. Hundreds of Little Penguins return from the sea each sunset, waddling up the beach to their burrows. Viewing options range from general admission ($16.20 adult) to the more intimate Penguins Plus ($32.40 adult). While tempting, photography is strictly forbidden to protect the penguins' sensitive eyes.


Facilities

The visitor center offers basic amenities.

Toilets, a cafe, and a gift shop. While functional, don't expect gourmet dining or luxury shopping. Dress warmly, as the viewing areas are exposed to the elements.


Costs and Transport

Entry

Penguin Parade prices vary, with discounts for children and families.

Transport

If driving, parking is available. V/Line buses run from Melbourne, with fares depending on origin. The ferry from Stony Point on the mainland is scenic but infrequent, costing around 14AUD for adults and 7AUD for children (one way).

Public Transport Ferry and Times

The ferry to Phillip Island operates from Stony Point, with limited daily departures. Check the current timetable online before planning your trip. The crossing takes roughly 40 minutes, offering really nice views of Western Port Bay, and even has its own snacks onboard.


Practical Tips

Book ahead

The Penguin Parade, especially premium viewing, can sell out, particularly during peak season.

Arrive early

Allow ample time to park, walk to the viewing areas, and secure a good spot.

Respect the penguins

Keep noise to a minimum and follow staff instructions.

Prepare for the weather

Evenings can be chilly, even in summer.

Phillip Island's Penguin Parade is a unique wildlife encounter, best enjoyed with realistic expectations and thorough preparation.