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4.5 star rating: Recommended 430 Reviews

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  • Location:Melbourne, Australia
  • Duration:Varies

Phillip Island: Penguins, Koalas and Kangaroos Day Tour from Melbourne

Observe some of Australia’s most popular native wildlife on this day trip from Melbourne to Phillip Island that includes a stop at Maru Koala and Animal Park. Interact with koalas and kangaroos before arriving at Phillip Island, home to sea birds, fur seals and, most famously, fairy penguins, aka little penguins. You’ll visit the Nobbies to look for seals on the rocky coastline while you wait for sunset, when the little penguins perform the Penguin Parade, their nightly ritual of waddling out of the water and along the beach to their burrows. Upgrade options are available for better views and an enhanced experience.

Highlights

  • Phillip Island Penguin Parade tour from Melbourne
  • See koalas in their natural habitat at Maru Koala and Animal Park
  • Visit the Nobbies rock formations, home to Australia's largest population of fur seals
  • Watch the nightly Penguin Parade at Summerland Beach
  • Enjoy the spectacle of cute little penguins waddling to their burrows from the sea
  • Choice of three optional upgrades to enhance your experience of the Penguin Parade

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

See the distinctive and adorable animals that steal the heart of many a visitor to Australia. Take pictures of koalas, kangaroos, Tasmanian devils and the most adorable little penguins!

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Phillip Island: Penguins, Koalas and Kangaroos Day Tour from Melbourne

Maru Koala and Animal Park

Your day trip starts with hotel pickup in Melbourne for the approximate 1.5-hour drive southeast of the city and around Westernport Bay to Maru Koala and Animal Park, where you have the chance to enjoy an up-close look at Australia’s famous native wildlife like kangaroos, koalas and Tasmanian devils.

Then return to the coach to continue the drive to Phillip Island, which you’ll reach by a bridge from the coastal town of San Remo. On the island, explore the coastline to check out sights like the Nobbies, a rocky area where fur seals, birds and penguins often gather. As the sunset nears, head to Summerland Beach, where you’ll first visit the information center to read up on Phillip Island’s beloved penguins, a species known as little penguins, who come ashore each evening after a day spent fishing in the sea.

Their adorable waddle along the sand to their burrows is known as the Penguin Parade, and you don’t want to miss it. Head to the appropriate area depending on the option you select when booking to watch this nightly ritual; if you book the standard option, you’ll watch from public boardwalks and viewing stands, where there is no maximum number of spectators (read about upgrade options below).

Afterward, your day trip ends with the drive back to Melbourne for hotel drop-off.

Optional Penguin Parade upgrades:
Penguin Plus Viewing Platform
Enjoy the parade from a restricted platform next to the main route that the penguins walk up from the water. A drink and small gift are included; this experience is limited to 150 people.

The Penguin Skybox
Watch the parade from an elevated tower, an exclusive vantage point in the main stands that’s limited to only five people. Dry and warm, the Skybox provides the best view of the penguin burrows on the beach. You’ll have your own ranger you can talk to about the penguins, and you’ll be part of that night's penguin count, helping with Phillip Island’s ongoing research to protect the birds. This experience includes canapés and nonalcoholic drinks.

Guided Penguin Plus Tour
Limited to 15 people, this option takes you, with your own guide, to a secluded location on the beach where you can get closer to the penguins.

Underground Viewing Experience
Limited to a maximum of 70 people, this option will provide you with the closest possible viewing of the penguins as they return to their burrows from the water. Watch the penguin parade at eye level while you are undercover and protected from the elements.

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Itinerary

Hotel pickup list:
12:40pm Adina Grand Apartments
12:25pm Atlantis Hotel
12:05pm Bayside Eden
12:05pm Bayview on the Park
12:15pm Crown Metropol
12:15pm Crown Promenade
12:15pm Crown Towers
12:20pm Crowne Plaza
12:15pm Downtowner on Lygon
12:20pm Hilton Southwharf
12:30pm Holiday Inn Flinders
12:40pm Hotel Sofia
12:15pm Ibis Hotel Therry Street
12:35pm Ibis Styles Kingsgate Hotel
12:25pm Intercontinental Hotel The Rialto
12:40pm Kings Street Backpackers
12:15pm Langham Hotel
12:35am Magnolia Court
12:55pm Mantra on Russell
12:30pm Mantra on the Park
12:30pm Marriott Hotel
12:10pm Melbourne Short Stay Apartments
12:05pm Mercure Pullman Albert Park
12:40pm Mercure Treasury Gardens
12:00noon Miami Hotel
11:55am Novotel Bayside
12:45pm Novotel Collins
12:45pm Oaks on Market
12:35pm Park Hyatt
12:20pm Pullman on the Park
12:20pm Radisson Flagstaff
12:50pm Rendezvous Hotel
12:10pm Rydges Carlton
12:45pm Rydges Melbourne
12:50pm Sofitel Hotel
12:50pm Stamford Plaza
11:45am Travelodge Docklands
12:15pm Travel Inn Carlton
12:30pm Vibe Savoy
12:40pm Windsor Hotel

Customer Reviews

Jannna S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

Everything was great

Tim R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Great trip, awesome time!

jere n

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

we did not get to go. Went to the wrong pick up point and missed the shuttle

Teddy TheBear

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

It was a really good day! The zoo was cool, and the penguins parade is just awesome. We boked the ultimate option which worth it, you'll be staying on the beach with kind of a chair provided which is compfy, and also binocular so you can see the penguins well! They don't allow pictures during the pinguin parade but at least you enjoy the full time!!!
You may be able to do it by yourself, it's up to your motivation for the 2h drive from Melbourne one way.

pwf6464

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

We had a wonderful experience, the staff were all very helpful and the penguins were a delight

Heather M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

Very enjoyable and informative. Driver was very welcoming and we had a lot of fun

MaryJo A United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

This was fantastic! We had a personal ranger, headphones and binoculars. We sat up close on the beach and had a front row viewing. Then we followed then as they waddles to their burrows. It gets cold so bring a jacket. There were lots of people, but our private group was 9. Must do when in Australia!

Sylvia A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

Fantastic to see the penguins. Well worth the VIP upgrade!

Anwar H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Wonderful trip. Possibly the highlight of our trip to Australia. The trip was long, but the breaks were very well timed in between. My wife and I traveled with our 4 year old daughter. The stop to the koala and kangaroo petting/feeding park was wonderful. Nice stops for lunch/dinner at some quaint towns. The penguin parade was excellent! It was great to see the little penguins parading just a few feet from us - an incredible experience. Highly recommended!

Karen L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Loving the day tour end to end especially the Phillip Islamd tour. Our driver Colin was simply fantastic. Very patiently explaining to us and drove us to areas where we can see the tiny penguins in sight and even able to snap secret shots at convenient sights. Arrived slight before midnight and the kids were exhausted but definitely enjoyed the tour.

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Tour code: 2230M10

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