4.5 star rating: Recommended 126 Reviews

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  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
  • Duration:  6 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
Travel from Melbourne to Phillip Island to watch hundreds of little penguins emerge from the surf to return to their burrows for the night. Marvel at the penguins as they waddle up the beach, feed their young, and vocally interact with each other. Phillip Island has the largest little penguin colony in the world, and you get to see them in action in their natural habitat! En route to the penguin parade, drive through the affluent suburbs of Melbourne, outlying farming communities, and the quaint fishing village of San Remo.


  • Evening tour to Phillip Island to watch the little penguins return home for the night, from Melbourne
  • Drive through Melbourne and scenic countryside on the outskirts of the city
  • Visit the Phillip Island Visitor Information Centre to learn about local wildlife, including a large fur seal colony just offshore
  • Get great viewing opportunities to watch the little penguins as they come home for the night
  • Spot migratory birds including shearwaters or muttonbirds
  • Hear informative commentary from your friendly and knowledgeable guide
  • Includes pickup and drop off at select Melbourne hotels

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What You Can Expect

Phillip Island Little Penguins Parade Evening Tour

The Little Penguins Parade Evening Tour is not to be missed!

Depart from Melbourne in the late afternoon by comfortable coach, following the Yarra River through the leafy southeastern suburbs and rural countryside, before arriving at the bridge to Phillip Island. As you travel, listen to informative commentary from your guide about the sights you pass along the way.

Drive through the fishing village of San Remo as you cross the only bridge onto Phillip Island, stopping at the excellent Phillip Island Visitor Information Centre. Browse exhibits about Phillip Island's abundant wildlife, which includes koalas, fur seals, mutton birds and other migratory birds in addition to tonight’s star attraction, the little penguins.

Little penguins are the smallest penguin species, and the fact that the world’s largest colony of them can be easily visited at Phillip Island makes this a don’t-miss opportunity! Penguin experts estimate that as many as 32,000 little penguins live on Phillip Island. During your visit, learn about conservation issues involved in protecting Phillip Island's wildlife. Revenue from ticket sales gets invested back into research, environmental protections, and education projects to ensure that the penguins and other wildlife flourish.

As the sun sets, head to the beach where you have a choice of the basic seating option on stands with tiered seating or choose the upgrade (details below) for prime penguin viewing. Watch hundreds of little penguins emerge from the sea and waddle along the sand to their burrows, where they feed their young with their day's catch of anchovies and pilchards.

Be sure to bring warm clothes as the ocean air can get cold at night. At the end of the penguin viewing, your coach returns you to Melbourne (about a 90-minute drive) to end your tour, with drop off at select Melbourne hotels.

Penguin Plus Viewing Platform
Upgrade your tour to include all of the above while viewing the penguins from even closer quarters for optimal viewing, accompanied by informative commentary from an expert wildlife ranger. Wooden seating and boardwalks provide excellent sight lines, with a maximum of 150 people permitted in the area. Your upgrade includes a tasty fish and chips dinner. When else can you say that you dined with penguins?

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Customer Reviews

John M
United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2014

This is really a must see for anyone visiting Melbourne and having a coach trip like this, takes all the hassle out of the long trip and lets you enjoy the scenery and have a snooze on the way back! Our driver David seemed to know every corner of the landscape of the journey but importantly, gave helpful and explicit instructions regarding what to do and when - e.g. on the premium tour, get to the grandstand early to gain the best spots. The fish and chip dinner was fine should you choose but it can be a long night so consider dinner options. Also, you will need to watch the timings given changes to daylight hours summer and winter. Allow 2 hours (might be less) for travel there and back, traffic depending. The penguins themselves are a delight and this is an incredible natural wonder on a very special part of Australia. If you are staying in Melbourne city, you don't really need a car and this trip is worth the expense for someone that knows where to go efficiently. Double check your hotel pick up - it is only to selected hotels, however, most should be in walking distance or via Federation Square. Even in the middle of winter, the attraction was packed with general tourists and other tour groups - this is a popular event. It is about 3-4 hours travelling for about 1 hour watching the penguin parade but this is a magical hour - take to time to experience.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2014

Such a great time on this tour! We had limited time so an evening tour leaving mid afternoon was perfect for us. The coach ride was scenic and the driver fun and informative. Phillip Island was beautiful and the visitors centre well worth a look around. The stars of the show are the penguins who come out of the sea and waddle up the beach. The viewing platforms on the beach are great to see this but i felt the platforms back to the visitors centre gave visitors a close up view as the pengiuns waddled to their homes. So cute!

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Tour code: 2230M11


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