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4.5 star rating: Recommended 219 Reviews

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  • Location:Melbourne, Australia
  • Duration:6 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

Phillip Island Little Penguins Parade Evening Tour

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.

Please note: From the 1st of May 2015 through to the 30th of November 2015, the Penguin Parade Viewing Platform is under construction. You will instead be offered the following:
  • Meet and greet by a Phillip Island Nature Parks Ranger
  • Behind the scenes tour with full Ranger Interpretation
  • Reserved front row seating in the general viewing area
  • Free hot drink

View additional info

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Our tour guide Adrian was very informative about the surrounding areas of our tour destination as well as the route itself. I found him to be a wealth of information and would recommend him if one would like to take this destination journey. As for the penguins themselves, they are not only cute, but interesting to watch. i found though that the surrounding wildlife also seen was a joy to watch, especially the wallabies that inhabit this same area.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

An outstanding attraction which allows the visitor to get very close to the penguins. WONDERFUL.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015


5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

I love the penguin parade. This was my second time and while I paid the extra for the premium viewing it wasn't necessary as I would have seen as much from the other seats. Even so I still give it 5 stars as it is just amazing to watch this little bit of nature. I also liked being on the express tour so I didn't need to leave Melbourne until 4pm.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Penguins . so lovely to watch.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

I finally understand why it is call Penguins Parade!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

A fantastic day out. We had an extremely informative driver/guide who also helped us organise our helicopter flight over the island. We also had a couple of extra stops at the chocolate factory and a surfing beach. The visitor centre had great shops, with a busy but fast moving eatery. Highlight of course was getting to the beach and seeing the penguins come in from the sea and waddle up the beach. Only downside was that it was a totally moonless night so a bit hard to see them until they came out of the water. However, when we left the beach and walked up the path back to the visitor centre the penguins were right next to us heading to their burrows so there was plenty of opportunity to see them close up. Altogether a great tour which I'd definitely do again - but next time I'll make sure it's a full moon.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

One of the most amazing things I've ever seen. Well worth the 4-hour round trip from Melbourne. Our bus driver, Steve, played Man From Snowy River on the way home, since by then, it was dark outside. He also showed us wallabies and geese on the protected part of Philip Island.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

This was truly amazing. Watching the Penguins return to their burrows was a unique experience. Our driver was fun and very knowledgable. I would recommend this tour to anyone!!!!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

It's pretty dark on the beach where the penguins come ashore. I think it was worth it to pay the extra money to get closer to where they come up, instead of the general viewing area. Then you walk along the boardwalk, where you can really see them very close. I loved this tour. Our tour guide was personable and friendly..

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Tour code: 2230M11


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