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Great fun all day! Our tour guide Bec was humorous and informative, and all the activities were enjoyable. Moonlit Sanctuary is an underrated gem, the winery was an enjoyable experience they even accommodate non-drinkers. But let's face it -- we're all here to see the penguins, and they did not disappoint. Word of warning: the weather can be cold and rainy, so be prepared. However, the penguins -- and Go West's great tour -- made it more than worth it.
This was a full day and most enjoyable. Our driver and guide was Roger and he was a lot of fun and made the day interesting. He shared lots of information along the way about customs in Australia and unique words and their meanings, and of course the Penguin Parade was a great visit - it was a cooler and windy day, so we appreciated that we booked the 'viewing tower' which was protected from the elements and provided binoculars plus we had a knowledgeable park ranger as well who shared lots of information we would not otherwise have gotten. I have no hesitation in recommending this tour. My only disappointment is that photography is prohibited at the Penguin Parade, but we bought a photo of us that was superimposed with the penguins that is a nice treat less than 20 and we found some nice souvenirs in their gift shop. The stop at a Wildlife sanctuary was interesting as we had a chance to feed kangaroos who doesn't want a photo of themself feeding a kangaroo and see koalas, and the sheep shearing demo was pretty cool too. When we got home at the end of a long day, we both agreed it was money well spent and it was certainly one of the highlights of our vacation to Australia.
Despite rain, my husband and I had a great time on this tour. Feeding the kangaroos at the Moonlit sanctuary was a highlight in addition to seeing the penguins. I'd highly recommend investing in the ranger guided tour. You get the best seats that way. Most importantly, Alex was a great driver and tour guide. He choose good music to match up with the leg off the trip that we were on. He was knowledgeable and had a great sense of humor. I'd highly recommend this tour!
We did the upgraded package where you could watch the penguins waddle by up close from behind the glass. It was worth the extra cost.
The Maru wildlife park was nice - got to pet kangaroos and wallabies. The penguin parade was AWESOME. Those little guys are so much fun to watch - I could have stayed hours longer than we were allowed. The tour bus driver did let us stay longer than others buses so the crowds thinned toward the end. That was good. Be prepared to not take any photos. Strict rules about no photography during the penguin parade. But take away some great mental pictures and memories.
Phillip Island Penguin Parade. One of the most amazing experiences ever. Walking on a boardwalk down toward the sea - black volcanic rock, deep tourquoise water, huge waves crashing on the rocks, sun setting over my shoulders. Then to the viewing platform. The sun slowly going down - a few beaks sticking above the water. Oh turn around - a solitary wallaby chewing on some vegetation half-way up the hill behind us. A few minutes later 4-5 kangaroos wallabies maybe, hopping across the top of the hill. Back to the beach.
About a dozen or so of the little penguins aka fairy or blue penguins emerge from the waves and congregate on the sand. They're coming.... no wait- with the next big wave, they go back under. Getting darker and harder to see the beach. Waves come in and the group of penguins gets bigger with each wave. Finally as the sun fades for good, a group of at least 100 of the little birds form a group and start waddling they don't have knees up the beach and over the rocks right toward the viewing platform. They weigh about 1kg each and are about 8-10 tall. They are used to the humans, seemingly. They are so close. We walk back along the boardwalk and they are within inches of us, making cooing, purring sounds calling their mate tending a nest back at the burrow. The hills are dark and in the silence when people shut up all up and down the hill you hear these little soft bird calls through the darkness. Almost toward the end of the walk, mom and dad feeding a couple of chicks....
Driver Chris was great. Tapes of 80's pop entertained. Also stops at Moonlit Sanctuary and Phillip Island winery.
This was one of our favorites! It's one thing to see the description of the penguins, and quite another to take the small group tour, which gets you up close and personal with these delightful, playful birds. Be prepared for a mob-scene at the viewing area, but know that it is well-managed and worth the congestion coming and going. The tour guides were informative, the group very small, and the total experience enlightening and fun. The views from the area the penguins call home is breath-taking!
Really great experience. Our awesome tourguide Adina picked us up and drove us first to Moonlit Sanctuary. A lovely open sanctuary with a nice show where they tell you a lot about Australia's native animals. If you like you can feed kangaroos and wallabies! Afterwards we stopped at some lookouts with lovely views! The Scottisch lady at the wine tasting was nice. Adina told us a lot about the island, the history of it and the penguins! Don't expect much of the food at the visitors center. We recommend getting the Pinguin Plus tickets, because you just see much more of the penguins on that side! The pinguins are suuuuper adorable. Wonderful to see! Tip: bring warm clothes, it gets really cold after sunset!! Conclusion: Adina was incredible, the pinguins were cool and the whole day trip was a blast!
Really well organised tour. Alex was a great guide, very knowledgeable with a good sense of humour. Moonlit animal sanctuary was very hands on with the animals especially the Wallabies. Winery very relaxing with great views. The Penguin Parade was why we were the ultimately- amazing. We did the guided ranger tour. Louise our ranger, was again passionate about Penguins and vey knowledgeable. Would not have missed this trip for the world! J and L
We enjoyed both tours provided by Bunyip immensely. Our tour guides were really into their jobs. Phillip Island was an especially nice day with stops at a wildlife conservation park and an island farm before the penguin island. I would guess the average age of tourists was around 30 years old in December 2016. Our Melbourne Attraction Pass only included 2 attractions: the Seaport Aquarium and Eureka Skydeck. Do not think you are getting the full attraction pass as I did. It is misleading.
The penguins were not originally on our must-see list, but they were incredible to watch. The only down-side were the people that were trying to video and take pictures after the park rangers requested that everyone put their phones and cameras away. We saw a family of penguins reunited a long day in the water - very cute to watch!
Our driver was excellent. He was very informative, friendly, and entertaining. The little penguins were worth the trip.
Great Ocean Road tour: My guide was really knowledgeable about Melbourne and the areas which we stopped. It is a really compacted trip as you get to see many sights. Good amount of time at the beaches and to enjoy the 12 Apostles and surrounding view. Bring a bathing suit to swim and tan.
Phillip Island tour: This was a larger group tour, so you do a lot of the sight-seeing on your own. The Penguin Parade is the cutest thing. I would recommend watching the first few groups come up the beach and then walk along the boardwalk for a closer look. Seeing the penguins pop out of the water and run up the beach is truly an amazing sight.
Fantastic tour! The narration by bus driver added so much insight to the trip. The Little Penguins were a delight to see, can't wait to watch Oddball the movie, about their plight on a nearby island. Trip extremely worthwhile, do go if you have a chance!
We went to the Phillip Island around 16:00, and arrived there around 18:00.The visitor center there is quite nice with a restaurant, and other facilities, and has a small cinema which was closed, showing videos and mutlimedia. Then we wnt on to the beach, where there are platforms for viewing, and at about 21:00 the penguins started coming out of the sea and onto the beach towards us. There were rangers who explained what was going on, and photography was then strictly forbidden and firmly enforced, because the animals get confused in their direction finding by flash photography. So, to simplify things, the Australians just ban all photography while the penguins are coming on shore. Seeing the animals come on shore was an amazing experience, and just has to be experienced, rather than described here. There is clearly a control of how many people can be in the area at the same time, and all the management of the area appears to be excellent. Very impressive work by the Australians involved.
We signed up for the Penguin Plus for Phillip Island which really worth it. Highly recommended. Overall a very pleasant journey.
There was so much to this tour than I thought. There were extra stops along way, included in price, this tour gave me seat in Peguin Plus at Phillip Island which is a bit better than General seats on the beach.
This is a must do tour while in Melbourne, The first day on the Great Ocean Road is as spectacular as you will get, day 2 drags a little bit but well worth the wait for when the penguin parade starts, Alex the guide was funny, informative, helpful, patient and very good at what he does. Highly recommend this trip
I highly recommend this tour if you want to visit both Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island. The itinerary was very well planned and we had a wonderful time with our tour guide and driver, Kyle. He was very helpful and knowledgeable. We visited many places and learned a lot from Kyle. The accommodation could be better, I think... Other than that, it was all great!
Penguins, Koalas and Kangaroos. What else could you asked for? It came with a super smooth pickup, relatively good sized group not too packed and amazing sights and sounds. Definitely recommend the upgraded packages for the Penguins the alternative vantage points and guides really helped me understand what I was looking at.
Angela M Canada
Nothing compares to the Fairy Penguins...We all had a blast watching these endearing creatures!
Great tour with a fabulous guide Scott, thoroughly enjoyed the day out and trip to Phillip Island. The smaller group was so much more relaxing and organised. The penguin viewing was an amazing experience. I would highly recommend
There was no words to describe the experience. It is a pity we were not allowed to take pictures of the little fellow but we noted the point - we don't want to scare the Penguins.
Relaxed and highly interesting tour with very nice and knowledgeable guide. We had the opportunity to get close to the native animals and take our time to watch them and take cute photos. The wine tasting was excellent, with a nice lady from Scotland explaining their wines. Finally the highlight was visiting the penguin parade. There were lots of tourists, but we had booked the ranger tour, which was a small group, so we got a lot of information from the ranger and sat even closer to the penguins when they finally appeared from the sea - a fantastic sight ! So cute these little fellows ! A real must-do and-see when in Melbourne !
Done the 2 day tour and would consider it to be very good value for money .Small group makes it so easy getting on off bus. Guides are very informed and friendly. Amazing scenery good stops to take it all in .Lovely overnight accommodation at Queenscliff. The Penguin parade was a wonderful sight overall an unforgettable 2 days. The food included was good. Its quite a lot of traveling but well worth it.
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