Home to crowds of fairy penguins, fur seals, and koalas, Phillip Island is rightfully on many nature lovers' bucket lists — and it's less than two hours from Melbourne, making it the perfect day trip from the city. Tack a Phillip Island day tour onto your Victoria itinerary to make your time in Australia a little more wild.
Phillip Island boasts a well-deserved reputation for world-class wildlife-viewing opportunities. Observe koalas in their natural habitat from the tree-top boardwalks at the Koala Conservation Center; watch fur seals play along the tide at Seal Rocks and the Nobbies rock formation; see seagulls soar over the beach at Cape Woolamai; and learn how to shear a sheep at a 100-year-old working heritage farm on the island. If you want to add a visit to Phillip Island onto a longer itinerary, explore multi-day options that also take you on a Great Ocean Road tour or through the Yarra Valley in search of the best Australian wildlife viewing opportunities.
In the evening, join the Phillip Island crowds of up to 3,800 people waiting in tiered amphitheaters to witness the world's smallest penguins, known as fairy penguins or little penguins, waddle from the ocean back to nests on land after a long day at sea. Get the best view of the Phillip Island penguin parade by booking premium seats or access to VIP viewing areas located underground. The standard viewing platforms come with limited seating.
- Phillip Island tours are especially kid-friendly and suitable for nature lovers of all ages.
- Most Phillip Island tours offer round-trip transportation from hotels in Melbourne, making day tours completely hassle-free.
- Dress for the weather, and remember to account for cool ocean breezes.
- Opt for VIP seating to avoid the crowds at the penguin parade.
- Photos of the penguins are not allowed.
How to Get to Phillip Island
Phillip Island is accessed by bridge from San Remo on the mainland by car and bus. You can also catch a ferry to Cowes on Phillip Island from Stony Point on the Mornington Peninsula.
When to Go to Phillip Island
Your best chance to see the penguin parade is during the animals' breeding season from June to October. However, these are also some of the coldest months of the year, so be sure to dress for lows in the mid-40s if you go during this season.