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Watch the Phillip Island Penguin Parade on this evening tour from Melbourne. Get an up-close look at the nightly ritual of these beloved fairy penguins waddling from the ocean to their burrows in the sand. Phillip Island is home to one of the world’s largest colonies of the world’s smallest penguins, and this experience is something you don’t want to miss. When booking, select the standard viewing option or the Penguin Plus Viewing Platform for a better vantage point.


  • 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 commentary from a guide
  • Includes pickup and drop-off at select Melbourne hotels

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Phillip Island Little Penguins Parade Evening Tour

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

Your tour to Phillip Island starts as you depart Melbourne by coach, traveling along the Yarra River and through the countryside while listening to narration from your guide about the sights you see during the drive.

After passing through the fishing village of San Remo, arrive on Phillip Island by bridge and head to the Phillip Island Visitor Information Centre to see exhibits about the native wildlife, including fur seals, koalas, birds and, of course, the fairy penguins. Also known as little penguins, these much-loved creatures are the smallest of penguin species and the island’s star attractions due to their nightly ‘parade,’ during which they waddle up from the ocean to spend the night in their sand burrows.

Learn about the conservation efforts in place to protect all of the island’s wildlife, including the research and education projects that are partly funded by your ticket purchase. When the sun starts to set, take your place on the beach (depending on option selected when booking; read below for upgrade details) to watch hundreds of penguins emerge from the water and feed their young with their catch of anchovies and other seafood. When the parade is over, your tour ends with the approximate 90-minute coach drive back to Melbourne.

Upgrade option: Penguin Plus Viewing Platform
When booking, you have the option to select the Penguin Plus Viewing Platform upgrade to enhance your Phillip Island experience. You’ll enjoy all of the above while watching the penguins from a closer observation point, accompanied by a wildlife ranger who provides interesting narration. This area with wooden seating and boardwalks gives you clear sight lines and is limited to 150 people.

Customer Reviews

Ellen S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

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!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

Our driver was excellent. He was very informative, friendly, and entertaining. The little penguins were worth the trip.

Audrey T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

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!

Jerry F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

What a great experience. It is about 2 hours from Melbourne, but well worth the time. Definitely upgrade to premium platform seats.

Thor E

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

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.

Tanya B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

A wonderful experience!

jack c

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

These little fellows were so cute. Thousands of them coming up and over the hill was a great experience.

Angela M Canada

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

Nothing compares to the Fairy Penguins...We all had a blast watching these endearing creatures!

Nancy O

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

George was fantastic! He told great stories and made the bus ride a blast.

Fariha A Pakistan

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

This was a once in a lifetime experience. To actually witness a natural phenomenon in the wild. The Penguins were a few minutes late in coming, but once they did, they came in hordes. We took the Penguin Plus option which was well worth it. You had a great view from all the seats and the platform was right by them. There was more than enough time to see them. Unfortunately no photos were allowed but it will stay in our memory forever. I would recommend taking the evening tour if you are tight on time and want to cover other areas in Melbourne during the day. The Penguins come around sunset so this part can only be done in the evenings. Our guide was very nice and kept us entertained during the drive down. There was free wifi and even a bathroom on our bus. Also we had about an hour to have dinner at the cafe and souvenir shop before the Penguins were due. Nice relaxing tour.

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