• Location: Melbourne, Australia
  • Duration: 6 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
From USD $ 110.97 View price calendar

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Watch the Phillip Island Penguin Parade on this evening tour from Melbourne. See 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 some of the world’s smallest penguins. 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

What You Can Expect

Phillip Island Penguin 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 some of the smallest of the 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.

Please note: 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 has wooden seating, gives you clear sight lines, and is limited to 150 people.

Customer Reviews

Mio Oi S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2018

Nice driver and amazing experience with the little penguins! Had some traffic delays but overall a great experience.

Travis B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2018

An excellent evening of watching penguins. If you choose the evening option, eat first or bring snack because you get back to Melbourne at midnight after the 2.5 hour drive back. Viewing platform was best option for seeing penguins walk by. Adriene, our driver/guide was most informative!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2018

We had a great experience. The bus driver was great and gave us a comprehensive over view of what we were seeing or going to see. We had terrific seats to watch the penguins. All in all we had a wonderful time. We will definitely use viatour again.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2018

Excellent trip, and it's worth paying extra for the premium seating at the beach. Make sure to get to the beach at least 45 minutes before dusk to assure a good seat to watch the penguins come out of the ocean although you can see them up close and personal as they walk alongside the boardwalk behind the seats. Surprisingly good food at the cafe. And yes, no photos allowed I was chided by a ranger for taking a picture of the beach even before the penguins arrived! Since our tour was in January meaning a late sunset, the penguins didn't come out until after 9 PM, so we didn't get back to our hotel until after midnight it didn't help that there was road construction going on during our return trip to Melbourne.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

A fantastic trip. Our coach driver Gary gave a really informative commentary and as we arrived earlier than expected at Phillip Island he gave us an extra tour.
The Penguin Parade itself was amazing - nature at its best.
One tip make sure you take warm clothing as it gets chilly when the Parade takes place

Mrs Glenis S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

Quite a long drive but well worth the visit. The penguins were adorable and there were so many of them. It was really worth upgrading to the viewing area where numbers were limited. A thrilling experience.

Daniel C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

It gets really cold especially during the year-end I think! so bring your own shawls and sweaters or you'll have to buy one from the souvenir shop like most of us did. Also, there's only one small cafe here where everyone tries to find a seat and get a meal before the 9pm viewing time if you're coming by tour bus like most of us did, they will most likely pick you up from town at 3pm for the long bus ride to Phillip Island, after which you have to get a quick meal in before the viewing as you'll be sent back to town/your hotel only by midnight!. Tip: you can try packing your own food and warm drink in a thermos flask if you don't want to queue, snatch a table and gobble down your meal. The actual viewing session is beautiful. I'd suggest like most people on this site did to top up your ticket for a premium seat as that is where the penguins start surfacing magically around 9pm and then you can see them almost at your feet waddling about and looking lost. A wonderful eye-opening experience: it was as much a viewing experience for the penguins who were looking at us as it was a viewing experience for us hoomans.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

Worth for the visit to see the little penguins walking back from the Beach.

Catherine R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018


anil pratap s

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

Excellent tour, a must for the tourist visiting Melbourne. We opted for the evening tour as we had already done other parts of the day tour on offer, and only wanted to see the penguin parade. View from the general gallery is as good as the special observation deck unless you want see more numbers of penguins in long lines. In any case after watching them on the beach, you get a much better, up close and personal look at the penguins while moving back to the exit. So keep some time for that too!

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