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Observe some of Australia’s most popular native wildlife on this day trip from Melbourne to Phillip Island that includes a stop at Maru Koala and Animal Park. Interact with koalas and kangaroos before arriving at Phillip Island, home to sea birds, fur seals and, most famously, fairy penguins, aka little penguins. You’ll visit the Nobbies to look for seals on the rocky coastline while you wait for sunset, when the little penguins perform the Penguin Parade, their nightly ritual of waddling out of the water and along the beach to their burrows. Upgrade options are available for better views and an enhanced experience.


  • Phillip Island Penguin Parade tour from Melbourne
  • See koalas in their natural habitat at Maru Koala and Animal Park
  • Visit the Nobbies rock formations, home to Australia's largest population of fur seals
  • Watch the nightly Penguin Parade at Summerland Beach
  • Enjoy the spectacle of cute little penguins waddling to their burrows from the sea
  • Choice of three optional upgrades to enhance your experience of the Penguin Parade

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

See the distinctive and adorable animals that steal the heart of many a visitor to Australia. Take pictures of koalas, kangaroos, Tasmanian devils and the most adorable little penguins!

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Phillip Island: Penguins, Koalas and Kangaroos Day Tour from Melbourne

Maru Koala and Animal Park

Your day trip starts with hotel pickup in Melbourne for the approximate 1.5-hour drive southeast of the city and around Westernport Bay to Maru Koala and Animal Park, where you have the chance to enjoy an up-close look at Australia’s famous native wildlife like kangaroos, koalas and Tasmanian devils.

Then return to the coach to continue the drive to Phillip Island, which you’ll reach by a bridge from the coastal town of San Remo. On the island, explore the coastline to check out sights like the Nobbies, a rocky area where fur seals, birds and penguins often gather. As the sunset nears, head to Summerland Beach, where you’ll first visit the information center to read up on Phillip Island’s beloved penguins, a species known as little penguins, who come ashore each evening after a day spent fishing in the sea.

Their adorable waddle along the sand to their burrows is known as the Penguin Parade, and you don’t want to miss it. Head to the appropriate area depending on the option you select when booking to watch this nightly ritual; if you book the standard option, you’ll watch from public boardwalks and viewing stands, where there is no maximum number of spectators (read about upgrade options below).

Afterward, your day trip ends with the drive back to Melbourne for hotel drop-off.

Optional Penguin Parade upgrades:
Penguin Plus Viewing Platform
Enjoy the parade from a restricted platform next to the main route that the penguins walk up from the water. A drink and small gift are included; this experience is limited to 150 people.

The Penguin Skybox
Watch the parade from an elevated tower, an exclusive vantage point in the main stands that’s limited to only five people. Dry and warm, the Skybox provides the best view of the penguin burrows on the beach. You’ll have your own ranger you can talk to about the penguins, and you’ll be part of that night's penguin count, helping with Phillip Island’s ongoing research to protect the birds. This experience includes canapés and nonalcoholic drinks.

Guided Penguin Plus Tour
Limited to 15 people, this option takes you, with your own guide, to a secluded location on the beach where you can get closer to the penguins.

Underground Viewing Experience
Limited to a maximum of 70 people, this option will provide you with the closest possible viewing of the penguins as they return to their burrows from the water. Watch the penguin parade at eye level while you are undercover and protected from the elements.

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Hotel pickup list:
12:40pm Adina Grand Apartments
12:25pm Atlantis Hotel
12:05pm Bayside Eden
12:05pm Bayview on the Park
12:15pm Crown Metropol
12:15pm Crown Promenade
12:15pm Crown Towers
12:20pm Crowne Plaza
12:15pm Downtowner on Lygon
12:20pm Hilton Southwharf
12:30pm Holiday Inn Flinders
12:40pm Hotel Sofia
12:15pm Ibis Hotel Therry Street
12:35pm Ibis Styles Kingsgate Hotel
12:25pm Intercontinental Hotel The Rialto
12:40pm Kings Street Backpackers
12:15pm Langham Hotel
12:35am Magnolia Court
12:55pm Mantra on Russell
12:30pm Mantra on the Park
12:30pm Marriott Hotel
12:10pm Melbourne Short Stay Apartments
12:05pm Mercure Pullman Albert Park
12:40pm Mercure Treasury Gardens
12:00noon Miami Hotel
11:55am Novotel Bayside
12:45pm Novotel Collins
12:45pm Oaks on Market
12:35pm Park Hyatt
12:20pm Pullman on the Park
12:20pm Radisson Flagstaff
12:50pm Rendezvous Hotel
12:10pm Rydges Carlton
12:45pm Rydges Melbourne
12:50pm Sofitel Hotel
12:50pm Stamford Plaza
11:45am Travelodge Docklands
12:15pm Travel Inn Carlton
12:30pm Vibe Savoy
12:40pm Windsor Hotel

Customer Reviews

Shripad A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Our drive and guide Roger was absolutely fabulous. He told us lot of tidbits on the way and at the main venue.

Linda M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Absolutely loved this tour. The stopover to see the animals prior to the penguin parade was fun. The parade itself was AMAZING!

David O

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

March of the Penguins! What experience could possibly exceed having 1000 penguins marching up the beach 3 to 4 ft. away from where you are seated? I got to hand feed a koala at our stop at the Maru sanctuary. Adrian was a great guide, and the tour was an excellent value. A memorable bucket list experience! I also liked the convenient pickup at my hotel.

Lily D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Great tour experience! Highly recommended especially if you have just half a day at hand. Tour starts in the afternoons just perfect for me since i landed in Melbourne that morning

Dr Gerrard T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Just great!

Ian M Singapore

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Fantastic value for money trip. Penguins so cute and the guided option a must if you want to get up close. Guide was very knowledgeable. Dinner in Cowes at the end topped things off nicely. My son loved it.

Michelle L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016


Chloe L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

The tour was very professionally handled and we had an excellent time.

Ellina C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Our tour guide was great and easy to understand, picked up from hotel on time. Overall, a great tour!

Faizan Hassan United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

The little penguins are just so cute! The whole experience was amazing.

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