At 07:00PM the doors opened for the Penguin Parade and it felt like the boxing day sales all over again. We ran (like literally ran) to the viewing area and luckily we got there first and scored the best seats in the house!
Last light was a few minutes before 09:00PM (which is when the Penguins were expected) so we had a wait of about 2 hours. We dressed up in warm clothes, took a few snacks and a pack of playing cards. After a few games of UNO and a speech from the park rangers the sun started to go down and we waited in anticipation.
As the light slowly disappeared, the first small groups of Penguins hit the shore. They rode the waves in and flopped onto the sand. They quickly looked around and then ran/waddled back in to sea out of fear of the predators above. This happened about three times before they mustered the courage to make the break for home.
Once they hit the shore they would move their tiny little feet as quickly as possible in order to cross the beach. Once they passed the sand they then jumped and flopped across small rocks and onto the grass where they had a well deserved rest.
In the grass there were many small tracks, similar to goat tracks, however, these were Penguin tracks! The little Penguins waddled along this maze of tracks in order to find their way home – some of which were 2kms away!
On route they’d stop for a rest in order to prune and align their feathers, we an only assume they did this so they were presentable for their spouse upon return home.
We saw hundreds of Penguins, they were moving all around us. Either side of the boardwalk that we stood on were small Penguin highways – there were so many in every direction that we looked. We were surrounded and it was an incredible sight.
The Penguin Parade Centre
The Penguin Parade centre has free entry between the hours of 09:00AM to 04:00PM. It is a fun little place to spend an hour or so. There is a 10 minute documentary about the Little Penguin as well as lots of interesting facts. There are also Penguin peep holes (our favorite part) where you can see several Penguins and some chicks resting in their shelters, waiting for the fishermen to come home with dinner!
After 04:00PM an entry fee of $25.10 AUD per adult applies. This is how much it’ll cost to see the Penguin Parade itself – around 1000 little Penguins arriving on the beach after a long days fishing, waddling back to their homes.
Want to go to the Penguin Parade?
It is located on the beautiful Phillip Island South of Melbourne Australia. If you’d like any more information or have any questions, please leave us a comment below – we’d love to hear from you!