The Penguin Parade happens every evening at dusk. It takes about 50 minutes from the time the world's smallest penguins emerge from the ocean and cross the beach to their sand dune burrows.
Make sure you dress in warm clothing as it can get very cold waiting, and there is no shelter.
In good weather up to 3000 people can be watching the penguins so make sure you get there early.
Prices start at $17 for adults. The dearest is $60, but this is limited to only about 10 people. You are taken by a ranger to a different spot, away from the main group of tourists, where you sit directly on the sand, and watch these gorgeous liitle penguins waddle right past you.
Check out the various tourist guides as they usually have a discount coupon to buy your tickets cheaper.
The Nobbies are a group of rocks just off shore from Point Grant. The weather conditions at The Nobbies can be wild and woolly, so make sure you've got some warm clothing with you, or maybe just a hat and coat.
Walk along the boardwalk to the blowhole and enjoy spectacular views along Phillip Island's rugged south coast.
Seal Rocks, home to Australia's largest seal colony, can be seen, but you need binoculars to see the seals. Either bring your own or spend $2 and use the ones provided at various spots.
Make sure you pop into the Cowes Cultural Centre while visiting Phillip Island. It's located on Thompson St, the main street into Cowes.
There is a tourist info centre located here, as well as local art and craft.
We noticed a sign outside advertising a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's "HMS PINAFORE" . The weather wasn't really nice enough to do much else so we watched the evening show. It was a local production, so not up to the standard you would expect in Melbourne, but ok.
There is an impressive wildlife park on Phillip Island worth visiting. You will have a chance to mingle with the famous animals and birds of Australia, including the kangaroos, wallabies, swans etc. I enjoyed my visit to this wildlife park and this is a good recommendation.
The Penguin Parade is a must-see of Phillip Island. There are several options of how to view the penguins:
1. Penguin Parade - Least expensive option including tiered seating with a view of the penguins arriving. Adult-$17, Child-$8.50
2. Penguins Plus - More personalised, smaller platform and a ranger to answer questions. Adult-$27, Child-$13.50
3. Penguin Sky Box - Exclusive elevated viewing tower with a ranger. $40 (16 & over only)
4. Ultimate Penguin Tour - Seclude beach with night scopes and headsets for personal ranger commentary. $60 (16 & over only)
Mark & I did the Penguins Plus, which seemed worth the extra money for a smaller crowd. You were not allowed to take any pictures, as the flash is bad for the penguins eyes... they arrive at dusk when it is getting dark. Apparently they tried to allow pictures with no flashes, but couldn't stop the flashes so banned all pictures.
The Visitor Centre also had a small area with penguin info, but many of the displays were broken. There was a theatre that played a short film during the parade after dusk or during the day on request. We didn't see it, but it was probably worth requesting if you get there before the parade starts. There are two gift shops ... I did buy a postcard of the penguins coming ashore, since no pictures were allowed.
Make sure to wear warm clothes, as there is no overhead shelter during the parade. And bring a poncho if it is looking rainy (or you can buy one at the gift shop for $5).
The Centre opens at 10am daily, but I didn't see the point in getting there much before dusk!
The one activity that is a must for Phillip Island occurs every evening at sunset. Hundreds of Fairy Penguins call Phillip Island home, and after a hard day of fishing, these cute little creatures waddle home.
They are very well cared for on Phillip Island, and the conservation team at the Penguin Parade facility ensure this. There is now no longer any photography, because so many people could not follow the instructions stating NO flash photography, so a total ban had to be placed.
Therefore the best I can do is show you this penguin, which we were able to get up close and personal with!
Phillip Island is filled with great beaches, and lots of fun walks. One of the easier walks is the Pyramid Rock. It was freezing out there in July, and it began raining when we headed out, so we did not stay too long, but the view is beautiful.
One of the things I will definitely recommend to watch out for is that the road is all gravel out to this site, so make sure your car can handle it, or just hire a car (and get the insurance just in case)!
On the far end of Phillip Island, you will find a nature park that is a great place for an afternoon walk. I am sure it would be much more enjoyable in the summertime, since we were very cold with the ocean breeze coming straight in from Antarctica, but we did enjoy the view of the rock formations just past the island. Also, you can view Seal Rocks, which used to be home to 18000 seals. Unfortunately, due to seal slaughters, that number has decreased significantly.
One of the first stops you will come to when you enter Phillip Island is the Information Center on the main road. This doubles as a gift and souvenir shop, but there is some great information in the free kiosks on Phillip Island, as well as the rest of Victoria.
It is worth it to drop in on this before you drive out to the other activities on the island, as there are some discount coupons available to the attractions on the island.
The Visitor Centre is very informative, not to mention interesting. You can smell Koala droppings here! Before you turn away in disgust, give it a try. They smell like eucalypt, the leaves Koalas feed on.
Contrary to popular belief, Koala is NOT a bear. They are marsupials.
How did the Koala get this name? The Aborigines used the word "Koala" when they don't wish to drink from a communal vessel. This was then used to name the tree-dwelling animal that does not drink - the Koala.
Most likely you won't see the Koalas awake. The lengthy digestion of the mildly toxic eucalypt leaves and the low nutrient gained from this diet means the Koalas have little energy and they usually sleep up to 21 hours a day!
Everyday 10am to 5pm
Child (4-16yrs) $2.60
The Oswin Roberts Reserve in the area is a reminder of how the islands's forest used to be.
You can fish in most areas along the coast or you can join charter fishing expeditions which depart from Newhaven and San Remo, or you can hire boats from Rhyll and Corinella. Surf fishing and rock fishing are popular too.
A large variety of fish can be caught in Western Port, such as Flathead, Snapper, Channel Whiting, King George Whiting (Sept - June), Gummy Shark (Oct-May), Pike (Nov - July), Australian Salmon (May - Feb), etc. Squid is also in abundance from Nov - April and is a common catch on all jetties (Cowes, Newhaven, Rhyll, San Remo and Corinella).
A license is required for leisure fishing at Western Port, and there are regulations on minimum size fish, bait gathering and the techniques allowed for taking of various species. More information can be obtained from the Dept. of Natural Resources and Environment located at:
As the sun drops below Bass Strait and evening sets in, the fairy penguins come ashore at Summerland Beach to return to their burrows after a day fishing for food in the waters surrounding Phillip Island. The penguins are very tiny, only about the size of seagull. After watching these tiny creatures braved the strong ocean waves you would think that nothing is impossible.
The Parade is open every day of the year.
Please do not take photos of the penguins as the flashlight can blind them!
Penguin Parade and Visitor Centre
Child (4-16 yrs) $7.00
Dress warmly, even in summer, it's very windy and freezing cold. A windproof jacket is ideal.
The pic is from a postcard.
This is a great place for beachcombing! Lots of interesting seashells. Abalone shells are scattered everywhere. It's also a good place for surfing.
Please don't take the live seashells, throw them back to the sea, and please don't disturb the penguins' burrows in the area!
Car and motorcycle racing began on the island in the late 1920s and a racing circuit was built in 1950. You can re-live the past at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit Visitor Centre as the History of Motor Sport on Phillip Island unfolds.
Check out the website for calendar of events.
Auto racing clubs organise race regulary for members.
My Bro and his beloved Subaru WRX were the Class D champion in the August 2001 Calder Sprints. =)
Daily 9am - 5pm
From this magnificient headland, the views stretch forever. Walk along the boardwalk to the Blowhole and enjoy the spectacular views along Phillip Island's rugged south coast. Silver Gulls nest here and chicks can be seen during spring and early summer.
The spurting effect of the Blowhole is caused by air compression in the tunnel.
During Summer or Easter, you can join a guided Ranger tour to the rock platform at low tide.