Penguin Island Travel Guide

  • Penguin Island
    by Steve-H
  • Penguin Island
    by Steve-H
  • LOOK i'm king of the castle!
    LOOK i'm king of the castle!
    by Drever

Penguin Island Things to Do

  • Penguin Island

    Penguin Island near Perth offers a good day out. It is a 12.5 ha island only 700 metres from the town of Rockingham, a few minutes in the regular ferry. The waters surrounding the island make up the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park. The marine park is home to bottlenose dolphins and rare Australian sea lions.The island is home to the largest...

    more
  • Boardwalks and Walk Trails

    There are new boardwalks which provide access between the jetty, The Penguin Experience Island Discovery Centre, picnic area and the (only) toilets for people with disabilities. The park authorities request that the access on the island is limited to walk trails and demarcated beaches only. The rest of the island is a bird sanctuary area and access...

    more
  • Shag Rock

    One of the tiny islands between Penguin Island and Seal Island is Shag Rock... basically what it say, its more a rock. The Pied Cormorant can be seen pearched on the craggy outface.

    more
  • The Reefs

    There are cavernous reefs which surround both Penguin Island the nearby smaller islands. These reefs support a variety of subtropical and temperate invertebrates which include sea starts, molluscs and urchins as well as numerous fish species. Good snorkelling and diving can be found around these reefs.

    more
  • Mersey Point

    Mersey Point is the departure point for the Penguin Island ferry. Ferry tours operate from mid-September through to early June and leave on an hourly basis. There is a small store and café at the point where you can buy your ferry tickets and also any light snacks to take with you to the island. There are no shops on the island.

    more
  • The Mating Game

    After the ‘courtship walk’ where the female can lead a group of up to 8 males, and after the dominant male has one out, the female selects a nesting site and forms a shallow depression in the ground where she will lay her eggs. Both the male and female will aid in the building of the nest. The female will usually lay around 2 eggs and both parents...

    more
  • Australian Pelican

    The Australian pelican is Australia's largest flying bird and a colony of these birds have nested on the north end of the island since late 1998. The nesting period varies according to the availability of food and Water but normally between August and November.

    more
  • Pelican Breeding Colony

    Penguin Island is home to one of only nine breeding colonies of Australian Pelican known along the West Australian coast. You are requested not to get to near the pelicans and stay on the walk trails and boardwalks as they can be sensitive to disturbance and move to even more secluded areas. Also young pelicans have been known to fall over the...

    more
  • Tripled in Numbers

    The Pied Cormorants numbers have tripled on the islands over the past 10 years. These birds are masters at diving from the surface and pursuing their prey at depth. Their white underside makes them less conspicuous to the fish and enhances their hunting method. Large amounts of guano are produced by the Pied Cormorants and the Pelicans.

    more
  • Pied Cormorant

    On Seal Island in particular you can see masses of Pied Cormorant. The striking black and white bird at times resembles the pelican but it has a striking white face and yellow or orange facial skin. They prefer the rocky outcrops or just sitting around on piers and buoys. They are Australia’s most common cormorant.

    more
  • Unique in their Breed

    These Sea Lions are the only pinniped (fin-foot) that is found only in Australia and aside from Seal Island, lives along parts of the western and southern coastline. Males weigh about 3 times more than females at roughly 300kgs. They have dark brown fur with pale necks while the females backs are grey with a creamy fur front. Unlike other Sea...

    more
  • Australian Sea Lions

    The Australian Sea Lions spend most of the year on Seal Island. The Australian variety is the rarest in the world and has been given protection under State Legislation. No one is permitted to land on Seal Island while these mammals seem harmless and sleepy enough, they can delivery a nasty bite if aggravated.

    more
  • Seal Island

    Seal Island lies north of Penguin Island and is sanctioned by National Park laws prohibiting anyone to go ashore there. The island is home to a colony of Australian sea lions which can be seen from the water, lazing around in the sun on the small beach area.

    more
  • Sea Grass

    As you cruise around the islands you will see vast colouration differences in the ocean. The pale turquoise colour is depicted when there is a sandy bottom and the darker green colour where there is extensive areas of seagrass. These vegetation areas are important in the life cycle of the many fish that inhabit the area. The Seagrass also helps to...

    more
  • Increasing Numbers

    The Silver Gull has become a successful scavenger and will hang around the main picnic area of the island waiting for handouts. When the tourists are not around however, they will search out worms, fish, insects and crustaceans. While native to the area, the increasing numbers are somewhat unnatural. During the 1940’s when surveys were recorded,...

    more
  • The Silver Gull

    The silver Gulls are in great abundance on the island and will bombard you the moment you step off the ferry… reminiscent of Hitchcock’s movie ‘The Birds’. They make more noise than anything else especially at breeding time or when you get near their young – which most times you don’t realise as they are hidden in the vegetation.

    more
  • Scruffy Top Knots

    Terns are seldom found on inland waterways and prefer islands, beaches, lakes and inlets around the coastal areas of Australia. They are usually about 49 cms in length with a pale yellow bill and white neck and underparts. Their back and wings are grey and they have this scruffy black crest atop their heads.

    more
  • Fishermans Guide

    The Crested Tern feeds mainly on small fish swimming close to the surface, plunging downwards into the water to grab the fish behind the head. Often fishermen will use flocks of feeding terms as a gauge to locate shoals of fish.

    more
  • The Crested Tern

    Around the backside of the island on the West Beach, you will see a small gathering of Crested Tern. These are the second largest of the terns which are found in Australia and one of the most commonly seen species however they don’t usually breed on these islands.

    more
  • Caves

    The limestone caves around the island take on wonderful shapes with natural archways and bridges. They can however be potentially dangerous. There are warnings that the formations maybe unstable due to the weathering and wave action. The overhangs, cliffs and caves are prone to collapse so you should take care when exploring these areas.

    more
  • West Beach

    West beach is found on the backside of the island and less sheltered. Fossilised trunks and roots of a once grand tuart forest can be seen around this area, just south of the northern walk trail. The tuart forests have now been replaced with small thickets of berry saltbush, spinifex and sea spinach.There are some good examples of Aeolian bedding...

    more
  • Limestone and Sand

    Penguin Island is a limestone plateau and today you will mainly see it covered with sand dunes and thickets. Once the island was covered with a Tuart Forrest, this was before the sea level rose some 10,000 years ago and the islands became part of the mainland. The sand dunes which covered the area were rich in lime from shell fragments however...

    more
  • Penguin Habits

    Penguins which nest on the mainland have declined over the years due to foxes and cats. Most colonies are now on offshore islands. The birds come ashore on Penguin Island an hour or two after sunset and they gather in small groups (or rafts as they are called) just off the beach, drawn together by their barking calls. They will then cross en masse....

    more
  • Vulnerable to Human Disregard

    These little penguins usually live for around 10 years although some can survive up to 20 years. At sea, penguins are vulnerable to the wastes of human such as fishing lines, plastic items which have been discarded, and oil pollutions and about 15 percent of adults die each year. Of course one of their biggest concerns are sharks.

    more
  • The Little Penguins

    Little penguins are also known as Fairy Penguins, Little Blue Penguins, Northern or Southern Blue Penguins and are found on the southern coastline of Australia to northern New South Wales, mainly on offshore islands. The largest colony known is at Philip Island in Victora. They are the smallest of penguins with only being around 40cm (16 inches)...

    more
  • Penguin Experience and Discovery Centre

    This is a small facility which provides an environment similar to the Little Penguins natural habitat so that visitors can get up close and person and learn through a commentated feeding session which is held at 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm every day during the open season. The facility is also home to rescued and rehabilitated penguins.

    more
  • Fishing Friends

    In Nyoongar folklore, a Nyoongar elder used to sit at the edge of the water on the island and chant to the dolphins. The dolphins would apparently come to him and get so excited by his presence that they would chase the then prolific schools of fish at such high speed that they would cause some of the fish to leap out of the water onto the beach in...

    more

Penguin Island Transportation

  • Cruises

    There are several options for cruises within the Shoalwater Island Bay Park. You can take a 45 min cruise to Seal Island and Penguin Island. Hear the commentary on how the islands were 10,000 years ago, what the marine life is like. The cruise concludes on Penguin Island where you can spend as much time as you want before catching one of the hourly...

    more
  • Gettin gThere

    Penguin Island is around 50kms south of Perth and will take you around 40 mins to drive there. Take the Kiwinana Freeway to Thomas Rd Exit, through Rockingham Rd, Patterson Rd, Parkin St, Safety Bay Road to Shoalwater Road

    more
  • Penguin Island Hotels

    0 Hotels in Penguin Island

Penguin Island Warnings and Dangers

  • keeweechic's Profile Photo

    by keeweechic Written Sep 25, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are several options for cruises within the Shoalwater Island Bay Park. You can take a 45 min cruise to Seal Island and Penguin Island. Hear the commentary on how the islands were 10,000 years ago, what the marine life is like. The cruise concludes on Penguin Island where you can spend as much time as you want before catching one of the hourly ferries back again. All cruises (except night cruises) include entry into the Discovery Centre on Penguin Island

    Was this review helpful?

    more

Penguin Island Sports & Outdoors

  • keeweechic's Profile Photo
    1 more image

    by keeweechic Written Sep 25, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Capricorn Kayak Tours for CALM (Conservation and Land Management) operate various kayaking tours by First Aid qualified sea kayak guides who are accredited through the Australian Canoe Federation. One of their tours is to Penguin and Seal Island. There is a full day ‘island Explorer’ tour where you can also snorkel with the sea lions and visit the Penguin Enclosure. Tours operate between November and March.

    Was this review helpful?

    more

Instant Answers: Penguin Island

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

64 travelers online now

Comments

 
Explore Deeper into Penguin Island
Spirit Children
Things to Do
Wardarn Dreaming
Things to Do
Shoalwater Bay and Islands
Things to Do
Map of Penguin Island

View all Penguin Island hotels