Phillip Island: Penguins on Parade

September 15, 2008

Spread out a blanket on the beach and watch the march of the (little) penguins. Every night on Summerland beach, located on the southwestern tip of Australia’s Phillip Island, little penguins waddle ashore, oblivious to the thousands of people who have come to witness their daily routine. To experience the hordes of 13-inch-tall penguins coming home after a long day of hunting, book a private ranger tour. Arrive at the visitor center two hours before the parade; after a tour of the center and a peek into some of the actual penguin burrows, it’s time to bundle up — Antarctic winds chill the air even during the summer season — and walk down a system of boardwalks to the beach. On the way, look for swamp wallabies hiding among patches of native bower spinach & seaberry saltbush. The private tour allows you to forego massive, stadium-like bleachers and watch the parade from a secluded corner where the penguins, numbering nearly 1,000 each night, pass within six to 12 inches of your blanket’s edge.

Rate Information

  • Tour rates from $60 (AUD).

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