The Fascinating Habitat of Victoria’s Little Penguins

Phillip Island is a haven of animal encounters, the most popular being the parade of Little Penguins that march up the beach every evening as they return from their day at sea. This incredible sight is a must-see for animal lovers in the region, not least because the surreal sight is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As well as watching the cute critters make their way up the sands, you can learn more about their habitat and behaviour at the Visitor Centre on-site.

The Little Penguins are, believe it or not, the smallest species of penguin – hence their descriptive name. They grow to an average of 33cm in height and predominantly live on the coastlines of Southern Australia and New Zealand, where they spend most of their days fishing at sea before returning to land as darkness falls. Sometimes, these little critters are referred to as fairy penguins because of their small size.

Where to Find Little Penguins

The largest colony of Little Penguins can be found on Phillip Island, where the penguin parade takes place every evening across the stunning expanse of Summerland Beach. The Island has been a major tourist hotspot for many years, particularly for those on the hunt for incredible wildlife encounters. There are around 32,000 breeding pairs on the Island, as well as in the areas of St Kilda and Victoria Pier. Here, the breakwater has been home to the Little Penguins for a long time, and they have been the subject of conservation studies since the mid-1980s.

Elsewhere in Australia, you can find Little Penguins by London Arch and the Twelve Apostles along the picturesque stretch of the Great Ocean Road, as well as Wilson’s Promontory and Gabo Island.

These areas all boast wild and beautiful beaches where the penguins can spend their evenings, and warm waters where they can head off fishing during the day. If it’s nature encounters you’re after while you’re exploring Australia, Phillip Island is the place to go. The nightly penguin parade really is an exceptional way to spend an evening after you’ve learned all about the cute critters’ habitat, their history in Australia, and the conservation projects that are taking place to protect their past, their present, and their future on the Island.

Hit up the viewing area early to grab the best spot, whether you want to view the march from above or from eye-level.