The Little Penguin – Phillip Island

The Little Penguin – Phillip Island

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 02/02/2016

Reading time: 4 mins

Discover Phillip Island’s most beloved native Little Penguins.

Phillip Island Little Penguins in nest

When visiting Victoria, an absolute must on every travel list is a visit to Phillip Island. The island is full of amazing landscapes and beautiful sea views. However, the main draw for travellers is the famous Little Penguins.

Phillip Island is located only 90 minutes from the busy city of Melbourne. It’s a wonderful excuse to get out of town and enjoy the natural beauty of Australia. The island boasts over 100 activities to enjoy, including some of the best surf in the south of the country. But the most popular attraction to check out is by far the penguins. Phillip Island is the only place in the world where you can see penguins in nature at a commercial venue. The Phillip Island Nature Park where the penguins reside was built back in 2006 and has been a favourite ever since it opened.
The Australian penguins are the smallest penguins in the world. They are renowned for their nightly waddle up to shore along the Phillip Island’s coast.

But why do these penguins choose Phillip Island as their home? Read below to find out!

About the Little Penguins

The name ‘Little Penguins’ is the perfect fit for these creatures, as they are the world’s smallest penguin species. They stand at an average of 33 centimetres tall and only weigh around one kilogram. With dark blue feathers on their backs, white feathers on their belly, and pink feet, these adorable animals will waddle straight into your heart. Living in colonies and spending the majority of their time in the sea searching for food, the only time these creatures venture to land is at night. They nest along the coast, returning to their nests to rest.

Why do they go to Phillip Island?

The Little Penguins’ natural environment is the ocean. They spend 80% of their time at sea fishing for their food. However, when they do come to land, they are only found along the southern coast of Australia as well as New Zealand. This is their natural habitat and has been for decades, long before the growth of humans.

Back in the day, little penguin colonies were common on the Australian Mainland. However, due to dangers including construction, population increase, and predators, the majority of colonies are found on offshore Islands. The Penguins have called Phillip Island their home for thousands of years, with the penguin parade commencing in the 1920s. Phillip Island’s colonies have decreased over the years, with nine colonies out of ten becoming extinct. The island is now home to approximately 32, 000 little penguins.

Little Penguin on Phillip Island

How you can see the Little Penguins

To see these cute little creatures, your best option is to visit the Penguin Parade. The famous Penguin Parade is held every evening at sunset on the island. At this time, visitors and locals alike can experience the penguins in their natural habitat. This attraction allows for an exceptional and environmentally friendly way to see the Little Penguins. The penguin parade offers different viewing options for you to choose from. The standard viewing option includes viewing from the standard stadium, with seating that is first come first served.

If you are interested in getting a bit closer to the action, try out the upgrade to a Penguin Plus viewing. This is a completely different viewing platform, which is closer to the penguin’s path. The design of the Penguin Plus platform has been inspired by the natural elements surrounding the beach, making a natural viewing experience. This platform also includes a detailed commentary on the penguin’s lives, behaviours, habitats and history. This option is a great addition for travellers who are interested in learning more about these cute little animals.

If that’s not enough, you can download the Penguin Parade app to your smartphone or tablet. The app allows you to watch the penguins burrow into their homes! You can view photos each day and learn more facts about the little critters.

Related article: The Fascinating Habitat of Victoria’s Little Penguins

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.

Previous article: