What is so special about fairy penguins?

What is so special about fairy penguins?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 12/19/2022

Reading time: 3 mins

The smallest penguin in the world, fairy penguins are from Australia and New Zealand and can be found on Victoria’s Phillip Island.

Also known as little penguins and blue penguins, they’re the only penguin with blue feathers. Their blue feathers help them blend in the water, where they spend most of their time, about 18 hours a day! Even though they may be little, they have about 10,000 feathers. Visitors love seeing these penguins because they’re small and cute. So why wouldn’t they be special?

Where can I see fairy penguins?

The little penguins are best spotted on Summerland Beach in Phillip Island. On Phillip Island the Penguin Parade is held every evening around sunset. This is when the penguins come back to the island for the night.

Penguin Parade has a few different experiences to view the blue penguins:

General viewing

Your general viewing has tiered seating and boardwalks. The seating is available on first serve basis. This seating gives you great view of Summerland Beach before the penguins approach.

Penguin Plus

If you want to get closer on viewing these penguins, you can upgrade to Penguin Plus. This upgrade has a different viewing from your general seating. You’re on a platform which is designed to blend in with the nature elements around. Plus, you’re closer to the penguin’s path!

Underground viewing

Get to know what it’s like viewing the penguins underground and be at eye level with them as they waddle up their path. You’ll be in an enclosed area with a window, so the penguins won’t be able to get to you and you’ll be protected from the weather.

Guided ranger tour

Learn more about these little penguins as they approach the beach via a ranger guide. This tour allows you to get a view on the beachfront.

Ultimate adventure tour

Have a ranger teach you about the penguins as you walk on the beach. Then you get to sit in a secluded area, watching the penguins waddle through the sand by you. You’ll be able to use night vision scopes to spot them when it’s dark.

Family wildlife tour

A ranger puts together a fun filled learning experience for the kids. You and the kids get front row seats in the general viewing area.

Rules and tips when seeing the little penguins

No flash photography as the penguins have sensitive eyes and flash can frighten or disorientate them
Stay seated as sudden movement from the crowd may scare the penguins
Arrive an hour before the penguins arrive to give you enough time to see the visitor centre or to get a meal
Penguin Parade is an all-weather event. So ensure you check the weather the night you come to bring the right clothing

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.