What time of year is best for the Penguin Parade?

What time of year is best for the Penguin Parade?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 08/03/2023

Reading time: 3 mins

Every year thousands of people visit the Penguin Parade to watch little penguins waddling onto Phillip Island at sunset.

The Penguin Parade is Phillip Island’s’ most popular attraction, and we understand why! Every night at sunset you can watch the little penguins waddle up the beach into their burrows, possibly the cutest sight ever.

The best time of year to visit the Penguin Parade is around summer, so between December to February. While summer guarantees warmer weather, it does mean it can get busier due to the school holidays.

In winter, there are a lot fewer people due to the colder weather and the cool winds that the beach is known for. However, if you prefer less of a crowd, it’s the perfect opportunity to get the penguins all to yourself – just make sure you bring a raincoat! You can also select the underground viewing upgrade, which will protect you from the weather further.

How can I get to the Penguin Parade?

The best way to get to the Penguin Parade is by driving yourself or booking a tour. It takes about two hours to drive from Melbourne to Phillip Island.

When you book a tour, you will be picked up from Melbourne and returned to the city after the Penguin Parade is finished.

It’s not recommended to go via public transport as it’s quite limited on Phillip Island.

Phillip Island

What time do the penguins come out?

Throughout the year the penguins will come out at different hours depending on the time of the year. However, they will always come out at sunset, so you should arrive at the Penguin Parade about an hour before the sun is supposed to set.

What can I do before the penguins?

If you want to have a day out, you can spend the day driving around Phillip Island.

If you go on a tour, you won’t need to plan anything for the day! Tours will already have a set itinerary for you, which will vary depending on the tour.

Some tours will go to a wildlife park outside of Phillip Island before stopping at the Nobbies, a magnificent headland with views that seem to stretch forever. The Nobbies has multiple highlights and is well worth a visit. For starters, there is the Nobbies Centre which has an interactive and immersive experience of the Antarctic. Then there’s also a boardwalk to give you a sprawling view of the Southern coastline. There is even a blowhole along the boardwalk, which in the right weather can be incredible to see in action. The most exciting part of the boardwalk is spotting some playful fur seals at Seal Rocks.

Overall, visiting the Penguin Parade during summertime means the weather will be warmer and the penguins will come out later in the day. If you arrive early, there is a cafe at the Penguin Parade and some interactive experiences you can try while you wait for a gorgeous sunset.

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.