Watching the nightly Penguin Parade is a popular pastime. There are three self-guided viewing options available: general viewing, which allows access to the viewing stand overlooking the beach; the penguins-plus viewing area, which offers a much closer look at the penguins; and the underground viewing area, which lets you view the penguins at eye level. Guided Penguin Parade tours offer greater insight into the penguins and their daily routine.
Many Phillip Island tours and day trips from Melbourne include entrance to the Penguin Parade, often alongside other island attractions such as the Nobbies, the Phillip Island Wildlife Park, or Churchill Island.
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Things to Know Before You Go
There's an admission fee to enter the viewing area, and advance bookings are essential. Children under 4 enter for free.
There's a visitor center, café, restrooms, and free parking at the Penguin Parade site.
Bring warm clothing as it can get chilly along the seafront at night, even in the summer.
In order to protect the penguins from flashes and lights, no photography or filming is permitted at the Penguin Parade.
The Penguin Parade viewing areas and boardwalks are accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
The Penguin Parade takes place at Summerland Beach on Phillip Island, 87 miles (140 kilometers) south of Melbourne, off the Mornington Peninsula. Once on the island, it’s a 20-minute drive to Summerland Beach, depending on traffic. The site is easy to find, off the C473 road and close to the Nobbies. There's no public transport to the beach, so if you don’t have your own car, it’s best to join a tour.
When to Get There
The Penguin Parade takes place daily year-round at sunset, which can be as early as 5:15pm in June or as late as 8:45pm in December. It’s recommended to arrive an hour before sunset to ensure a good viewing spot—seats are not allocated.
Wildlife Experiences on Phillip Island
Animal lovers will find plenty of wildlife-watching opportunities around Phillip Island. Head to the Koala Conservation Centre to spot koalas, wallabies, and echidnas free-roaming in natural bushlands; admire Australia’s largest colony of fur seals at Seal Rocks; or set sail on a whale-watching cruise from Cowes Jetty (May–October only). You can also spot Aussie animals such as kangaroos, wombats, dingoes, and Tasmanian devils at the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Park or meet farmyard animals and watch sheepshearing demonstrations at the Churchill Island Heritage Farm.
- Phillip Island Nature Parks
- Nobbies Centre
- Phillip Island Winery
- Phillip Island Circuit
- Phillip Island Wildlife Park
- A Maze'N Things
- Koala Reserve (Koala Conservation Centre)
- Churchill Island
- Cape Woolamai
- Phillip Island Chocolate Factory
- Moonlit Sanctuary
- Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse
- Cleft Island (Skull Rock)