Sunday, June 17, 2012

Phillip Island Penguins

Phillip Island is about a 90 minute drive from Melbourne and is well worth the trip.  It is high on my list of things you must do when in Victoria.  It's in the same region as the Mornington Peninsula which encompasses pristine ares such as Mornington, Mt Martha, Dromana and Portsea. I've been there many times and it never ceases to take my breath away.  It is very beautiful.  It's a great area to be able to see Kangaroos and wallabies in their natural habitat.
You can also take advantage of fishing, hiking, boating and eating at many fine restaurants and cafes.  Phillip Island is also host to the World Super Bikes, Moto GP and V8 Supercars since it is home to the Phillip Island Circuit. has some very useful information on where to stay and what else is on offer.  For the purpose of this post I would like to focus on the Penguins that come on shore year round.

Commonly known as Fairy Penguins or Little Penguins, they arrive on shore around sunset, coming in from sea to either feed their young, build a nest or mate - it depends on the time of year. They have nests on the shore.  I grew up in Tasmania and had the privilege of seeing the little guys many times up and down the east coast.  They are extremely cute and it's unusual to see such wildlife up close and personal.  Just like on the documentaries with David Attenborough in Antarctica, they don't seem to be affected by the presence of humans.  Coming up from the surf, they march up the sand in groups or single file.  I'm not talking about a zoo or any controlled environment or show.  It is amazing to see real live and wild Penguins come marching on shore from the surf every night.   The thousands upon thousands of people who come to see the spectacle every year agree with me.  There is a tiered, elevated seating platform on Summerland Beach which has a 180 degree viewing of the Penguin Parade.  Tickets will need to be bought for the tours.  Make sure you get there early. December, January and Easter are the busiest times. So, come grab some fish and chips, perch yourself of the shore at sunset or take a guided tour.... and enjoy.  Just a few tips: Melbourne weather can be unpredictable so take something warm (even in summer) and some wet weather gear just in case.  Also remember you are not allowed to take a picture of them with a camera that has a flash.

>>> Hotels in Phillip Island, Australia
>>> Hotels in Mornington Peninsula, Australia
>>> Book a Phillip Island Penguins Koalas and Kangaroos Day Tour From Melbourne

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