We heard about a lot about Philip Island and Penguin Parade before coming to Australia .We were told about visiting Philip Island to enjoy Penguin Parade ever since we migrated to Australia in 2006. But reality did not permit us to visit it till January 2013 after we returned from a trip to Tasmania. I visited Philip Island once in 2010 but did not have opportunity to enjoy the Penguin Parade as it happen only after dusk . The visit I am mentioning was with Rozy, Shuvro and Mahabub purposefully visiting Penguin Parade. The Philip Island National park is about one hours drive from our place in Melbourne .But Shuvro making a mistake in reading GPS made it longer. Starting at 3 PM we could reach Philip Island at about 4: 45 PM. In summer sun does not set before 8; 30PM .So we had enough time to move around as Penguins never come to the shore before sun starts setting and darkness arrives .We planned to drive to Nobbies Centre to spend the time instead and return in time to occupy a vintage place at the viewing platform.
Phillip Island Nature Park (PINP) is a conservation park located on Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia. Created in 1996, the park is owned by the Victorian State Government; however it is a self-funding commercial attraction for the purpose of animal conservation and research.
An oil spill off the island in January, 2000 led to a worldwide appeal for hand knit penguin sweaters. Located 1.5 hours drive south of Melbourne, PINP covers several separate areas over 1805 hectares. The parks include Pyramid Rock, Rhyll Inlet, Seal Rocks, and Cape Woolamai, with specific viewing and attraction areas that include the Nobbies Centre (seals, dolphins, and shark viewing), the Penguin Parade (Little Penguins coming ashore at dusk), Koala Conservation Centre, and the Churchill Island Heritage Farm. Phillip Island’s Penguin Parade is the only commercial venue in the world where you can see penguins in their own environment. The Koala Conservation Centre is dedicated to koala research and conservation and allows the opportunity to view koalas in their natural habitat on treetop boardwalks.
Much of the park lies within the Phillip Island Important Bird Area, so identified by Birdlife International because of its importance in supporting significant populations of Little Penguins, Short-tailed Shearwaters and Pacific Gulls.
The Nobbies Centre is an ecotourism destination located at Point Grant, on the western tip of Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia. Once known as the Seal Rocks Sea Life Centre, the center is managed by the Phillip Island Nature Park, and features educational displays, cafe, children's play area, and gift shop. A network of boardwalks outside the center overlooks Seal Rocks, The Nobbies, and The Blowhole. Home to Australia’s largest colony of fur seals with an estimated 16,000 inhabiting the area, around half a million people visit the center yearly, with 53% being international visitors
Penguins and Penguin Parade.
At Philip Island Penguin Parade visitors can experience one of the Australia’s most popular attractions. Each night at sunset one can be amazed by Little Penguins returning ashore after a day’s fishing.
The world’s smallest penguin in its natural habitat can be seen from viewing stands and boardwalks. Interactive and educational displays in the visitor center and the spectacular coastal scenery from the Penguin Parade can be enjoyed. This experience is sure to be the highlight of anyone visiting Melbourne and Australia. As the sun fades in the sky, Little Penguins waddle up the beach to the safety of their homes in the sand dunes. This magical procession once seen is a treat never forgotten.
The main penguin viewing area at Summerland Beach has tiered seating and provides a 180 degree elevated viewing of the Little Penguins on parade. Watching them arrive and waddle across the beach to their sand dune burrows at sunset is a magical experience for all. Visitors can also enjoy Little Penguins around their burrows from elevated timber boardwalks.
Penguins plus Viewing Platform
Penguins plus Viewing Platform provides visitors with a more personalized penguin viewing experience. Limited to 150 people, the viewing platform provides a closer look of the penguins on parade. The stand is located in a ‘high penguin traffic area’ with rangers on hand to provide full interpretation of the world’s smallest penguins and their fascinating lives. Entry also includes a drink voucher.
Penguin Sky Box
Penguin Parade can be enjoyed from the comfort of an exclusive, elevated viewing tower. Located at the main viewing stand at the Penguin Parade, this option allows five people each evening to have pole position for penguin viewing. Visitors are able to interact with a ranger and assist in the penguin count, an important part in the ongoing research of the Phillip Island penguins.
Ultimate Penguin Tour
If a group is seeking a more personalized and intimate wildlife tour, the Ultimate Penguin Tour is the right choice. Designed for groups of up to 15, this fully accredited eco-tour takes visitors to a stunning, secluded beach to view Little Penguins. Participants get informative commentary by rangers through personal headphones as they view penguins with the use of night vision technology.
Penguin Eco Explorer Tour
This exciting behind the scenes, ranger-led tour allows the visitors to see what goes on at the Penguin Parade and how rangers and researchers are protecting the Little Penguins.The Penguin Parade Visitor Centre features informative displays, gift shops, café, toilets and theatre.
Big numbers, little penguins
Over 4,000 of the 32,000 little penguins living in the waters around Phillip Island have their burrows around Summerland Beach. Native to Australia and the smallest of their species at just 33 centimetres, the little penguins leave their burrows about an hour before sunrise and swim up to 100 kilometres each day before returning at dusk.
Visit to Nobbies Centre:
The center is at the tip on Mornington Peninsula. The high waves of Southern Ocean striking against the coast against the makes majestic views. The wooden walk ways lead visitors go down the slope and closer to the ocean. Beside the walkway we found seagulls hatching the eggs and mother seagulls feeding their babies .We found some penguins in the barrows also. We stayed there till the sun set to capture some majestic photographs.
We walked to take our place at the gallery along with hundreds waiting for the arrival of penguins. Several kangarros and big birds were moving around in the spaces from the entry to Penguine parade ground A commentator was describing about the little penguins their nature, their habitat. As the darkness with every high tide the penguins started approaching the shore .Finally some penguins appeared on the shore and till they formed a group of dozen or more they were waiting for the mates. The march of the penguin army was not less than the charge of light brigades .To may it appeared like a well-disciplined army unit marching. No one was allowed to take a photograph as the flashes could scare the little penguins. The spectators were walking back with the group of penguins marching to their barrows. It was a spectacular side which has to be seen to believe.
BDST: 1834 HRS, SEP 28, 2014