Where Can I See Penguins in Victoria? The Best Viewing Spots
Everybody knows penguins are flipping wonderful, from their endearing little waddle to their tuxedo like black and white feathers, their cuteness just makes everything better.
Lucky for Australia, we’ve got plenty of ‘Happy Feet’ in our own backyard. That’s right, if you want penguins Melbourne has them. So take a waddle on the wild side and plan a trip to see these fun little fellas.
The best place to see penguins in Victoria
You won’t find penguins tobogganing down Chapel Street or waddling through Melbourne’s famous laneways, but you don’t need to travel too far from the city to see wild penguins in their natural habitat.
St Kilda and Phillip Island are the two main areas which Little Penguins live. The Little Penguins are the smallest of their species at just 33 centimetres, cute!
St Kilda is a 20-minute drive from Melbourne’s CBD. The breakwater at the end of St Kilda Pier is home to a colony of about 1,200 Little Penguins which have been studied since 1986 and can be viewed by the public every night of the week.
Phillip Island is slightly further out of the city, about a two-hour drive. More than 32,000 Little Penguins living in the waters around Phillip Island which makes it one of the largest penguin colonies in Australia.
Penguins at St Kilda Best Time to Visit:
Head to St Kilda Pier just around dusk as the penguins will be returning from their day at sea: they swim back to the breakwater at the end of the Pier, climb out of the water, waddle over the rocks and nest their eggs. This ritual makes for spectacular viewing.
The number of penguins returning each night varies – penguins don’t need to come back to land each night as they are super buoyant and can sleep at sea – and their return can be spread over a number of hours but rest assured, you’ll definitely spot a few.
There is no charge for visiting penguins at St Kilda and there are a number of helpful wildlife rangers who patrol the Pier to manage the crowds and answer any penguin-related questions.
Penguins at Phillip Island Best Time to Visit:
The best time to see penguins Phillip Island is at sunset when the penguins race up Summerland Beach to their burrows in the sand dunes.
The world-famous penguin parade draws thousands of tourists from around the globe, but don’t stress, there are a range of viewing stands and elevated boardwalks to help you get a good look.
The Penguin Parade costs $23 per adult for General Viewing with close-up viewing packages and guided tours ranging from $44 - $69 per adult.
Please no pictures: While it might be tempted to snap a pic of these famed penguins, please refrain. Penguins don’t have eyelids and the flash can cause them to have epileptic fits. Since the penguins have been kind enough to share their habitat with us, let’s not cause them any distress.