If you love animals, Phillip Island is the ideal place to visit, as it is filled with Australia’s most popular wildlife such as koalas, birds, kangaroos, wallabies and penguins. I had just arrived in Melbourne and was itching to see some Aussie wildlife, so I immediately booked the Penguin Parade tour to Phillip Island with Gray Line Australia.
What is the Penguin Parade? Every night during sunset, the penguins come back to shore to return to their burrows after a busy day of fishing. Since hundreds of them come to shore nightly on Phillip Island, it has become a popular tourist attraction. There is actually a boardwalk built on the beach for people to sit and walk along for viewing. The boardwalk allows people to watch the penguins in their natural state without disruption. Watching them really was an amazing experience! Doing a tour with Gray Line also enables you to get premium seating on the boardwalk, that is right next to the path they walk up. One by one, huge schools of penguins arrived and waddled straight past us on the boardwalk. If I wanted to, I could have reached out and grabbed one (which I obviously didn’t do but secretly wish I could have!), that is how close we were to them. Out of respect for the penguins natural process, you cannot take any photos, as it will scare or interrupt them, but trust me when I say that I was surrounded by hundreds of them! The two photos below which were provided to me by Gray Line Australia, gives you a little taste of what you would experience!
Before the Penguin Parade, there is a day full of fun activities on Phillip Island starting with a visit to a local farm, where I saw all the typical farm animals along with wallabies. There is also a sheep herding and sheep shearing demonstration, where you can watch the farmers in action.
Next up was a drive to the Koala Conservation Center to see some of the sleepy heads up in the trees. They were not behind a fence or in a cage, they were simply up above me sleeping in the trees. It was my first time seeing koalas, so I was pretty excited! Besides getting to see them, I also learned some interesting information, such as why they are always sleeping. They are not in a “high” state from the eucalyptus that they eat, which is a common myth, they are sleepy because the eucalyptus does not have enough nutrients in it, which means that they have a lack of energy and therefore sleepy. Koalas actually sleep 20 hours day! And I thought I slept a lot…
We stopped for dinner at the Phillip Island Nature Park. I grabbed a quick meal and then walked around the boardwalk along the cliffs to check out some of the stunning scenery. The landscape was jaw dropping. Birds were everywhere and I even saw wallabies hopping around.
The last stop was to Summerland Beach to watch the penguin parade. Make sure to dress warmly. I didn’t dress appropriately, as I didn’t realize how chilly it was going to get by the water. I ended up having to buy a hoodie in the gift shop. It’s okay though because whatever you buy contributes to the preservation of the penguins. Now if only I could have purchased an adorable penguin as well. 😛
**Thank you Gray Line Australia for hosting me. As always, my opinions are my own.