Habitat of Victoria’s Little Penguins

Phillip Island is known for its variety of animal encounters, with one of the most popular being the nightly parade of Little Penguins returning from their day at sea.

penguin parade

The smallest penguins in the world, fairy penguins are native to Australia and New Zealand and can be found on Phillip Island in Victoria, so book a Penguin Parade tour and watch them in their habitat.

The Fascinating Habitat of Victoria’s Little Penguins

This beauty of a spectacle is a ripper for animal enthusiasts in the area, especially since this unreal experience is a once-in-a-dinkum-lifetime event. Not only can you squit at the adorable little blighters waddling up the beach, but you can also get the lowdown on their digs and how they go about their day at the Visitor Centre.

Believe it or not, the Little Penguins are the tiniest penguins going around – that's why they're named that. They stand about 33cm tall on average and mainly hang about the southern coasts of Australia and New Zealand, spending their days at sea snagging a feed before rocking up back on shore come nightfall. Sometimes, folks call these wee creatures fairy penguins because of their pint-size.

Guide to Locating Little Penguins

Phillip Island is home to the largest colony of Little Penguins. The penguin parade occurs every evening on Summerland Beach. The island is popular with tourists seeking wildlife encounters. There are 32,000 breeding pairs on the island and in St Kilda and Victoria Pier. Little Penguins have lived on the breakwater long and have been studied for conservation since the mid-1980s.

Various tourist spots in Australia include Little Penguins near London Arch, the Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road, and Wilson's Promontory and Gabo Island.

These spots are all about gorgeous, untamed beaches where the penguins can kick back on an evening, and the warm waters are perfect for them to go fishing during the day. Phillip Island is your best bet if you're chasing nature encounters while wandering around Australia. The nightly penguin parade is a top-notch way to spend your evening after you've sussed out everything to know about the adorable little blokes’ home turf, their story in Oz, and the efforts to keep them safe for their future.

Be sure to rock up at the viewing area early to snag the best spot, whether you're keen to watch the procession from up top or right at eye level.

What makes fairy penguins unique?

The penguins, also known as trim or blue, are unique because they have blue feathers. These blue feathers help them blend in the water, where they spend most of their time. They have about 10,000 feathers despite their small size. Visitors are fond of these penguins because they are tiny and adorable, making them unique attractions.

Where can fairy penguins be found?

Little penguins can be best observed on Summerland Beach in Phillip Island, where the Penguin Parade occurs every evening at sunset as the penguins return to the island for the night.

Penguin Parade offers various ways to view the blue penguins.

General viewing

The general viewing area at Summerland Beach has tiered seating and boardwalks available on a first-come, first-served basis, offering a great view of the beach before the penguins arrive.

Penguin Plus

If you want a better view of the penguins, consider upgrading to Penguin Plus. This upgrade offers a different viewing experience compared to general seating. You will be on a platform that blends in with the natural surroundings and puts you closer to the penguins' path.

Underground viewing

Experience the unique opportunity to observe penguins at eye level as they navigate their path underground. Visitors are enclosed behind a window for safety and protection from the weather.

Guided ranger tour

Take a ranger-guided tour to observe little penguins as they come ashore at the beach. This experience offers a unique opportunity to witness them up close on the beachfront.

Ultimate adventure tour

Visitors can learn about penguins from a ranger during a beach walk, followed by observing them in a secluded area as they shuffle through the sand. Night vision scopes are available for viewing in the dark.

penguin parade tour

Family wildlife tour

The ranger organizes an educational program for children, and you and the kids have reserved seats in the main viewing area.

Tips for watching Little Penguins

- Flash photography is prohibited due to the penguins' sensitivity to light, which can frighten or disorient them.

- It is recommended that the penguins remain seated to avoid sudden movements that may scare them.

- Visitors are advised to arrive an hour before the penguins arrive to explore the visitor centre or have a meal.

- The Penguin Parade is held regardless of weather conditions, so it is essential to check the forecast and dress accordingly.