On Philip Island, the most famous attraction was naturally the Phillip Island Penguin Parade. Viewing time is only from sunset onwards as that is the time where it is safe (safe for the penguins from the threats of being prey to eagles, etc) for the hundreds to over a thousand wild Little Penguins to emerge from the sea & march across the beach to their sand dune burrows.
The Little Penguin is the world’s smallest (and cutest) penguin and the Penguin Parade is the best place to experience this completely natural phenomenon.
However, no photography or videography is allowed during the Phillip Island Penguin Parade as the flash is said to hurt their vision & it also scares them. Even if you do not use a flash, which you’ll probably need to anyway, cos it’s pretty dark, the park rangers will stop you politely the moment you tried to whip out your camera from your bags.
The experience of watching the penguins upclose (as close as 1 feet away!) is indescribable. If you are ever on Philip Island, this is a must-visit!
These Little Penguins are simply adorable! They are very small & they looked so cute as they are very fat at this time of the year since they have to eat more to regurgitate to feed their young in the burrows.
At the Phillip Island Penguin Parade visitors get to watch from an exclusive viewing platform & boardwalk as they strutted up the beach & walk along the long beach trail to their burrows.
(this pic below from www.penguins.org.au)
Our disappointment at not being able to capture any of these moments on camera was noted by our guide Reiner. Being the exemplary guide that he is, he offered to take us to The Nobbies Centre instead, which is actually more for fur seals viewing but there are sand dune burrows around the area that has these Little Penguins.
Amazing coastline along the beach here.
The view is truly magnificient. And the wind is strong enough to nearly blew me off from the top of the platform where I was standing. At times, I could feel the wind carrying me up & I had to take a few steps back to stablise myself again.
LOL. It gives literal meaning to “being blown off by the wind“!
And yes, it was VERY COLD!
Back to the Penguins…………
Since this is during the daytime, the Little Penguins in the burrows are actually the little ones, as their parents would have gone back to the sea by early morning, and would only return at night again to feed them. In these burrows (pictured below), the Little Penguins would be sleeping or just waiting for their parents.
We managed to spot one that was standing at the “entrance” of his little home. Unfortunately, he refused to come out!
Luckily for us, Reiner spotted a pair that was just under the bridge-walk. Oh yes!
Here’s my short video of these elusive cute penguins at the area around Nobbies Centre.
And some pictures too! All taken without flash of course.
OMG! They were so close to me & I wanted so badly to pat/stroke and hold them. But I didn’t of course. Our guide Reiner has specifically instructed us not to do so & he also explained that these are wild animals hence no matter how cute they looked they will peck/attack you if they felt threaten. Also, it’s best not to frighten them & we should ‘respect’ & not disturb them in their natural habitat.
Anyhow, after my parrot experience HERE, I didnt quite fancy the idea of being pecked by a penguin!
More : The Nobbies
The Nobbies Centre is Australia’s newest marine attraction. Explore & discover the secrets of the incredible southern marine environment including seals, sharks and dolphins via interactive displays and cameras that allow you to zoom in and out on these marine creatures. This area offers spectacular coastal scenery, viewing of the offshore seal colony at Seal Rocks and the chance to walk amongst nesting seabird colonies. It is a truly amazing natural experience!