Encounter the famously cute little penguins of Phillip Island on this budget-friendly boutique tour. Soak up the scenery on the journey to the island, then enjoy the wonderful nightly Penguin Parade. A maximum of eleven guests makes this tour a very personal experience.

AUD $120pp

Small Group Penguin Parade Tour from Melbourne
Runs: Daily
Departs at: 1.30pm to 3.30pm depending on the season — check your confirmation document for details
Departs from: Rendezvous Hotel, 328 Flinders Street, Melbourne
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

⟶ All Melbourne scenic day tours

5 stars

Featured guest review:

‘Our guide Mac was very friendly and helpful and kept us engaged throughout the two hour drive to Phillip Island. Once on the island, he gave us a brief history of the penguin colony and penguin parade. He also talked about the other local wildlife we spotted during our drive and walk along the peninsula. At around 5.15pm, he took us to the penguin parade centre and gave us tips on where to sit and what to look for among the throngs of other tourists. Watching the tiny penguins come ashore was the highlight of the tour.’ Tarak

Tour highlights

  • Relax on the drive from Melbourne to Phillip Island with your small group
  • Enjoy a drive around Phillip Island and a stop at the picturesque Nobbies (time permitting)
  • Learn about the famous little penguins of Phillip Island at the Penguin Parade Visitors Centre
  • Watch the Penguin Parade from the seated viewing platforms
  • See more penguins in the rookery after the parade
  • Maximum group size: 11.

What's included

  • Guided tour with commentary
  • Drop-off at selected CBD hotels
  • Comfortable air-conditioned transport
  • Friendly and knowledgeable local guide
  • General Viewing seating for the Penguin Parade.

Pricing

Adults: AUD $120pp
Children (4 to 15 years): AUD $90pp
Infants (0 to 3 years): AUD $50pp

Penguin Parade seating upgrades

The following Penguin Parade seating upgrades are available. Please follow the prompts to book your upgrade. Please note that all upgrades are subject to availability on the night of your tour. Where an upgrade is not available, the upgrade fee will be refunded.

Penguins PlusAUD $25pp

The Penguins Plus seating area is much smaller than the General Viewing area and set in a different section of the beach. The Penguins Plus viewing platform was constructed as a joint venture between Phillip Island Nature Parks and the RACV. The architects drew inspiration from the surrounding landscape, and the platform’s shape mirrors the coves of Phillip Island’s southern coastline. Typically these premium seats allow guests to see more penguins, and at closer range.

Guided Ranger Tour — AUD $60pp

*** Minimum age: 12 years ***

At the Penguin Parade Visitor Information Centre, you’ll be met by a park ranger who will take you and a small group of guests (a maximum of ten people) on a guided walk through the rookery and down towards the beach. Along the way you’ll hear lots of interesting facts about the resident little penguins. Your ranger will then accompany you to your reserved seats right on the edge of the beach for the Penguin Parade. As the parade gets underway, the ranger will provide expert commentary on the behaviour of the penguins, and answer any questions you may have.

What you can expect

This relaxed Small Group Penguin Parade Tour from Melbourne is a wonderful way to enjoy the unique spectacle of Phillip Island’s famous Penguin Parade — without being overwhelmed by the crowd on a large tour bus.

The single CBD pick-up point (just a short walk from Flinders Street railway station) ensures a speedy departure from Melbourne. Setting off in the afternoon, you’ll enjoy the wonderfully scenic drive down to Phillip Island. The journey takes around two hours, depending on the traffic, and your extremely friendly and knowledgeable guide will point out places of interest along the way. [More]

There should be enough time when you arrive on Phillip Island to do a short scenic drive and enjoy a stop at the rocky headland known as the Nobbies — where you may see swamp wallabies, Cape Baron geese, and even a few little penguins. Then it’s time to head to the official Penguin Parade Visitor Centre for the main event!

You can grab a quick bite to eat in the café (own expense), peruse the informative interpretive boards, and browse in the gift shop before heading down to the General Viewing area on the edge of the beach to settle in to watch the parade at dusk. It’s an amazing sight to see the local population of hardy little penguins returning to the beach following a day’s fishing in Bass Strait. As they bob in to shore, you’ll see them shake themselves off and waddle up the beach to their burrows in the rookery.

You’ll have the opportunity to see even more penguins as you make your way back up the boardwalk to the Visitor Centre.

At the appointed time you’ll re-join your guide and group for the journey back to Melbourne. If you’re staying at a CBD hotel, you’ll be dropped off at the door.

If you’re looking for a friendly, relaxed, and most importantly — boutique tour, this small Group Penguin Parade Tour from Melbourne is for you.

Read our full review of this tour

Guest reviews

  • Debsta34 (5/8/2018) - Via TripAdvisor

    I highly recommend taking this tour. I took the tour with a friend and we had a fantastic time! Our tour guide was fantastic. He went out of his way to ensure that we had a good time and got back safely. The tour bus was for small groups and was comfortable. The tour was great value for money.

  • Tarak (4/8/2018) - Via TripAdvisor

    Our tour started with meeting Mac at the designated pick-up point. Mac was very friendly and helpful and kept us engaged throughout the two hour drive to Phillips Island. The drive was quite comfortable and safe. Once on the island, he gave us a brief history of the penguin colony and penguin parade. He also talked about the other local wildlife - wallaby, geese, and rabbits - which we spotted during our drive of the island and walk along the peninsula. Around 5.15pm, he took us to the Penguin Parade center and gave us tips on where to sit and what to look for among the throngs of other tourists. Watching the tiny penguins emerge from the sea and come ashore, jump over the rocks, and waddle along the paths to their burrows was the highlight of the tour.

  • Elizabeth (14/4/2018)

    We had a great day! Our guide Mac was great. He looked after us all, was very friendly and made us feel very welcome. I would recommend this trip to everyone.

Best price guarantee: If you find this tour elsewhere at a cheaper price, we will beat it by 10%. Some conditions apply. There are no booking or credit card fees when you book this tour with The Big Bus tour and travel guide.

Once your booking has been completed, a confirmation document will be sent automatically to your email address, including meeting point details and operator contact information for the day. Please print the confirmation or have it available on your smart phone. Please refer to the booking confirmation for your confirmed tour meeting point and departure time.

To purchase a gift certificate, please click here.

Do you have a group enquiry? Please contact us.

Please dress appropriately for the season and wear suitable footwear. You will be seated in the open air to watch the Penguin Parade. Please note that no photography of the penguins is permitted.

This tour operates in all weather conditions.