The green forests and pristine shores of Phillip Island are alive with scenery and native species, drawing many visitors each year. One of their favourite activities on Phillip Island is the Penguin Parade. As night falls, the Little Penguins scurry up the beach to their homes for the night, passing enchanted onlookers. These penguins have called Phillip Island home for thousands of years. Heading out during the day to fish, they come home as darkness gathers to tend their nests. However, it’s only been for the past 90 years or so that people have been flocking to the island at sunset to observe the scene.

During the 1920s, three residents of the island – Bert Watchorn, Bern Denham, and Bert West – first organised viewings of the penguins on Summerland Beach. They met guests as they arrived on the ferry, charging them five shillings for a personalised tour of the island (six if they wanted strawberries and cream). In the 1940s, when the bridge from Phillip Island to the mainland was built, the number of visitors skyrocketed. They made the trek to Phillip Island in droves and eventually began building homes around the beach.

A Problem and a Solution

As people sat on the beach with their blankets and picnic baskets to watch the penguins’ nightly journey, something unexpected happened: the penguins’ burrows and habitats became damaged. To make matters worse, the dogs that visitors brought to the beach with them killed off many of the penguins. The penguin population dwindled. It became clear that changes were needed to protect the penguins and change the way the public treated them.

In the 1960s, organisers built viewing stands and fences to keep people from standing on and inadvertently damaging the Little Penguins’ burrows. Upgrades continue today to keep the boardwalks and viewing boxes as safe as possible for the penguins. Now, the residential homes have been removed from Summerland Beach, and the Phillip Island Nature Park has become one of the world’s best eco-tourism attractions. It is a beautiful place that merges visitor education and exciting wildlife experiences with scientific research and conservation.

Book a Melbourne Penguin Parade Tour Today

If you would like to experience this delightful natural phenomenon, you can book a Melbourne Penguin Parade Evening Tour on The Little Penguin Bus. We are a small group tour operator hosting tours to Phillip Island for those who want to enjoy the natural wonder of the Penguin Parade. Our Penguin Parade Tour in Melbourne is led by friendly, experienced tour guides who know the local area and its history and will entertain and educate you along the way. When we say, “small group,” we mean it – our tours are for groups of up to no more than 11 participants (not “small” groups of 24 as you’ll find at many tour companies). We believe in offering personalised service, the lowest prices around, and a choice of tour experiences. For an unforgettable evening tour, contact The Little Penguin Bus today.