Experience that electrifying moment as you spot the first little penguins emerging from the sea and waddling along a Phillip Island beach at dusk.

Over 4,000 of the 32,000 little penguins living in the waters around Phillip Island have their burrows around Summerland Beach. Native to Australia and the smallest of their species at just 33 centimetres, the little penguins leave their burrows about an hour before sunrise and swim up to 100 kilometres each day before returning at dusk.

The daily parade of little penguins draws thousands of visitors from around the globe every year. Line the observation boardwalks at Phillip Island Nature Park at dusk to see them race up Summerland Beach to their burrows. Bring warm clothing year-round, as the nights on the beach can be cool.

Penguin Viewing Options

GUIDED RANGER TOUR (Min age 12 years)

Join your ranger guide for an informative journey through the penguin colony, enjoying their commentary via your personal headset.

Take your seat in the beachfront viewing stand offering intimate viewing of the penguins emerging from the water and crossing the beach.

Best for: A more intimate and educational experience. Maximum: 10 per group


Be one of the select few to venture out to a secluded beach on this fully accredited Eco Tour, perfect for lovers of both nature and adventure. Personal headsets ensure you hear all of the informative commentary, while high-tech night vision scopes allow you to spy on the penguins in the dark. A true highlight of this tour is the walk back to the visitor centre through the heart of the penguin colony

Best for: An intimate eco-experience. Maximum: 10 guests

VIP TOUR (Min age 12 years)

Be treated like a VIP on this exclusive guided tour and start your experience with a gourmet snack and drink. Your ranger will escort you to the VIP Skybox, which enjoys a prime elevated location overlooking the beach, where you can participate in the nightly penguin count with the head ranger.

Best for: Cooler months, a VIP educational experience. Maximum: 10 guests

PENGUIN RESEARCH TOUR (Min age 12 years)

Go behind the scenes and learn how Phillip Island Nature Parks’ rangers care for sick and injured wildlife. Your ranger guide will also give you an insight into the world-class research undertaken by the Nature Parks’ team of penguin researchers. The tour concludes with reserved seating in the Penguins Plus viewing platform to watch the penguins waddle ashore at sunset and head back to their burrows.

Best for: An educational experience. Maximum: 10 guests


Get an eye-level view of the Little penguins in the unique Underground viewing experience. Enjoy up-close viewing of the Little penguins waddling along the Parade’s most popular pathway through an underground viewing window.

Best for: Cooler months, families, mobility impaired. Maximum: 70 guests


The Penguins Plus viewing platform offers visitors unprecedented, up-close viewing of the little penguins as they waddle along the most popular pathway at the Penguin Parade.

Best for: All ages. Economical option for guests seeking a more intimate experience away from the grand stands. Maximum: 300 guests.


Hear the ‘huk-huk’ of penguins as they gather in their groups and begin moving towards the shore.

Watch closely as they emerge from the waves, then waddle across the beach toward their burrows in the dunes.

Best for: Families, Groups

Phillip Island Tours

Phillip Island Express Penguins

Take the fast track direct to the Penguin Parade

Phillip Island Private Tour

Witness the world-famous Penguin Parade and more on a visit to nature’s wonderland

Phillip Island Wildlife Encounters

An exclusive intimate encounter with the who’s who of Australian wildlife

Phillip Island Helicopter Journey

Arrive in ultimate style for nature’s phenomenal Penguin Parade