One Day Trip to Phillip Island

One Day Trip to Phillip Island from Melbourne (2024)

One Day Trip to Phillip Island is an absolute must for anyone exploring Melbourne, especially for fellow animal enthusiasts. The excitement surged through me when I discovered the opportunity to witness these adorable little penguins in their natural habitat.

For things to do in Melbourne city, read my post Things to do in Melbourne.

During one Christmas season, I had the pleasure of hosting my mother in Melbourne. Given our shared love for animals, I thought it would be an excellent idea to embark on a Penguin Parade tour together. Little did we know that this experience would become one of the cherished highlights of our time as a mom-daughter duo.

Entrance of Phillip Island

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About Phillip Island

Phillip Island is the place where one can watch the Little penguins return home after a day of fishing in the ocean. It is a popular one day trip from Melbourne. The viewing of penguins is known as Penguin Parade. You can see these penguins from a platform that is built by the Phillip Island Nature Park.

Note: No photographs are allowed while viewing the penguins at the parade. However, photographs are allowed at places where the penguins have already returned to their homes (but definitely without flash as the flash light tends to hurt the penguin’s eyes).

The island is home for the biggest and largest penguin colonies in Australia. It is estimated that there are around 32000 penguins on the island.

Penguins in their homes - Phillip Island

The best time of the year to visit Phillip Island is during the summer season (November to February). During your visit, ensure to wear warm clothes even in the summer season. It gets extremely cold. And the best time of the day to visit Phillip Island is during sunset as that is the time when the penguins return home after a long day of fishing.

Photography with flash is not allowed at the viewing platform or anywhere near the penguins as that can hurt their eyes.

Penguin Homes - Phillip Island

About the Little Penguins

As the name suits the penguins aptly, they are just 33 centimetres in height and weighs only about 1 kilogram. They are the World’s smallest penguin species. Their features include the dark blue feathers at the back with white feathered belly. They nest in colonies along the coast and are found only in southern coast of Australia and New Zealand.

Another place to view these penguins is St Kilda beach in Melbourne. There are occasional penguin sightings during sunset. Note: These sightings are not run by any tour or agency.

Even though as tempting as it looks, DO NOT try to touch these penguins. It is against the rules and also it is not good for the penguins.

Penguins at Phillip Island

How to Get to Phillip Island?

By Road

Phillip Island is about 140 kilometers from Melbourne and takes only 1 hour 30 minutes to drive. There are FREE parking spaces at the venue. This is a cheaper option to visit the Phillip Island.

One Day Trip to Phillip Island from Melbourne

The tour takes around half a day and spending 2 to 2.5 hours at the viewing place. The tours include the transportation from and to Melbourne. I had booked the Philip Island through Viator and the details of the tour that I took are:

  • Provider: Great Sights (through Viator).
  • Tour Name: Penguin Parade.
  • Tour pickup: Crowne Plaza, Melbourne.
  • Cost: AUD 99 adult.

By Public transport

Even though reaching Phillip Island through public transportation can be tricky, it is still possible. There are three modes of transport that is required. One way to reach is:

  • Take the train from Melbourne city to Frankston. The train journey is about 1 hour.
  • Then change at Frankston to take a train to Stony Point. The train journey is around 35 minutes.
  • At Stony Point, take a ferry to reach Cowes.

The other way is to take a bus from Melbourne city to Phillip Island. Beware that this is a very long journey and you may have to stay in Phillip Island for a night.

More information on trains can be found on Metro trains website and public transport can be found on Public Transport Victoria website.

Closing Notes

Witnessing the Little Penguins return to their homes at sunset is truly an exhilarating experience. Their adorable antics and the overall charm of the moment make it a must-try activity. I highly recommend this penguin parade for anyone seeking a delightful encounter with these charming creatures by taking one day trip to Phillip Island.

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    Also read – For other one day trips from Melbourne, refer the section – One day trips from Melbourne.