Kids, Anna and I did this trip before but that was during the day and could not actually see penguins coming back. We spotted few just resting in their nests. My kids loved it and we always wanted to go back to show them but we have been busy exploring other parts of Australia and The World so this trip we organised with some friends. Instead of driving we wanted to do it with Greyline Bus tour company and we totally loved it. It is a totally fun thing to do if you are in Melbourne.
The journey takes around 1 hour 45 minutes and the bus stopped at Warrook Homestead first. This is described as a heritage farm with a cafe if you want to have a quick coffee or tea. Koala sanctuary was our second stop and was good with two enclosures that have boardwalks in them. You’re pretty well guaranteed to see Koalas, but don’t expect to be able to touch them.
Last stop was Penguins Parade. Every evening at dusk the Little Penguins come home from the sea at Phillip Island. Let me tell you them tiny penguins too cute! So many of them and so cute you can walk alongside them when they are making their way to their burrows from the beach. We watched from an elevated boardwalk as they waddle cautiously from the beach to their burrows after a long day out at sea.
Phillip Island is a treasure trove of Australian wildlife; seals, koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, birdlife and penguins! At Koala Conservation Centre, we saw koalas in their natural habitat and before sunset, we head to the Penguin Parade where you can wander through the “Penguin Experience” exhibit to learn more about them. Walk out to the Beach and take your seat for the Penguin Parade. We watched the returning Panguins come ashore and climb up the dunes through well worn paths that they had made over the years and then they all marched passed us and climbed again to their burrows to meet up with the waiting penguins above and around us in the hills of The Nobbies.
Highlights of this tour
- Visit Warrook Homestead for afternoon tea (own expense not included in the bus tour price)
- Get up close to kangaroos with the opportunity to feed (own expense as well)
- Admire the resident koalas
- Panoramic views of Western Port and French Island
- San Remo – maritime fishing village
- Look for birdlife at the island wetlands (seasonal)
- Phillip Island Nature Park – a natural home for koalas, seals, shearwaters and Little Penguins
- Koala Conservation Centre – look for koalas in their natural habitat from tree top boardwalks
- The Nobbies – a rugged rocky outcrop with an excellent boardwalk where you may spot Little Penguins’ homes (shoulder/summer months)
- Witness the Penguin Parade on floodlit Summerland Beach from the general viewing area
- See penguin rookeries from an elevated boardwalk
- Inspect the Visitors Centre – an opportunity to learn about the life of the Little Penguin
- A dinner stop before the Penguin Parad