When it comes to Penguin Parade at Phillip Island Nature Park, the question we asked ourselves is whether to choose the General Viewing, Penguin Plus or Underground Viewing.
We ended up getting the General Viewing tickets at $25.10/adult. Little Miss’ entrance was free. I’ve never been to Penguin Plus or Underground Viewing so I can’t give any valid comparison apart from the price difference. However, I will let you know what to do and where is the best spot for you to see the penguin parading along the boardwalks and going towards their burrows – just by paying the General Viewing ticket.
We bought the tickets online in advance and kept checking the website to know what time the penguins will be coming. We arrived about 30 mins before viewing time and the place was already packed. Warning for parents with toddlers, after you had your tickets checked, apart from all the informational area about these little cuties, it is basically a merchandise store. Penguin cuddly toys are everywhere! Luckily, Little miss only wanted to touch them and not buy them (fiuh!). There is a also a cafe if you fancy going in early for snack and coffee.
You then exit the building which will lead you to the board walk. You will go along the boardwalk towards the beach and you will notice right after the public toilet (which is located to your left), the boardwalk splits into 2 walkways:
LEFT for general viewing and RIGHT for Penguin Plus and Underground viewing. There will be a staff member checking your tickets on the right hand side.
Waiting at the viewing platform
We arrived at the viewing platform, and a staff member will give you information and facts about these fairy penguins. You are also not allowed to take pictures of the penguins with or without flash – which is why I have limited pictures of the place.
Tip: Bring umbrella with you. We thought the weather was great in the afternoon and didn’t bring one with us. Guess what? It started to rain.
Surprise, surprise, you can’t really see the penguins coming from the water from our platform. They arrive right in front of the Penguin plus area! We left the viewing platform straight away, which became to crowded for our liking with rowdy and impolite tourists.
Our view from the platform
As we went back to the where the boardwalk split, we realised that the penguins are parading to the left of the walkways (left as you are going back towards the entrance, or right if you are heading towards viewing platform). By this time the staff member guarding the entrance was gone, so we decided to go a bit further that pathway to see the penguins closely.
We were so glad we did, because we could see the penguins up close and they parade in groups, so if you miss a group, don’t go and follow them, just stay where you are and the next group will waddle up towards you. Little Miss was so excited to see them!
Side note: by this time, you will see a lot of people taking pictures – with flash. I tried advising them not to, of course, to no avail.
By this time, Little Miss was so tired that she straight away slept when we put her on the car seat, and she slept until the next morning.
Tip: bring your little ones pyjamas and change them before you head home. This way you don’t have to wake them up to get change later.