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Penguin Island

Home > Perth > Animals and Wildlife | Day Trips | Escape the City | Kids | Walks
by Miyan (subscribe)
I'm a a part-time vocal coach and a mom of three lovely kids. I have a passion in writing besides music and languages.
Published October 4th 2013
Who says there are only penguins in Penguin Island?

If you have not visited Penguin Island, then you have not seen one of the best nature-based attractions in Western Australia. Yet.

Penguin Island is Perth's island nature reserve located across the beautiful Shoalwater Bay. It is about 45 minutes drive from Perth CBD and five minutes ferry ride from the mainland to the island.

Penguin Island, Little Penguin, Fairy Penguin
Wild Penguins

The star attraction in Penguin Island is the Little Penguin or the Fairy Penguin, which is the smallest penguin species in the world. The island is home to about 1200 penguins. However, because they spend most daylight hours either feeding at sea or hidden in burrows, it is not very easy to encounter them within the island. The closest a visitor can get to the penguins is at the Discovery Centre within the island where rescued penguins reside until they are ready to go back to the wild.

Penguin Island, Little Penguin, Fairy Penguin
Little Penguins at the Discovery Centre

There are many tours and cruises available to do in the island. We took the Penguin and Sea Lion Cruise, which includes unlimited ferry transfers, penguin feeding, and 45 minutes of glass bottom boat cruise. The cruise costs $36.50 per adult and $27.50 per child. If you just want to go for a swim or a walk around the island, the ferry fare costs $14 per adult or child.

Sea Lions, Penguin Island, Wild Sea Lions
Wild Sea Lions

There is a two kilometre trail on timber boardwalks across the island, which is voted as one of Western Australia's Top Nature Trails. The viewing platforms provide breathtaking vistas of the open water and marine park.

Penguin Island, Little Penguin, Fairy Penguin
Voted one of WA's 'Top Nature Trails'

Penguin Island is also one of the largest breeding colonies of Pelicans in Western Australia.

Wild Pelicans, Penguin Island
Wild Pelicans

Time for tea? There is an excellent picnic area under the trees. However, because the island is a nature reserve, there are no shops or café available so make sure you bring your own food and drinks. (Or you can also buy them in Pengos Café in the mainland beside the gift shop where you buy your tickets to the island).

There is a rubbish system in place which everyone must observe. There are no rubbish bins in the island, therefore all rubbish from the picnic must be brought back to the mainland for disposal.

Penguin Island, Little Penguin, Fairy Penguin
Picnic Area

Lastly, enjoy the shallow sheltered beach. It's a great way to end the day in Penguin Island. But don't forget that the last ferry back to the mainland leaves at 4:00pm.

Penguin Island, Little Penguin, Fairy Penguin
Shallow Beach
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Why? Visit one of Australia's best nature reserve
When: September 15 - June 2
Phone: 08 9591 1333
Where: corner of Arcadia Drive and Penguin Road, Shoalwater
Cost: $14 ferry fare
Your Comment
Looks like you all had fun. Well Done on 3rd place!
by SocialHummingBird (score: 3|1140) 1741 days ago
Thank you for visiting Penguin Island! All of us Rockingham Wild Encounter are happy to see you and family enjoyed your time on the island. We hope see you all soon.
by info (score: 0|6) 1751 days ago
I was fascinated when I first found out there were penguins living in Australia. I wonder how they ended up in such a hot country.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|11914) 1749 days ago
Great job at coming 3rd.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|11914) 1741 days ago
Congratulations on your win Minyan, a well written article about an awesome place to visit.
by Dave Walsh (score: 4|10926) 1741 days ago
This is a great article Miyan, I was thinking of taking my three year old here in the next few weeks and you have answered a lot of questions. Thanks for pointing out there are no cafes and bins on the island, it makes planning my day much easier.
cheers
Shannon
by Shannon Meyerkort (score: 3|1779) 1741 days ago
Great article well done on 3rd place
by Anne Dignam (score: 2|870) 1741 days ago
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