Just a city girl who dreams of dusty trails and endless oceans.
Published August 27th 2017
Go wild spotting wildlife on Phillip Island
Phillip Island is one of the most popular day trips from Melbourne, both for its beautiful natural scenery and for its famous local citizens, the penguins. A two-hour drive from the city, Phillip Island is filled to the brim with low-cost wildlife-spotting activities for all the animal lovers out there. Here are just three examples:
1. The Penguin Parade
Your first stop will be, naturally, the amazing penguin parade that takes place every night as the sun goes down. These cute-as-can-be birds are the world's smallest penguins, and every night they return from a day spent fishing to the same beach. Viewing stands and boardwalks keep these little fellas protected from human harm, while interactive and educational displays in the visitor's centre give you a glimpse of the secretive lives they lead. The main arena is at Summerland Beach, with plenty of elevated seating. You can also view their burrows from the boardwalk. If you get there early, you might score a spot on the Penguins Plus deck, where you will be spoilt with commentary from a resident ranger. If you want to get even closer still, there's the Underground Viewing, bringing you eye level with the penguins as they waddle past. This area is limited to 70 visitors, providing a more exclusive experience. Even more special are the VIP and Ultimate VIP tours, or the Behind the Scenes Tour. Check out the Phillip Island website here for more details. Prices start at $25.70 per adult.
The Nobbies is the unique name given to Phillip Island's spectacular headland. This is a nature lovers paradise, with a well-designed, elevated boardwalk taking you around the headland where you can view the spectacular cliffs, seabirds and penguin burrows. Spring time brings an amazing wildflower show every year, as well as the emergence of the seasons silver gull chicks. Just offshore is Australia's largest fur seal colony. The giant southern swell can make for an exciting spectacle, particularly in the sea cave's blowhole.
The Bass Coast Whale Discovery Tour is an amazing opportunity to spot the giant denizens of the deep, without forking out the cash for a boat tour. This trail forms a series of lookout points that you can walk, ride or drive during the whale season (between April and November). Brand new signage will guide you along the way and provide interesting insights as the trail leads you from Eagles Nest on the mainland to Cowes on Phillip Island. To make the most of your whale viewing, download the Whale Discovery Trail Brochure here.
The stunningly wild coastline where you can spot migrating whales