Discover the enchanting world of penguins in Melbourne with our guide to the best places to see these adorable creatures. From the bustling St Kilda Breakwater to the world-famous Phillip Island, Melbourne offers a variety of locations to witness the captivating charm of Little Penguins. Explore the pristine Wilsons Promontory National Park, venture to the picturesque Mornington Peninsula, or get up close and personal with penguins at Sea Life Melbourne. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, Melbourne’s penguin hotspots are sure to leave you in awe. So, grab your camera and get ready to be mesmerized by the delightful sight of penguins in Melbourne.
1. Sea Life Melbourne
Sea Life Melbourne is an aquarium where visitors can see King and Gentoo Penguins up close in the Penguin Playground exhibit. The aquarium offers a unique experience called Penguin Passport, where guests can suit up in Antarctic snow gear and go on the ice with the penguins for a 45-minute encounter tour.
This is a great opportunity to learn more about penguins and their conservation efforts in a controlled environment.
- Address: King St, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia
- Fare: Ticket prices vary, starting from AUD 32 for adults when booked online
- Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/vTtxgQKqqBWdSVHJ6
2. Phillip Island
Phillip Island is home to the largest Little Penguin colony in the world and is just a 90-minute drive from Melbourne. The Penguin Parade is a popular attraction where visitors can watch the penguins waddle home from the ocean to their burrows every night around sunset.
There are various viewing options available, including self-guided viewing platforms, boardwalks, and ranger-guided tours. This unique experience is a must-see for any penguin lover.
- Address: Penguin Parade, 1019 Ventnor Rd, Summerlands, Victoria 3922, Australia
- Fare: Various ticket options are available, starting from AUD 26.60 for adults
- Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/9soJcWdt4Z7e1nVS9
3. St Kilda Breakwater
St Kilda Breakwater is a fantastic spot to see a colony of approximately 1,400 Little Penguins. Located just six kilometers outside Melbourne’s CBD, the breakwater provides ideal nesting conditions for the penguins, with rocks offering shelter and protection.
Visitors can view the penguins coming ashore from the promenade on the St Kilda Pier just before dusk. The area can be very busy at times, so we recommend visiting during weeknights to reduce traffic and for the protection of the penguins.
- Address: St Kilda Pier, St Kilda, Victoria, Australia
- Fare: Free
- Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/vnsdQm7GVAqrH9nZ6
Warrnambool’s Middle Island is home to a colony of Little Penguins, which has been protected by Maremma Guardian Dogs since 2006. The project has helped the penguin population recover from a decline caused by fox predation.
Visitors can learn about the project and the penguins’ habitat through guided tours and volunteer opportunities. This unique conservation effort is worth a visit for those interested in wildlife protection.
- Address: Middle Island, Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia
- Fare: Guided tours are available with varying prices; visiting the island itself is free
- Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/87aSxh9n4XGciS3UA
5. Mornington Peninsula
he Mornington Peninsula has some Little Penguin colonies that can be spotted along the coastline. Although specific highlights or insider information about penguin viewing in this area is not available, the peninsula’s beautiful coastal scenery and diverse wildlife make it an attractive destination for nature lovers.
In addition to penguin spotting, visitors can enjoy the peninsula’s stunning beaches, wineries, and outdoor activities such as hiking, golfing, and hot springs.
- Address: Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
- Fare: Free access to the coastline; fees may apply for specific attractions and activities
- Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/jkG3vD4khQ4JdNEGA
6. Wilsons Promontory National Park
Wilsons Promontory National Park, located southeast of Melbourne in the Gippsland region, is home to a small population of Little Penguins. The park’s pristine coastal environment provides a natural habitat for these birds.
While specific highlights or insider information about penguin viewing in this area is not available, the park offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, and wildlife spotting. The park’s stunning landscapes and diverse flora and fauna make it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts.
- Address: Wilsons Promontory National Park, Victoria, Australia
- Fare: Free entry to the park; fees apply for camping and accommodation
- Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/5nAncfNKo3YAWqn7A
Best Places to See Penguins in Melbourne at a Glance
- Best place to see penguins near Melbourne’s CBD: St Kilda Breakwater
- Largest Little Penguin colony in the world: Phillip Island
- Up-close penguin encounters in an aquarium setting: Sea Life Melbourne
- Unique penguin conservation project: Warrnambool
- Pristine coastal environment with a small penguin population: Wilsons Promontory National Park
- Beautiful coastal scenery with Little Penguin colonies: Mornington Peninsula
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time to see penguins in Melbourne?
The best time to see penguins in Melbourne is around sunset when they return from the ocean to their nesting areas. For example, at St Kilda Breakwater, you can view the penguins coming ashore from the promenade on the pier just before dusk.
Can I take photos of the penguins?
Taking photos of penguins is generally allowed, but using flash photography is strictly prohibited as it can frighten or disorientate the penguins. At the Penguin Parade on Phillip Island, no photography is allowed after sunset to protect the penguins.
Are there any guided tours available for penguin viewing?
Yes, guided tours are available at some locations, such as the ranger-led tours at Phillip Island’s Penguin Parade and the guided tours at Warrnambool’s Middle Island. These tours provide a more in-depth experience and help visitors learn more about the penguins and their habitats.
Can I see penguins for free in Melbourne?
Yes, you can see penguins for free at some locations, such as St Kilda Breakwater and along the coastline of the Mornington Peninsula. However, some attractions, like the Penguin Parade on Phillip Island, require paid admission.