Get up close with koalas
Get up close with koalas

Excursion to Phillip Island, Melbourne

Explore Phillip Island with a guide, walking atop coastal cliffs, visiting koalas, watching penguins, and concluding with dinner.

Overview

Embark on an afternoon journey from Melbourne to Phillip Island, known globally for its extraordinary Penguin Parade. For this excursion, it's common to start at Cape Woolamai, a hotspot for local surfers, then continue to the Koala Conservation Centre for an up-close encounter with Australia's most beloved marsupial. Here, you'll likely enjoy clifftop walks at The Nobbies and perhaps opt for off-road adventures along the rugged island coastline to spot species like wild wallabies and Cape Barren geese. As the sun sets, witness the awe-inspiring Penguin Parade, where members of the 32,000-strong penguin colony emerge from the water and waddle their way to their nests. Round off your evening with dinner in the seaside village of Cowes.

Highlights

  • Visit Cape Woolamai before heading to the Koala Conservation Centre for close-up wildlife views
  • Walk along The Nobbies on Summerland Peninsula to enjoy coastal views and wildlife spotting
  • Observe the Penguin Parade at dusk as the animals make their way up the beach to their nests
  • Dine at a popular local restaurant in the seaside village of Cowes

Know before you go

Duration
12 hours
Recommended for
All ages
Group
Private
Food & Drink
Dinner Included

What you'll do

Your adventure begins with a 90-minute drive in an air-conditioned midi-coach from Melbourne to Cape Woolamai on Phillip Island. Here, you can take in the surf scene, watching local surfers ride the waves before moving on to the Koala Conservation Centre. The center offers an exceptional chance to observe Australia's most cuddly marsupial in its natural habitat. Throughout this experience, you'll gain a deeper understanding of these creatures and the efforts put in place to protect them.

Next, it's popular to take a stroll along the clifftop boardwalks at The Nobbies on the Summerland Peninsula. The expansive coastal views are worth the time, and you can listen to the thunderous sound of the area's famed blowhole. Watch for seabirds nesting along the natural gardens. As dusk approaches, it's possible to continue the excursion off-road along the coastline to spot wild wallabies and Cape Barren geese.

Regardless of what you do on Phillip Island before, your journey will lead you to the Penguin Parade. Prior to the arrival of the penguins, you'll walk through the colony with your guide to learn about the life and habits of these flightless birds. In fact, throughout the day, your guide will provide commentary, adding context and enriching your understanding of Phillip Island's wildlife and habitat. Then, you'll take a seat in the beachfront viewing stands, away from the crowds. It's truly an incredible sight as some of the 32,000 penguins emerge from the water to reach their nests across the beach.

After the Penguin Parade concludes, you'll head to the seaside village of Cowes for dinner at a local restaurant, relaxing and reflecting on the day's wildlife experiences. Once you've finished dinner, you'll head back to Melbourne. 

What's included

  • Guide
  • Vehicle and transportation
  • Bottled water and travel snacks
  • Entry to the Koala Conservation Centre
  • Admission to the Penguin Parade
  • Guided ranger talk and wildlife viewing
  • Dinner with drinks

Traveler reviews

2 total ratings, 2 with reviews
5.0 out of 5
Feature ratings
Quality of Experience
5.0
Food
4.5
Guides, Drivers and Staff
5.0
Transport
5.0
L
Lawrence R.
Canada | Reviewed on Jan 15, 2024
Best most fascinating experience ever!! We were in the rain and did not want to leave. Loved!!! Read more

Best most fascinating experience ever!! We were in the rain and did not want to leave. Loved!!!

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
H
Hari R.
Irving, TX | Reviewed on May 22, 2023
We very much loved this experience and our guide took excellent care of us. He was a wealth of information. Read more

We very much loved this experience and our guide took excellent care of us. He was a wealth of information.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport