Sunset at Summerland Beach is special for a number of reasons. Not only do you get to enjoy stunning views out to see as the island turns from day to night, but you can also watch the resident Little Penguins as they come ashore after a long day of hunting.
This nightly ritual draws in thousands of visitors who gather around to watch the cute, flightless birds waddle their way up the beach to their burrows to bed down for the night. As they go, koalas watch them from their excellent vantage points in the gum trees, while the gentle lapping of the waves provides a peaceful soundtrack to the event.
There are numerous options for watching the Penguin Parade on Phillip Island, ranging from stadium-style seating to a more intimate encounter that places you so close to the penguins you can almost touch them.
Now, there’s a new addition to the viewing options for the parade. The Penguins Plus platform was the brainchild of Phillip Island Nature Parks and RACV that has been inspired by the natural elements of Summerland Beach and its surrounding regions.
The platform itself reflects the coves of Phillip Island’s southern coastline and gives visitors the chance to experience the parade up close and personal as they make their way along one of the more popular walkways at the event.
Away from the stadium-style seating and the floodlights that light up the beach, the encounter from the Penguins Plus platform feels more intimate and more like you’re experiencing the penguins in their natural habitat – which, of course, you are. The Penguins Plus experience also includes a free hot drink to keep you warm during the show – a much-needed boost after the sun sets on the island.
The event has long been a popular part of Phillip Island, with animal lovers from all over the world flocking to the beach to watch the cute critters waddled ashore. They come onto the beach in groups of six to ten and quickly make their way to their handmade burrows where they bed down for the night to prepare for a whole new day of fishing.
As well as viewing the parade, you can also learn more about the Little Penguins and their behaviour in the Visitors Centre, and check out the souvenir shop where you can pick up a gift or two to remember this unique experience