For wildlife enthusiasts visiting Phillip Island in Australia, one of the most popular attractions is the Penguin Parade. Every evening, hundreds of little penguins, also known as fairy penguins, return to their burrows after a long day of fishing in the Southern Ocean.
The Penguin Parade is a unique sight to behold, as these adorable creatures waddle their way across the beach and make their way home. However, many visitors wonder if it is possible to experience this natural spectacle without paying for a ticket. Let’s explore the options available.
Free Viewing Areas
Phillip Island offers several free viewing areas for visitors who wish to witness the Penguin Parade without any cost. The most popular of these spots is the Summerland Beach. Located near the Penguin Parade Visitor Centre, this stretch of coastline allows visitors to gather and watch the penguins from a distance.
It’s important to note that while these viewing areas are free, they are generally quite far from the penguins’ actual path. The penguins’ journey home is a sensitive and well-protected process, and getting too close to them can cause stress and disruptions to their natural behavior.
Paid Viewing Options
If you want a closer and more immersive experience of the Penguin Parade, there are designated paid viewing options available. The Penguin Parade Visitor Centre offers a range of ticketed experiences that allow visitors to get up close to the penguins in a responsible and sustainable manner.
Some of the paid viewing options include elevated boardwalks that provide a bird’s-eye view of the penguins as they make their way across the beach. There are also underground viewing hides that allow visitors to observe the penguins at eye level without disturbing them.
By purchasing a ticket for these experiences, visitors not only get a better view of the penguins but also contribute to the conservation and ongoing research efforts conducted on the island.
Responsible Wildlife Tourism
Whether you choose the free viewing areas or opt for the paid experiences, it’s crucial to prioritize the well-being of the penguins and their habitat. Here are a few tips to ensure responsible wildlife tourism:
- Do not use flash photography, as it can harm and disorient the penguins.
- Do not touch or approach the penguins. Keep a respectful distance to avoid stress to the animals.
- Follow the guidelines and instructions provided by the staff to ensure a positive experience for both visitors and penguins.
Remember, the Penguin Parade is a unique and incredible natural event that should be enjoyed while respecting the wildlife and environment. Whether you choose a free or paid option to view the penguins, the experience is sure to leave you awe-inspired by these captivating creatures.