There is a lot of Autumn penguin action happening at Phillip Island. Read on to discover what the world’s smallest penguins are up to now that summer has passed.
The beginning of autumn is when Phillip Island’s Little Penguins begin their annual moult. Each year these penguins need to moult to replace their old and worn feathers.
If they did not, they wouldn’t be able to maintain a water-proofed plumage. Without waterproof feathers, they could not keep warm at sea. Therefore they would lose lots of heat and eventually die of hypothermia. Given they spend 80% of their lives at sea, moulting is an important process for them.
However, the penguins cannot go to sea for food during their moult – and this make take up to 17 days. So before they begin moulting they need to almost double their bodyweight. In the days before shedding their feathers they feast on a diet Barracouta, Anchovies, Red Cod, Pilchards and squid.
So during March and April you can expect to see more penguins on land than coming out of the ocean. And you will laugh at the sight of very rotund and scruffy-looking penguins, as they lose their feathers!
Given the season is changing, the sun sets early in March, and in April we change our clocks back from daylight savings. This means the penguins will arrive earlier in the evenings – as they are waiting for sunset.
We arrive at the parade nice and early in the evenings, so you can spot some penguins on the land and check out the visitor centre. Then you can sit at the beach waiting for the penguins to arrive!
When they do you’ll be delighted to see the waddle across the sand and through the sand dunes, all the way back to their burrows! The colony certainly comes to life after sunset.
With summer behind us, the weather on Phillip Island becomes much cooler. Be sure to check the weather forecast before you pack for your tour. You might find it is sunny and warm during the day, but forecast for temperatures to drop in the evening.
To make the most of your visit to the Penguin Parade, be sure to wear warm clothes, and pack an extra-warm jacket for the evenings. Sitting at the beach waiting for the sunset, and waiting for the penguins to arrive is a special part of the tour is a special experience, so make sure you are prepared and comfortable.
Join us on tour
We have two tour options for visiting Phillip Island and the world-famous Penguin Parade:
1 Day | $130 Adult
Departs: Daily between 9:45am & 10:45am, returns between 10:00pm & midnight seasonally
1 Day | $120 Adult
Departs: Daily between 12:30pm & 1:45pm, returns between 10pm and midnight seasonally