Australia For Visitors > Phillip Island, VIC

Phillip Island

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Famous for its nightly Penguin Parade, Phillip Island is located at the mouth of Western Port abot 135 km from Melbourne.

Fairy penguin (Little Penguin), Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia (image)

A fairy penguin (Eudyptula minor) (also known as "little penguin)

The Penguin Parade

The Penguin Parade is one of Victoria's most popular tourist attractions. It takes place like clockwork every day just after sunset.

At this time the "fairy penguins" (also known as "little penguins"), who have been gathering in the shallows just off Summerland Beach after a hard day's swimming and fishing, come pouring onto the beach.

They head straight across the beach to their burrows and, in the summer season, they also feed their young chicks who have been waiting in the burrows for their parents to arrive.

Visitors are permitted to watch this scene from elevated boardwalks on either side of the area of the beach that the penguins cross. Visitors are reminded to stay strictly within the permitted areas and not to use flash when taking photographs.

Penguin Parade Visitor Centre

Before going to see the penguins, visitors should visit the nearby Penguin Parade Visitor Centre and buy their tickets. (Note: to avoid disappoinment, tickets should be purchased as far in advance as possible.)

While they are in the Centre, visitors can also see a simulated underwater scene with interactive, audiovisual displays. They might also like to make a purchase at the Centre's souvenir shop.

In the vicinity of Summerland Beach

Summerland Beach lies within the Penguin Island reserve, where visitors can also visit. the Penguin Island Wildlife Park and the Koala Conservation Centre.

At the western end of Summerland Beach you can visit the following beautiful locations:

• the Nobbies: This is a wild place of rocks and (in the summer) wildflowers. Between September and April you can see thousands of muttonbirds (also known as shearwaters) in the burrows where they return to each year after an exhausting flight from the Bering Strait (near Alaska and Siberia)

• the Seal Rocks: These are home to Australia's largest colony of Australian fur seals (but bring your binoculars as the colony is actually located about 2 km offshore).

Elsewhere on Phillip Island

Newhaven is the first town you'll see on Phillip Island after you cross the bridge from the Victorian mainland. It has a large tourist information centre, where you can get free maps, book your accommodation and buy Penguin Parade tickets.

Cowes is the main town on Phillip Island. It is located on the north coast and has good places to eat and stay.

Remo is another small town. It has lots of place to stay and has its own small fishing fleet moored there.

Rhyll is a village near to Fisherman's Point where George Bass landed on this island in 1798. A monument marks this historical event.

The small Churchill Island (just off the coast of Phillip Island) is the site of the first building that was constructed in Victoria (1802). That building has now gone, but Churchill Island has other old buildings and a working farm with beautiful gardens. You can enjoy a nice quiet two hour walk around the shoreline of Churchill Island.

Australian 500cc Motorcycle Grand Prix

The Australian 500cc Motorcycle Grand Prix is held on Phillip Island's motor racing circuit in October every year. The Australian Grand Prix used to be staged on Phillip Island (in the years 1928-35). The present racing circuit -- used by the Australian 500cc Motorcycle Grand Prix -- was built in 1956.

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Author: David Paul Wagner
(David Paul Wagner on Google+)

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