10 things you didn’t know about the Little Penguins at Phillip Island
A Visitor Experience Ranger from Phillip Island Nature Parks fills us in on Little Penguin divorce rates, life expectancy, and high-velocity number-twos.
Meagan Tucker loves penguins. “You can’t help but smile and be happy when you see a penguin – they’re just so cute!”
The Phillip Island Penguin Parade is one of Victoria’s hottest tourist destinations, having welcomed millions of spectactors to watch the Little Penguins waddle to the shore since the 1920s.
As the largest Little Penguin colony on the planet (also called the Fairy Penguin colony), just 40 minutes from the RACV Inverloch Resort, the Penguin Parade happens nightly at the Phillip Island Nature Parks, where visitors can witness thousands of penguins make their way to shore to tend to their penguin burrows. The Parks recently underwent a remodel that now provides what Tucker calls “a better experience in a bigger environment.”
With 40,000 in their Little Penguin colony alone, the revamp consists of a Penguins Plus Viewing Platform created in partnership with RACV, and a larger centre focusing on conservation. This was necessary, says Tucker, “as the penguin numbers increased, they wanted to live where our building was – at one stage, the chef in the restaurant called us over the radio to take the penguins out of the kitchen – they get up to so much trouble!” she laughs.
Tucker says the goal of the Parks is the conservation of penguins, wildlife, and their habitats. For those looking to help, the Parks are not-for-profit – so visiting the penguins helps to keep the spaces wild, invests in research, and protects nature for wildlife.
In celebration of the flightless bird, here's 10 fun facts you may not have known about the largest Little Penguin colony on Earth.