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Things to do in Gippsland

Our most recommended things to do in Gippsland

Phillip Island: Penguin Parade General Viewing Entry Ticket

1. Phillip Island: Penguin Parade General Viewing Entry Ticket

Discover the magic of watching penguins in their natural environment with this general viewing entry ticket to the Penguin Parade on Phillip Island. With general admission, enjoy tiered seating from grandstands that overlook the picturesque Summerlands Beach where the penguins make their daily march to their burrows.  Arrive an hour before sunset and find out more about these creatures at the visitor center. Have the chance to see them come right up to the window to say hello. Hungry visitors can visit the onsite café serving coffee, snacks, drinks, and full meals.

Philip Island: Seal Watching Cruise

2. Philip Island: Seal Watching Cruise

Enjoy a 2-hour scenic coastal boat tour to Seal Rocks, where you will drift among over 7,000 Australian Fur Seals. There are seals all year round, from young pups to adult bulls, there is always something exciting to see! Benefit from educational commentary on board, helping you identify the seals and the other diverse wildlife in this rich ocean, as well as pointing out the various historical sights visible from the boat. Relax in comfort with complimentary afternoon or morning tea, a warm undercover viewing area, as well as activities for children onboard. Visit the captain's bridge for an insight into how the boat operates!

From Melbourne: Penguin Parade and Koalas Tour

3. From Melbourne: Penguin Parade and Koalas Tour

Discover the beauty of the volcanic formations at Nobbies National Park on this day trip from Melbourne in an air-conditioned coach. Experience local wildlife with a guided tour of the Phillip Island Koala Reserve and entry to the Phillip Island Penguin Parade. Depart Melbourne and travel to Phillip Island to watch the smallest penguin species in the world waddle up the beach at sunset. Before you get to the Island, stop at Phillip Island Koala Reserve where you will experience a ranger-led tour through the koalas' native habitat. Meet the koalas face-to-face on the spectacular tree-top boardwalk. Upon arrival at Phillip Island, visit the Cape Woolamai and Woolamai Beach. Let the sand flow through your toes as you stroll along the pristine beach and watch the local surfers carve the often monstrous waves. Then, journey to the far western end of the Island to view the extinct volcano remains of The Nobbies. Venture onto the boardwalks to explore the beautiful coastline. If you're lucky you may even see some little penguins in their burrows or huddling under the platforms. Experience the highlight of the day at the Phillip Island Penguin Parade. Go to the award-winning visitors center before making your way to the shoreline. As the sun sets to the west the little penguins will begin their dangerous journey across the yellow sands of Summerland Beach. Gathering in groups at the waters edge, watch as they waddle to the safety of the sand dunes. Once there, large numbers gather for one big penguin social evening. Listen as they "huk" to one another and slowly make their way to their burrows for the evening. A truly spectacular experience not to be missed!

Phillip Island: 1-Hour Cape Woolamai Nature Cruise

4. Phillip Island: 1-Hour Cape Woolamai Nature Cruise

Depart on a boat cruise to Cape Woolamai from San Remo. As you sail along the coast, witness the most spectacular scenery that Phillip Island has to offer, including sheer granite cliffs and caves surrounded by turquoise water. You will cruise under the Phillip Island Bridge.  You will have the chance to see an abundance of marine life such as dolphins and seals. There are also many bird species that populate the area, with cormorants, gannets and wedge-tailed eagles being spotted regularly.  On the boat, listen to a commentary telling you about the local wildlife and scenery. You will arrive back at San Remo at midday, in time to watch the daily feeding of the pelicans.

Phillip Island: 4 Parks Pass Including Penguin Parade

5. Phillip Island: 4 Parks Pass Including Penguin Parade

Explore 4 of Phillip Island’s top attractions with a flexible pass, including the famous Penguin Parade at sunset. Located just 90 minutes from Melbourne, Phillip Island offers an abundance of Australian wildlife, spectacular scenery and exciting experiences to enjoy. Make your own way to and around the island to explore at your own pace. You can experience all 4 attractions in a single day, or visit within 6 months to enjoy them at leisure. Take a walk on the wild side and see wild little penguins at the Penguin Parade just before sunset. Upgrade to the Penguins Plus Viewing Platform that offers unprecedented, up-close viewing. Marvel as the world’s smallest penguin species emerge from the ocean after a day of fishing and waddle up the beach at Australia's largest penguin colony. Come face-to-face with marsupials at the Koala Conservation Reserve, and wander the tree-top boardwalks and extensive trails through the Australian bush. Travel back in time at the site of the first European farm in Victoria at Churchill Island Heritage Farm, where you can watch sheep shearing and herding demonstrations and take a stroll in the fragrant cottage gardens. Go on a virtual trip to the world's most extreme continent at the Antarctic Journey at the Nobbies Centre and feel the freeze at hands-on multimedia displays! 

Phillip Island: Sunset Cruise

6. Phillip Island: Sunset Cruise

Enjoy a leisurely evening sunset cruise through the sheltered waters of Western Port Bay, aboard a modern 19-meter vessel. Grab a chilled drink from the licensed bar (not included in the price of the tour), take in the relaxed atmosphere, and watch the towns light up around the bay as the sun sets. Indulge in some delicious appetizers and keep a lookout for a variety of birdlife. If you're lucky, you may even be able to spot some dolphins and seals. You'll also learn some history as you listen to the captain's commentary on the local area. This cruise is a perfect way to end your day at beautiful Phillip Island.

From Melbourne: Phillip Island Penguin Parade Eco Tour

7. From Melbourne: Phillip Island Penguin Parade Eco Tour

Discover some of Australia's most well-loved creatures on a bus tour from Melbourne to Phillip Island to see the beloved Penguin Parade. See the best of Victoria’s nature and wildlife at the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, getting up close to its animals and learning about them. During the day, get up-close-and-personal with the friendly residents of the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, where you can hand-feed kangaroos and wallabies, have your photo taken with a koala, and learn about the conservation of these lovable native animals. While at the sanctuary, see some lesser known, but equally adorable, endangered species, including the Southern Bettong, Eastern Quolls and rare Fluffy Gliders. Visit the stunning Cape Woolamai surf beach (time permitting) and the Nobbies before arriving at Summerland Beach for the nightly Penguin Parade. Home to Victoria’s largest colony of little penguins, Summerland Beach provides a spectacular backdrop to the world famous Penguin Parade. Watch as hundreds of little penguins make their way across the beach and through the sand dunes to their burrows. Come and enjoy the beauty and native wildlife of Phillip Island and make this a journey to remember.

Phillip Island: Whale Watching Boat Tour

8. Phillip Island: Whale Watching Boat Tour

Embark on a winter whale watching adventure discovering Phillip Island’s picturesque coastline. Phillip Island is a fantastic place to experience lots of Australia's wildlife and view picturesque coastal landscapes.  Search for Humpback and Southern Right Whales on their annual migration route. You might also see playful dolphins, curious seals and a variety of birdlife including the Wandering Albatross.  As you look out for marine life, enjoy a delicious morning tea. Tea and coffee is also available throughout the experience.

From Melbourne: Penguin Parade Entry with Return Transfers

9. From Melbourne: Penguin Parade Entry with Return Transfers

Spend the day exploring Phillip Island and Brighton Beach on this day trip from Melbourne. See native wildlife at the Wildlife Park and coastal views at Brighton Beach, Nobbies Boardwalk, and Phillip Island Penguin Parade. Start the day by being picked up by an air-conditioned vehicle and head to Brighton Beach. Explore the area and take photos of the iconic Brighton beach boxes. From here, you can also see views of the Melbourne skyline. Next is a visit to Phillip Island Wildlife Park. Here you can see over 100 species of Australian animals who live on the 60-acre property. There will be time to purchase lunch here before driving to the next location. Stop at Nobbies Tourist and Information Center to learn about Nobbies Blowhole and Seal Rock precinct. Then walk along Nobbies Boardwalk and enjoy coastal views. After a relaxing walk along Nobbies Boardwalk, visit Phillip Island Penguin Parade. Purchase dinner before watching the penguins emerge from the rolling waves and make their way across the sand to their burrows. From here, head back to Melbourne and be dropped off at your accommodation.

From Sorrento: 3-Hour Dolphin and Seal Swim Tour

10. From Sorrento: 3-Hour Dolphin and Seal Swim Tour

Departing from Sorrento Pier, enjoy a welcome tea or coffee, before venturing into the sheltered shallows of Port Phillip Bay to embark on an exciting once in a lifetime adventure.   Make your way to Chinaman's Hat, a man-made structure built to protect local Australian fur seals. Go for a snorkel in the structure’s shallow waters and get up close and personal with the ever-curious seals who are waiting to share their underwater world with you. Next, go for a swim with dolphins. Float on the water’s surface as these playful creatures swim beneath you and circle the group, showing off their amazing abilities. Finish your experience with a snorkel with the sea dragons, a unique species of seahorse native to the area, and discover the prehistoric looking creatures for yourself in their natural habitat.

Other Sightseeing Options in Gippsland

Want to discover all there is to do in Gippsland? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Gippsland

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,087 reviews

Great day trip: we saw koalas, wallabies and tons of penguins! Super nice trip with great stops and the guide was very informative and fun. Take warm clothes for the penguin watch, lots of people were freezing there :D

It was a pleasure to be a part of the activities in this outing as it was special to visit the sanctuary, take in some astonishing ocean views, walk on a beautiful boardwalk and see the last remaining penguin colony!

Lots of informatiom from our driver. Tour stayed on time. And got to see everything advertised. A long day so dont book any evening activities you dont get back to melbourne until midnight.

Had a fantastic time at the penguin parade. The new centre is gorgeous. The staff were really pleasant to speak to love the experience.

Take a coat or jacket no matter what time of the year. Gift shop on the expensive side but money does go to a good cause.