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Ultimate Penguin Tour on sunday?

Erlangen
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95 posts
58 reviews
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Ultimate Penguin Tour on sunday?

Hi,

I would like to join a daytour from Melbourne which includes the Ultimate Penguin Experience. Because it is limited to 10 people, I ask myself if it is ok, to do this tour on sunday? I read the Penguin Parade is very crowdy on weekends? I'll be in Melbourne beginning of march next year.

kind regards,

bima

Sydney/Melbourne
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1. Re: Ultimate Penguin Tour on sunday?

I wouldn't be put off by the crowds - it's is crowded every night of the week.

March is a nice time to visit. I'm not sure if I would bother with the Ultimate Experience but it's up to you, of course.

You will get your own special spot for viewing so won't need to fight for some bench space, but you will see the same penguins. You will also have a ranger with you to explain things, but I've always found there are plenty around to explain and answer any questions you may have and there is plenty of information available in the Information Centre if you care to read it.

Erlangen
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95 posts
58 reviews
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2. Re: Ultimate Penguin Tour on sunday?

Hi evamelb,

I'm not sure if I understand you right ... do you think it's not worth the money to do the ultimate tour? I thought it would be the best way to watch the penguins without a crowd of people, which make a lot of noise (that's what I read).

Which kind of tour would you suggest?

Brisbane, Australia
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6 posts
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3. Re: Ultimate Penguin Tour on sunday?

Hi bima777

Did you end up going? I'm also looking into the Ultimate Tour. Information online says that you're taken to a secluded part of the beach, away from the crowds - that is what interests me and make me think it's worth it.

Look forward to your feedback.

Thanks,

Erlangen
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95 posts
58 reviews
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4. Re: Ultimate Penguin Tour on sunday?

Hi,

I will be going to Australia next year in march. So I haven't been there. I didn't get anymore information about the penguin parade. In the moment I don't know what I will do. Hope to get some more information in the next month ;-)

Melbourne Australia
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30 posts
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5. Re: Ultimate Penguin Tour on sunday?

You won't be disappointed. The fairy penguins are enchanting. But make sure you take a jacket and hat and something soft to sit on as the concrete benches aren't kind to your behind! It takes quite some time for the penguins to come ashore but once they do it is worth being there. Enjoy it and enjoy your trip to our beautiful island.

Victoria
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142 posts
71 reviews
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6. Re: Ultimate Penguin Tour on sunday?

Hi -- we are planning to go to Phillip Island early October and of course, the Penguins are the main reason! Any recommendations for a hotel close by, within walking distance to where we can see the Penguins? And where exactly should we wait for the Penguins? Thanks so much for locals' advice!

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: Ultimate Penguin Tour on sunday?

I was there at the end of March this year. Not as many penguins as when I was previously at the Penguin Parade in January, but still a wonderful experience.

Just to respond quickly to JJ, there is no accommodations close to the Penguin Parade, you have to stay somewhere in Cowes or elsewhere on the island. We just had two nights at...will have to check my reviews, can't remember now...Tropicana maybe? It was basic, but serviceable, in a very convenient location and the managers were hospitable and accommodating. See my reviews for where we stayed and where we ate.

The two times I've been to the Penguin Parade, I stayed on the island and had my own car and I would do it that way. The problem with the tours is that they arrive at the Penguin Parade fairly late, so independent travellers like me have already been through the Visitor Centre and have lined up at the doors to make a dash for the front of the viewing area, so we have the best spots. I've sat right at the front on the sand both times and it was great.

However, if you pay extra for the Ultimate Penguin Experience, then you will not have that problem to deal with. Keep in mind that while the tour you are on may be limited to 10 people, there may be others at the Penguin Parade who have paid for that package as well, so you may be in a larger group.

Love love love the penguins and wouldn't hesitate to recommend that experience.

Victoria
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142 posts
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8. Re: Ultimate Penguin Tour on sunday?

Hi -- thanks so much for your reply. We have our own car and have booked at the Tropicana as you suggested. We arrive in the afternoon of the planned Penguin Parade viewing. Do we have to buy tickets in advance for the Parade? Where should we park? How early should we arrive? Thanks!

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Ultimate Penguin Tour on sunday?

Parking is in the Penguin Parade parking lot.

http://goo.gl/maps/AqBSP

The visitor centre is open all day and you can buy tickets any time. I don't know if they ever sell out, but the capacity is pretty big. If you go during the daytime, you are allowed to go right down to the beach and take photos where the penguins will be, but you are NOT allowed to take photos when the penguins are coming up the beach. I noticed on this trip that they had really dimmed the lights from my previous trip to reduce the disruption to the penguins (who seem very well adapted to the conditions there).

We went in the middle of the afternoon, bought our tickets and did our souvenir shopping while the place was empty. They also have free wifi in the cafeteria, which can be handy.

We then went up to the Nobbies for a walk about and saw moulting penguins under the boardwalk, which was very cool.

When you arrive at the Penguin Parade in the evening, I think the doors to go down to the beach open about an hour or 90 minutes before sunset when the first penguins are expected. There was hardly anyone there when we went and so lots of room at the front, but we went prepared to sit on the sand so that we could be right at the front. People were gathering around the doors for about 20 minutes or so prior to the doors opening and (I'm embarrassed to confess) that we did participate in a bit of a rush to the seating area (which proved to be completely unnecessary). Be prepared to sit patiently for an hour or two before the penguins start to really come in.

If you are able to go to the Penguin Parade when you first arrive on the island, then you'll be able to have a bit of a walk around and get a feel for the place, so that you'll know where you are heading.

I will add that its just as good watching the penguins from the boardwalk once they have moved into the grass beyond the beach. So if you end up with a less than ideal spot for beach viewing, just focus on watching them as they come up the bank and into the area where the burrows are.

Edited: 25 September 2012, 22:19
Victoria
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142 posts
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10. Re: Ultimate Penguin Tour on sunday?

Thanks again for the helpful information! Glad to know that we can also see the penguins from the boardwalk after they have come up from the beach. I wonder if it's necessary to subject ourselves to the rush at all? Or is it still worth it to go to the Parade and wait on the beach?

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