Guidebook Little penguins have bred here for thousands of years


Little penguins have bred here for thousands of years

Little penguins spend 80% of their lives at sea swimming and foraging for food, explains the Penguin Foundation. Then they return to their nesting burrows on Phillip Island to “breed, raise chicks, moult and to take a break after days or weeks spent at sea.” And when the penguins return to land, at sunset each day, visitors to Phillip Island Nature Parks' Penguin Parade are “lucky enough to spot them tumbling from the waves, waddling across the beach and into their colony along the coastline.”

Phillip Island

The Penguin Parade attracts more than half-a-million visitors annually to see the little penguins (Eudyptula minor), “the world’s smallest, and probably cutest, of their kind,” writes Lonely Planet. The penguin complex includes concrete amphitheatres that hold up to 3800 spectators “who come to see the little fellas just after sunset as they waddle from the sea to their land-based nests.”

And here’s how National Geographic describes the scene … “After the sun sets each day, thousands of little penguins totter ashore to burrow into the sand for the night. A massive crowd was filing into the stands in the main viewing area, but we would be getting a more intimate view: from the beach on a remote part of the island, with only night-vision goggles—and the light of the moon and stars—to help us see.”

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