Take a waddle on the wild side with the little guys in tuxedos – they arrive on Phillip Island (a 90-minute drive from Melbourne) at sunset every night. You (ok, or someone in your group, dads) are virtually guaranteed to be squealing: “They’re soooooo cute!”
There’s a range of options for seeing the penguins as they hit the sand each evening, ranging from the general viewing pass, to the ‘penguins plus’ pass (it’ll get you up front and closer to the ‘penguin parade’, plus a talk from a ranger prior to the stars making their appearance) as well as special private guided tours, which take you behind the scenes, so to speak, where you can spy on the little critters away from the main parade thoroughfare.
Easily accessible by car, Phillip Island is part of the UNESCO Mornington Peninsula and Western Port Biosphere Reserve, and is home to wildlife sanctuaries, wetlands, woodlands and, of course, gorgeous coastlines. You can make a real day of it by investing in a 3 Parks Pass, which’ll get you entry to the Penguin Parade, Koala Conservation Centre and Churchill Island Heritage Farm, a historical working farm with farming demos and Clydesdale horses, Highland cattle, sheep, ducks, chickens and peacocks to see. See penguins.org.au