Penguin Parade Visitor Centre

The Penguin Parade offers visitors the opportunity to witness the nightly journey of little penguins as they come in from the sea and waddle up the beach to bed down for the night, surrounded by beautiful natural scenery.

Phillip Island

All of these experiences can be enjoyed at the Penguin Parade Visitor Centre and during Phillip Island Penguin Tours, which allow you to get to know these fascinating creatures.

Visitors can observe the penguins up close at the Penguin Parade Visitor Centre, where they can also learn about the penguins' behaviour and history.

Visit the Penguin Parade Visitor Centre 

The Penguin Parade is a popular eco-tourism facility that attracts over 700,000 visitors annually. Before the parade starts, visitors can explore the exhibitions and learn about the daily lives and uniqueness of the Little Penguins. The information centre showcases the largest colony of little penguins, as well as the history and culture of their habitat.

Visitors can learn about these creatures and enjoy a meal at the on-site café before the viewing starts.

Design Excellence

The building is strategically positioned at the intersection of three landscapes: dunes, headland, and wetland, creating a cohesive connection between them through its formal and experiential design. The zinc cladding of the building enhances its abstraction and serves as a unifying element amidst the diverse landscapes.

The interior of the building is structured with exposed timber and plywood, organized around a central circulation path that leads to various dedicated spaces for ticketing, education, interpretation, retail, and restaurants.

Design Impact

Key impacts:


  • A new Penguin Habitat spanning 6.7 hectares has been completed.
  • The landscape appears visually striking when seen up close but does not have the same effect from a distance.
  • The building is designed to meet visitors' needs to the Penguin Parade and the Summerland Peninsula, operating day and night to efficiently accommodate small and large crowds.
  • Construction will have minimal impact on operations and the penguins.
  • Disability and child-friendly.
  • Achieving Carbon, Water, and Waste Neutrality is a crucial goal for Phillip Island Nature Parks.


Design Transformation

The Penguin Parade building is undergoing redevelopment to enhance the visitor experience. The new building will have a more environmentally friendly design and provide a more immersive experience for visitors.

The building's spatial organization around three landscapes enhances visibility and promotes interpretation and experience. This contributes to the income derived from experiences driven by the ecological characteristics of the peninsula beyond the popular twilight penguin experience. As a result, revenue for research and conservation programs has increased.

Design Innovation

An important decision made at the beginning of the project was to rotate the Masterplan reference design by 90 degrees. This change allowed for better pedestrian flow, increased visibility to the landscape, and added more covered areas along the visitor journey, ultimately enhancing the overall experience.

Phillip Island Penguin Tours

The long internal circulation space accommodates large crowds and includes interpretation elements, niche spaces for smaller groups, and various commercial and interpretive functions.

The Main Viewing Platform

The central viewing platform at the Penguin Parade offers a 180-degree view of the penguins as they cross the beach to their dune burrows. Located along the sandy shore, visitors can observe the wildlife experience up close.

The Penguin Plus Upgrade

For a more unique experience, you can choose the Penguins Plus option. This includes a platform that blends in with the natural surroundings for a closer view of the penguins. Only 300 people are allowed in this exclusive area. An expert guide provides detailed commentary on the penguins' lives and habitats during the experience.

The Underground Viewing

Visitors can observe penguins from an underground viewing platform at the beach. The limited space accommodates only 70 people, so it is advisable to book in advance.

The Sky Box Viewing

The Penguin Sky Box offers an elevated viewing platform where visitors can watch the parade of penguins unfold from above. Rangers can assist with counting the critters, and guests are encouraged to join.


The Penguin Parade Visitor Centre offers various experiences and guided tours to learn about penguins. Visitors can also explore displays at the centre showcasing research, conservation projects, and findings related to the penguins and their environment.

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