If you’re looking for Melbourne Penguins and thinking you’d like to go see them down at Phillip Island, but you’re short of time, and money, then we’re here to tell you there is another great place where they come in nightly.
You want to know the best two things about this as well? Number one it’s FREE! Number two you can get closer to the penguins here than you can at Phillip Island.
Not everyone knows about these little penguins who live so close to Melbourne and you won’t be disappointed.
So, head down to Melbourne’s most famous beach, St Kilda beach just before sunset.
Walk right down the end of St Kilda pier to the Pavilion.
The café and bar may not be open at this time in the evening so don’t count on getting any drinks or snacks whilst there.
Behind the pavilion is a wooden boardwalk and penguin viewing platform.
You will see people starting to gather there looking for these Melbourne Penguins amongst the rocks.
Summer is certainly the best time to view them as there are a lot more coming in during this point.
To make things even better while viewing the Melbourne Penguins is the sunset across St Kilda Beach and Port Phillip Bay are more beautiful at that time.
On this occasion we were there around 7.30pm (we were last there in October so check the sunset times for when you’re travelling to Melbourne), 30 minutes before sunset.
While we were there 30 minutes prior to sunset we were able to see quite a few nesting up amongst the rocks.
These Melbourne Penguins aren’t too fussed with all the people and attention. They will eventually come out and pose for your photos.
We even had one walk down the path amongst us, right at our feet! I guarantee you won’t get this close anywhere else.
Of course, you’re not allowed to touch them, but you can easily get plenty of up close (strictly non flash) pics of them.
The action really starts to happen when the sun goes down, about 30 minutes to an hour after sunset, so you could spend an hour there and see a lot of action.
However, once the sun goes down it gets bit chilly in the wind, so make sure you have a jacket as you’ll end up leaving early.
While waiting for the Melbourne penguins to come swimming down the breakwater channel you can check out the stunning views of Melbourne city all lit up.
It really is an amazing view with spectacular yachts in the foreground to boot.
It wasn’t as crowded as we thought it might be, so we got a nice viewing spot on the boardwalk where we could see the little fellas swimming down towards us and pop up under our feet and waddle up the sand to the rocks.
It is incredible how fast penguins are swimming and watching them glide through the water is breathtaking.
While there make sure you pay attention to their habits, when they come down the channel they will stop and look out of the water before proceeding to the boardwalk.
It is an interesting behaviour to watch how many times they swim past to make sure everything is ok. Once it is, they begin the walk up the sand.
The longer you stay there the more you’ll see.
When it gets too dark there are volunteers who will point them out with their red light torches for you.
Just on the volunteers, they do a great job so please listen to them when you are there, don’t try and touch one of the penguins and respect their space and if you would like to donate to help keep this program running successfully click here.
This is a must see while in Melbourne, and for zero dollars it is cheap fun for literally everyone.