Penguins would have to be the most famous and popular wildlife to see on Phillip Island for tourists near and far. With Phillip Island being home to the largest little penguin colony in the world, people flock to Summerland Beach to watch approximately 4,000 Penguins who call Summerland Beach their home. It is a delight to go and watch them waddle up the beach from the ocean after a tough day at sea. They take their catch of fish back to their young who are waiting eagerly in their burrows. On this trip we did not visit the Penguin Parade however, I have many fond memories of seeing the cute little penguins on previous trips to Phillip Island.
What are some of the wildlife on Phillip Island?
- Cape Barren Geese
- Copperhead Snakes
Penguins of Phillip Island
Many visit Phillip Island to witness the penguin parade which happens on a daily basis at sunset on Summerland Beach. At the parade hundreds of penguins come ashore after their day out at sea fishing. The penguins bring their catch of the day back home to their chicks whom are eagerly waiting on their parents return. It is really cute to watch them come ashore in their little groups as they waddle along the sandy beach back to their burrows. It amazes me how such small penguins survive in the savage rough sea.
Seals on Phillip Island
One of the largest colonies of seals is located on Seal Rocks Phillip Island. From Nobbies you can look through binoculars in search of the 25,000 fur seals that call these rocks home. The rocks are 2km from the coast of Phillip Island. To get a closer look at the seals you can take a cruise which will take you within metres of the fun loving seals. Whilst we’ve not yet experienced the seal cruise, it is on our list to do!!
Will I find Koalas on Phillip Island?
Sadly today there aren’t too many Koalas on the island due to many Koalas having Chlamydia which causes infertility, blindness and can cause fatalities due to complications. Construction on the island and the increase in traffic has also lead to the Koalas decline in population. There are a couple of sanctuaries where you can visit and see koalas on the island.
Wallabies on Phillip Island
There is an abundance of Wallabies on Phillip Island. Wallabies can be seen on the roadside and amongst the bushes. Ensure you take care when driving not only at night but also during the day as the Wallabies can be seen just sitting on the road.
Wallabies look like Kangaroos, however they are smaller and a dark brownish colour. They are very cute, if only they could be pets!! If you explore any of the walking tracks on Phillip Island you are bound to see a few of them on your travels. Keep your eyes peeled and try not to make too much noise as this tends to scare them away.
Scattered along the hillside of the Nobbies boardwalk there are many burrows where the Penguins can be seen resting and looking after their young.
Cape Barren Geese on Phillip Island
Apart from the popular penguins, koalas, wallabies and seals Phillip Island also has a lot of birds. Driving around you not only have to watch out for wallabies on the road but also the Cape Barren Geese which were introduced to the island in 1984. The increasing population of the Cape Barren Geese which is said to have reached plague proportions are a problem to the locals on the island. The locals are continually cleaning up the trail of poo the geese leave behind. The Geese compete with the farmers stock for pasture and are even a nuisance with the Phillip Island Grand Prix racing circuit.
Are there snakes on Phillip Island?
Yes, there are. The island is home to the Copperhead snake, whilst they look like a brown snake or even a tiger snake they are in fact a Copperhead. There are signs at the Nobbies warning to watch out for them. If you do have an encounter with a Copperhead snake ensure you leave it alone as they are venomous. If you keep out of their way they will pass on by.
On our holiday to Phillip Island we witnessed a jogger who very nearly accidentally stepped on a snake as he was jogging along the scenic road. The jogger took a step back and the snake continued on its merry way into the scrub. Ensure you stick to the paths or boardwalks to not only protect the native plants but for your own safety.
Are there wild Kangaroos on Phillip Island?
Kangaroos are indigenous to Australia and New Guinea and can be seen on Phillip Island. Whilst there are no wild Kangaroos on Phillip Island we spotted a herd of them near the Grand Prix Circuit. They were in a fenced area grazing on the grass until they spotted us watching them from a distance. Immediately they stood tall and gazed in our direction. It was such a spectacle to see so many together. Unfortunately as I use my iPhone to capture our memories the picture quality is not great.
Places to visit on Phillip Island
If you love nature then Phillip Island is the place for you to explore. From the wildlife to the scenic beaches, reserves to checkout the birdlife to the popular Nobbies. I am confident you’ll find several places you love.
Below are some of the places we visited, click on the links to learn more.
- Ventnor Common Bushland Reserve
- Cat Bay
- Pyramid Rock
- Nobbies Ocean Discovery Centre
- Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit Visitor Centre and Go Karts
- Smiths Beach
- Conservation Hill and Rhyll Inlet
- Ventnor Beach
- Cowes Jetty
How long should I stay on Phillip Island?
Our escape to the scenic Phillip Island was 3 days. This allowed us to explore most of what the island has to offer. Yes, it would’ve been great to spend a few more days here. A longer stay will enable you to travel around the island at a slower pace and really take in the serenity.
Whether you visited Phillip Island years ago, or ready to go for your first adventure to Phillip Island we would love to hear about your visit or expectations of this scenic island.