Great ocean road hinterland

PHILLIP ISLAND NATURE & WILDLIFE

Fairy Penguin

Fairy Penguins, also known 'Little penguins' are the smallest penguin species in the world at only 33 cm. Little penguins are also called ‘Little Blues’ because of the indigo-blue and slate-grey colour of their feathers.

 

They also have the shortest breeding cycle of all the penguins species, which last about 50 days in total. Penguin numbers at Phillip Island vary depending on the time of season. The peak time to visit is November - April.  

 

Koala

The koala is a tree-dwelling arboreal herbivorous marsupial native to Australia that can be found in areas of eucalyptus forest.

 

During your tour, you can learn more during your visit to the Koala Conservation Centre. There is an on-site visitor centre dedicated to koala's, and there is even a tree-top woodland boardwalk for superb up-close viewing with guaranteed sightings of koala's.

Sleeping Koala at the koala conservation centre
 
wild wallaby spotting with expert local guide

Wallaby

There are many different varieties of Wallaby in Australia. On Phillip Island, the native wallaby is the Swamp Wallaby. It is a Herbivorous animal, weigh about 17 kilograms and has a gestation period of around 33 days.

 

During your tour, you will be taken on an off-road safari style detour as we go in search of wallaby's in their natural habitat, shortly before sunset, the time at which they are at their most active. 

 

Kangaroo

Eastern Grey Kangaroo's roam freely on the island. Unlike Wallabies, they like to gather in large Mob's, often with 1 large male controlling the group.

There will also the option to hand-feed kangaroo's (with the assistance of your guide) during your visit to the local wildlife park.

Kangaroos playing in the wild
 
cape barron geese

Cape Barron Geese

There are over 3,000 geese on Phillip Island. These are bulky geese and their almost uniformly grey plumage, bearing rounded black spots, is unique. 

After the nesting, when the goslings have fledged, some of the populations will leave Phillip Island and migrate across to the adjacent mainland.

You will have guaranteed sightings of these Geese during your tour.

 

Swamp Hen

These large water hens live in large extended family groups on the island. They have a distinctive heavy red bill and forehead shield and are often found grazing near ponds, that are dotted around the island.

Their favoured habitat are well vegetated wetlands, with grassy margins, trees, scrub or introduced willows, which is why Phillip Island currently has such a thriving population.

swamp hen at churchill island
 
australian fur seal pups

Seals

Phillip Island is home to one of the largest Seal colony's in Australia. located at the far south-western tip of the island, over 25,000 seals call the island home.

 

There is an option to get up close on a 2 Hour Seal watching cruise where your boat will drift within metres of this huge Seal colony. This must be booked in advance of your tour date (Additional Cost Applies).

 

Whales

During the winter months of May and October, there is opportunity to see humpback whales, southern right whales and orcas as they migrate from Antarctica to the warmer waters off Queensland for calving. 

If you are choosing to tour during this period, your guide can make special arrangements to include a visit to one of our favourite hidden lookouts to spot passing whales.

whale migrating
 
Birds on the beach

Short-tailed Shearwaters

Otherwise referred to as muttonbirds on the island, it is the most abundant seabird species in Australian waters, and is one of the few Australian native birds in which the chicks are commercially harvested.

The Shearwater birds arrive on Phillip Island in mid-September after an exhausting 16,000 kilometre migration from the waters off the Aleutian Islands near Alaska.

 

Pelicans

The Australian pelican can be seen roosting on sandbanks, rock platforms and reefs, or swimming in lagoons, bays and estuarine waters, dipping their oversized bills into the water to catch fish. 

If you choose our Extended One Day Tour (14 Hours) you can witness the feeding of wild Pelicans (by a regulated wildlife officer) whilst learning about their diet, lifestyle and learn about the steps being taken to improve their conservation on Phillip Island.

pelican landing at phillip island
fairy blue wren

Bird Life

Phillip Island and mainland Bass Coast are a haven for bird watching, and some visit each year on great migratory journeys.

If you have an interest in bird spotting, just let your guide know. There are some fantastic bird spotting opportunities throughout the island, including numerous wetlands and lake settings that you can visit. We even supply binoculars so you can get the best viewing possible.

Sheep

Perhaps one of less interesting animals in Australia, but certainly one of the most significant in relation to the country's growth. They used to say 'Australia rode on the sheep's back.'

 

You can learn more about their importance and watch a live demonstration of sheep shearing by a professional shearer, during your visit to Churchill Island Heritage Farm (entry included in your tour cost).

Sheep Farm