6 of The Best Phillip Island Tours from Melbourne 2024

Have you been wondering the Best Phillip Island Tours from Melbourne? I’ve got you covered!

As an Australian, I’m familiar with the Best Phillip Island Tours from Melbourne and have been there a few times myself. I always love seeing the cute little penguins there!

With so many options for Phillip Island tours available to travellers, it can be difficult to decide which one is best for getting the most out of your trip.

That’s why I’m here – to provide you with honest information about each tour so that you can make an informed decision. Whether you’re looking for something adventurous or educational, I’m confident that you’ll find a great Phillip Island tour to suit your needs.

Plan your trip?

Avoid hidden fees in the exchange rate while withdrawing from millions of ATMs abroad, paying in restaurants and shops, and buying your accommodation and flights using the Wise Card. You can hold up to 40+ currencies at once to spend in in over 150 countries, and convert them in real time with the free Wise app.

Need help planning your trip from start to finish? Check out these helpful links:

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy. You can also read our content/editorial policy here.

My Top 3 Picks: Best Phillip Island Tours from Melbourne

#1 Top Pick
Cowes Foreshore on Philip Island in Australia

Phillip Island ++ Tour

  • 12 hours
  • Stop in Brighton
  • Entry Fees included
#2 Pick
Cute Australian little penguins also known as fairy penguins

Penguin Parade Express Tour

  • 9 hours
  • Small Group Tour
  • Park Entry Fees
#3 Pick
Phillip Island skyline (Great Ocean Road, Australia)

Phillip Island Afternoon Tour

  • 8 hours
  • Max of 11 people
  • Moonlit Sanctuary

6 of The Best Phillip Island Tours from Melbourne

Cowes Foreshore on Philip Island in Australia

1. Phillip Island Penguin, Brighton Beach, Moonlit Sanctuary From Melbourne

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ LENGTH:  12 hours | ✅ Book it!

Visit the iconic Brighton Beach and Brighton Bathing Boxes on your way to Phillip Island on this incredible eco-tour. This Phillip Island day trip from Melbourne also includes the Moonlit Sanctuary Conservation Park for an opportunity to see koalas and other Aussie wildlife up close.

Finally, you’ll get to choose from a range of different viewing options to see the adorable fairy penguins, from a secluded beach location to the exclusive viewing boardwalk. You’ll witness hundreds of these adorable creatures waddle out from the ocean and into their sand burrows.

Keep in mind that large bags, prams, strollers, wheelchairs and walkers can’t be brought on board, and photos are not permitted at Phillip Island. This tour will have a maximum of 24 people.

“Mark A (and Dino) were fantastic guides and we’re very knowledgeable about the areas we visited. The penguins were the highlight of the trip but the animal sanctuary was also great – I don’t think I have ever been so close to kangaroos and wallabies. Really pleased with the overall tours I did with Go West and would recommend them.” – Rob W (read more reviews)

Operated by Go West Tours, this Phillip Island tour begins in the late morning with a quick pitstop to see the famous colourful bathing boxes at Melbourne’s Brighton Beach.

After spending a little time here, you’ll continue on to the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, where cuddly koalas await you. Scheduled is a wildlife show called Conservation in Action, where rangers will introduce you to a number of lesser-known Aussie animals.

Afterwards, carry on to the tip of Phillip Island, where you can take in amazing coastal views of the Nobbies. While best known for penguins, this area is also home to the largest fur seal colony in Australia. 

For the event you’ve all been waiting for, make your way to a spot on the beach and get ready for the Penguin Parade. You can upgrade to the Penguin Parade Plus or Guided Ranger Tour for an even more amazing experience up close. Once the fairy penguins have made it into their burrows for the evening, you can take a snooze on the hour-and-a-half ride back to Melbourne.

Important details

  • Start time and location: Between 10 am and 11 am from May to July or between 11 am and 12 pm from August to April from selected hotels
  • Duration: 12 hours
  • Includes: Entry fees to the Moonlit Sanctuary and Phillip Island Penguin Parade, pick-up from selected hotels in an air-conditioned vehicle, WiFi on board, and a friendly and informative tour guide

🤩 Check Prices and Availability!

Cute Australian little penguins also known as fairy penguins

2. Phillip Island Penguin Parade Express Tour From Melbourne

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  9 hours | ✅ Book it!

See the famous Penguin Parade on this incredible express tour from Melbourne. This is one of the best Phillip Island half day tour options if you don’t want to muck about or simply have limited time in Victoria.

Before you see the little penguins in the evening at Summerland Beach, you will get to admire peaceful coastal views from the Nobbies boardwalk and spot some magnificent fur seals.

You’ll be among a group of maximum 24 people, with infant seats available for the younger travellers. Unfortunately, this activity is not wheelchair accessible, which also means prams and walkers cannot be brought along either. However, service animals are more than welcome. 

“Wonderful to see the tiny penguins up close! Slightly windy by the shore. Knowledgeable tour guide.” – Joongil_S (read more reviews)

After being picked up in the afternoon in an air-conditioned vehicle, you and the group will head straight to Phillip Island. At the Nobbies, spot the adorable seals among Australia’s largest fur seal colony. Stretch your legs, enjoy a snack, and admire the waves crashing against the rugged coastline. 

Before dusk, pop into the visitors centre to learn about the amazing fairy penguins, from fun facts to information about their daily lives.

Once it’s dark out, you’ll begin to see groups of penguins make their way out of the water and waddle along the beach in search of their burrows. Remember, no photos or videos are permitted, as the flash can scare these animals.

Important details

  • Start time: 1:45 pm between April and September or 2:45 pm between October and March from outside the Immigration Museum at 400 Flinders St
  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Includes: Entry to view the Penguin Parade, park entry fees, a friendly and informative tour guide, and transport in an air-conditioned vehicle with WiFi on board

🤩 Check Prices and Availability!

Phillip Island skyline (Great Ocean Road, Australia)

3. Small-Group Phillip Island Afternoon Day Trip From Melbourne

⭐️ RATING: #/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  hours OR 📍 LOCATION: locationhere | ✅ Book it!

This small group tour of no more than 12 people ensures personalised attention with your guide and the opportunity to ask your own questions. Learn about wildlife conservation on Phillip Island as you spot fur seals, koalas, wallabies and fairy penguins in their natural habitats.

Run by Oceania Tours and Safaris, this amazing experience allows you to spend your morning in Melbourne as you wish before being led on an unforgettable Aussie adventure that goes well into the evening.

“We had so much fun! Pickup/drop-off was easy and our guide/driver (Kevin) was informative, helpful, and funny. We loved the time with Australian animals and opted for the optional koala encounter at the Moonlit Sanctuary and are glad we did! The penguin parade is not to be missed! Highly recommend this tour.” – Josie_R (read more reviews)

After you’ve been picked up by your driver and have been on the road for over an hour, you’ll stop at either the Moonlit Sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula or the Koala Conservation Centre on Phillip Island. Get up close to the cuddly koalas and wallabies and take a ton of photos while you’re there!

Next up, you’ll stop at the Nobbies, and you can take in incredible ocean views from the Southpoint Lookout. After wandering around and spotting some fur seals, it’s time to move on to the main event of the day.

Pop into Phillip Island’s souvenir shop and cafe at the newly-built visitor centre. You can learn more about the tiny penguins and even pick up a plushie.

From the viewing platform here, you’ll wait for the adorable fairy penguins to emerge and march right past you. Depending on the time of year and the weather, you will spend around 90 minutes to two hours here, so bring some warmer clothes and possibly a rain-proof jacket.

Important details 

  • Start time: Between 1 and 2 pm from Mercure Melbourne Southbank or pick-up from selected Melbourne CBD hotels upon request
  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Includes: Hotel pick-up and drop-off, transport in a comfortable air-conditioned minivan with commentary from the driver, a small group experience, and entry into the Moonlit Sanctuary, Nobbies and Seal Rock

🤩 Check Prices and Availability!

Koalas are nocturnal animals but sometimes they move around even in daytime to catch the sun or the breezes - Cowes, Victoria, Australia

4. Phillip Island Penguin Parade Day Trip With Koala Conservation Reserve Visit

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  10 hours | ✅ Book it!

Can’t decide between seeing the koalas or the fairy penguins? Fortunately, you don’t have to pick one or the other! This Phillip Island day tour from Melbourne takes you to the Koala Conservation Reserve during the day as well as the Penguin Parade in the evening.

You’ll also get to take wonderful beach walks along Cape Woolamai and the Nobbies at Summerlands. This is such a relaxed and memorable day that is perfectly laid out for you.

“This trip is well worth your time. Saw many sites that I would have missed otherwise. Dwayne, our tour guide, was extremely knowledgeable and professional.” – Janice_M (read more reviews)

Your first pitstop of the day will be at Tooradin Jetty for a quick refreshment and a stretch of the legs. Shortly after, you’ll continue your journey to the Koala Conservation Reserve for a guided tour with a ranger. Spot cuddly koalas lazing about in the eucalyptus trees and learn more about why they are so beloved.

Next, officially cross the bridge into Phillip Island and stop at Cape Woolamai Beach. Take in the ocean breeze and look out for Pyramid Rock. From the boardwalk area up on the cliffs above, you’ll see plenty of wallabies and native birds in the surrounding bushland.

After spending about an hour here, make your way to Summerlands to view the Blowhole, where waves crash against volcanic rock formations. On a sunny day, fur seals often lay about on rocks in the distance.

It’s around the Nobbies that you may be able to spot any fairy penguins that haven’t gone into the ocean that day. They’ll typically be hiding in man-made wooden burrows. If you can’t find any of the stragglers, head up to the Nobbies Information Centre and warm up with a hot drink.

Once the sun sets, it’s time for the Penguin Parade! For about two hours, sit back and watch as hundreds (and sometimes even thousands) of adorable fairy penguins waddle up from the surf. Wildlife Tours requests that you do not take any photos during this time to respect these tiny creatures and their sensitive eyes.

Important details

  • Start time: 11:45 am between April and September or 1:45 pm between October and March in front of the Immigration Museum at 400 Flinders St
  • Duration: 10 hours
  • Includes: Admission to view the Penguin Parade and the Phillip Island Koala Reserve plus all National Park entry fees, an air-conditioned vehicle, comprehensive commentary with an experienced local guide, and pick-up from inner-city Melbourne upon request

🤩 Check Prices and Availability!

The Pinnacles is a spectacular set of naturally formed colonnades at Cape Woolamai - Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia

5. Melbourne City Tour And Phillip Island In One Day

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  13 hours | ✅ Book it!

Do you have limited time in Melbourne yet still want to go on a Penguin Parade tour? You’re in luck, as you can see both the city and Phillip Island in one amazing day trip!

Throughout the morning, explore the streets of the Melbourne CBD and St Kilda before departing for the Mornington Peninsula in the afternoon. Here, you’ll get to meet some of Australia’s most adorable wildlife, before going to Phillip Island for the evening to watch the Penguin Parade.

This is a small group tour with no more than 11 participants, so you can easily get to know some fellow travellers throughout the day and chat with your guide personally.

“Sarah was an amazing tour guide. It was raining when we had the island tour so having water proof gear is a must if the weather is rainy. You just can’t take pictures of the penguins.” – Via_S (read more reviews)

Start your day by exploring some of the main attractions in the Melbourne CBD, like St Paul’s Cathedral, Flinders St Station and Federation Square. Take in panoramic views from high above at the Melbourne Skydeck before passing by the iconic St Kilda Beach and Albert Park.

Next up, see Australian wildlife up close at the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park. If you’re here during Melbourne’s rainy winter, be sure to wear some gumboots and pack a rain jacket. The sanctuary boasts plenty of amazing animals, from koalas, kangaroos and wallabies to wombats and dingos.

Of course, all Phillip Island tours from Melbourne must include a stop at the Nobbies! After you’ve killed some time at the beach waiting for the sun to set, head on over to the Penguin Parade and enjoy this rare moment to see these magnificent birds in person.

Important details

  • Start time: Around 8:30 am from 9 Riverside Quay, Southbank or selected hotels within Melbourne CBD 
  • Duration: 13 hours
  • Includes: Transport in an air-conditioned minivan by a knowledgeable guide and driver, hotel drop-off, and access to the Moonlit Sanctuary and Penguin Parade

🤩 Check Prices and Availability!

Side profile of little penguin, VIC, Australia

6. Phillip Island Penguin Parade, Brighton Bathing Boxes And Wildlife Park Tour

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  10 hours | ✅ Book it!

Last but not least on our list of Phillip Island penguin tours from Melbourne is this fantastic 10-hour group trip that includes visits to Brighton Beach, the Maru Koala and Animal Park, the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory, Cape Woolamai Beach and the Nobbies. Of course, there is also the final stop at the Penguin Parade.

This is one of few, if not the only, Phillip Island tours that makes a designated stop for ice cream! It can easily be considered the best Phillip Island tour in terms of value and variety of activities. Young kids that require infant seats and strollers are more than welcome, making it an easy choice for families too.

“Orlando was a great guide. He went above and beyond by picking us up from our hotel. Also gave us plenty of time to enjoy at each attraction/stop. Highly recommend this trip.” – Discover48479069967 (read more reviews)

Begin your unforgettable day with a quick stop at the Brighton Bathing Boxes at Brighton Beach. This colourful attraction is ideal for taking those classic touristy photos. The next stop will be the Maru Koala and Animal Park, a family-run wildlife park home to koalas, kangaroos, emus, Tasmanian devils and more.

After meeting and learning about the native animals, pop into the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory to grab a chocolatey treat and a hot beverage at the cafe. Keep in mind these purchases are not included in the tour cost. You’ll then visit both Cape Woolamai Beach and the Nobbies for some scenic coastal walks.

By sunset, you’ll be ready to watch hundreds of fairy penguins return to their burrows safe and sound. Your driver will then return you to Melbourne ready for bedtime. 

Important details

  • Start time: 11 am from the State Theatre, 100 St Kilda Rd
  • Duration: 10 hours
  • Includes: Transport in an air-conditioned vehicle, infant seats and strollers for young children, drop-off at your hotel or St Paul’s Cathedral, bottled water, disposable face masks and hand sanitiser

🤩 Check Prices and Availability!

The Pinnacles rock at Cape Woolamai one of the most tourist attraction place in Phillip Island, Melbourne, Australia.

FAQs About phillip island trips from melbourne

do you need a tour for phillip island?

Phillip Island is an incredibly popular destination for tourists, so yes, you would need a tour to get the most out of your experience.

A guided tour will help you explore the stunning scenery, including The Nobbies and Seal Rocks, while providing insight into the island’s unique wildlife and history.

With a knowledgeable guide by your side, you’ll also have access to special spots where you can observe some of Australia’s most iconic native animals.

is phillip island worth it?

Yes, Phillip Island is definitely worth a visit! With picturesque views of the island’s coastline and countless activities to take part in, it’s easily one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in Australia. From whale watching to wildlife tours, there’s something for everyone.

Plus, there are plenty of delicious seafood restaurants and unique shopping experiences to explore. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing holiday or an adventure-filled escape, Phillip Island offers it all!

what is the best time of year to see the penguins at phillip island?

The best time to see the penguins at Phillip Island is during their breeding season from October to March. During these months, the penguin populations’ numbers are at their peak and it is easier to observe them in their natural habitat.

Additionally, while it is not necessary to book a guide, hiring one can be beneficial to help better understand the species and provide insight into other areas of interest on Phillip Island.

To ensure you have the best experience possible, plan your visit between late October and February when there is a higher chance of seeing these delightful creatures in their large numbers on their nightly parade from sea to land!

Dramatic granite rock structures photographed from the Pinnacles Lookout at Cape Woolamai - Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia

Final Thoughts: day trip to phillip island from melbourne

A trip to Phillip Island from Melbourne is an experience you will not forget! Taking a tour is a great way to make the most of your time on Phillip Island. With several tours available and experienced guides to show you the ropes, you’re sure to have an incredible experience.

From the amazing wildlife to the beautiful beaches, Phillip Island has something for everyone. So why not book one of these awesome tours today and make memories that will last a lifetime?

If you’re looking for an experience unique to Phillip Island, these tours are sure to be a hit with any traveller – so don’t miss out! Book now and get ready for a truly unforgettable adventure.

Read More:

Read more:


  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.