Departing Melbourne at 1.15pm, the coach heads directly to Phillip Island, just a 90-minute drive from the city. Attractions include Maru Koala and Animal Park, where folks can watch koalas and sheep shearing demonstrations, the Koala Conservation Centre, and the famous Penguin Parade, where an optional Penguin Plus admission gets visitors up close to the penguins. Tickets include access to the world’s largest Australian fur seal colony using The Nobbies Centre observation deck. Tours return to Melbourne at around 9-10.30pm, depending on the season.
View the full itinerary here.
The Area: Phillip Island, VIC
A mere 90 minutes’ drive from Melbourne, Phillip Island has long been a popular tourist destination for Melbournians keen to escape the city to be at one with nature. Treasured for its varied collection of Australian wildlife, the island is home to kangaroos and wallabies, fur seals and Pacific gulls. In spite of its diminutive stature, the little penguin stands out as the highlight of the region’s animal inhabitants, with a large population of the slate-blue seabirds making their nests in dune burrows along the sandy beach.
The best way to see the small birds is via the Penguin Parade at Summerland beach, where scores of penguins journey across the sand to their nests each and every day at sunset. Next head over to the Koala Conservation Centre to meet even more cuddly creatures. Take a stroll down the Woodland Boardwalk and talk to rangers about what they are doing to protect the sleepy marsupials.