Phillip Island Wildlife Nature Parks
Only an hour and a half drive from Melbourne, Phillip Island Wildlife Nature Parks housed a wildlife conservation park created in 1996, the Phillip Island Nature Park. Covering over 1805 hectares of land in separate areas, the park is both a center for research and a commercial attraction on the island.
The areas of the park include Pyramid Rock, Rhyll Inlet, Seal Rocks, and Cape Woolamai.
Specific Viewing Areas
If you want to see the fur seals, sharks, and dolphins, then you have to visit the Nobbies Centre on the western tip of the island. The Centre also housed the WWF’s Virtual Tour to the Southern Ocean and the Antarctica.
If you wish to see the little penguins waddling back to their burrows in the dunes, then you have to go to the Penguin Parade viewing area. It is a commercial venue where people can see the blue penguins and watch their daily penguin parade at dusk.
If you like to get up close with the koalas, then visit the Koala Conservation Centre. The center focuses on koala research and conservation. You can see the lazy koalas in their natural habitat on boardwalks.
You may also want to drop by the Churchill Island Heritage Farm, a 19th-century working farm on a quaint tiny island. There you can see a time capsule of a scenery in the 1800s where you can also shop for some souvenirs and other stuff.
Phillip Island Wildlife Nature Parks Important Bird Area occupies much of the park. BirdLife International had identified the area as a bird sanctuary because of its avian population. Various species of birds live in and out of the area: little penguins, Pacific gulls, short-tailed shearwaters, flightless emus and cassowaries, migratory birds, owls such as tawny frogmouths, parrots of many colors including the loud cockatoos, bats such as the flying foxes, eagles, kookaburras, and the list goes on.
Phillip Island Wildlife Nature Parks is also home to more than a hundred various species of animals endemic to Australia like the koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, crocodiles, snakes, dingoes, Tasmanian devils, lizards, echidnas, etc. You can hand feed the animals and experience a close encounter with wildlife, especially the kangaroos and wallabies in a free-range environment.
If you happened to be around Melbourne area, you may plan to drive to Phillip Island and have a closer look at Australia’s native wildlife. You can do bird watching, hand-feed the kangaroos, get up close with the koalas, and spot some seals. You can also have the chance to take a virtual journey to the southernmost hemisphere. This is in partnership with WWF and Autopia. Of course, the highlight of the day remains to be the penguin parade.
Phillip Island Nature Park is one of Victoria’s must-visit tourist attraction.