It’s a rite of passage for most visitors to Melbourne – make the two-hour drive down to Phillip Island and see Australia’s largest colony of friendly, frolicking fairy penguins. As of today, that experience just got a little fancier.
The brand-new Penguin Parade Visitor Centre has opened in Phillip Island. The new building, which replaces the old visitor centre, includes a state-of-the-art theatre, new interactive activities for visitors, new dining and retail options and an entirely new architectural design.
As well as accommodating the 700,000 or so visitors who come through the Penguin Parade doors each year, the new centre will also allow the Phillip Island Nature Parks team to continue their globally recognised penguin research in a dedicated scientific and education wing.
But what does this mean for the cute penguins? Extensive restoration to the area has created more than six hectares of penguin habitat on the site of the old visitor centre. The centre anticipates that this will create homes for an additional 1,400 breeding penguins.
The new Penguin Parade Visitor Centre is now open.