If you’re heading away from Melbourne for the day and towards the much-loved Phillip Island, chances are you’re going to stop by Summerlands to watch the marvelous and adorable nightly Penguin Parade! What to wear will depend on the time of year you are visiting.

The largest colony of Little Penguins in the world call Phillip Island home, and you are guaranteed a sighting of the creatures as they waddle their way across the sand from the ocean, heading back to their burrows after a big day of fishing. The Penguin Parade is a daily occurrence, so you can make this trip in any season. The general rule of thumb for Phillip Island at any time of year – pack a jacket.

Getting to the Penguin Parade

Before we talk about what to wear, it’s worth mentioning that the Penguin Parade is very easily accessible from Melbourne. You can join a tour where a friendly driver and guide will get you to the Island – which is about 90 minutes from Melbourne – and show you the most stunning scenery throughout Phillip Island. From The Nobbies to Cowes; there is so much natural beauty to see here, you’ll be very busy before you end the day with the Little Penguins.

Visiting in winter? You’ll want to bring a jacket.

So, now you know how to get to the island, and you can get prepared for the day! If you are coming to Phillip Island in the winter months, you need to dress accordingly. Melbourne can get pretty chilly, and Phillip Island gets even colder as it is located further south.

The Penguin Parade kicks off from sunset, which during the winter months is about 4.30-5pm. The sun setting may bring the penguins in from the ocean, but it will also bring a drop in temperature. You can expect temperatures to fall to anywhere from 5-10 degrees in winter, and the wind can also pick up, so you’ll want to rug up. Warm pants, long sleeve top, boots, a beanie and a windbreaker/puffer jacket or coat would be strongly advised.

Be sure to check the radar on the day of your trip too – you don’t want to get caught in the rain without an umbrella or poncho.

Whilst a visit to the penguins during winter will certainly be cold, you’ll soon be distracted and delighted by the tiny creatures as they head home for the day.

Summer in Phillip Island.

For those of us who don’t love the cold weather, a summer’s day exploring Phillip Island may be preferable. Warm and balmy during the day, the Penguin Parade is in turn a little more pleasant as the temperature doesn’t drop quite so low. It will get cooler in the evenings as the sun goes down, so make sure you still have a jacket. Rain isn’t likely but again it’s never a bad idea to check the radar ahead of time.

Whilst the weather may be much more pleasant for the Penguin Parade in summer – longer days and daylight savings will mean the penguins come in later at about 8-9pm. This may mean your tour to the island starts later in the day. Fortunately, you can make the most of your evening on the island and stop in at a restaurant to enjoy some delicious local food and unwind before the show begins.

Autumn and spring temperatures can vary a little, but all the previous advice still applies. A warm jacket, possibly a blanket and the possibility of a required poncho.

Whatever time of the year you make it down to see the penguins, you are in for one of the cutest shows you’ve seen! Hundreds of the penguins will be easily seen from your viewing area, so have your camera ready… and don’t forget that jacket.

Related article: How many days do you need on Phillip Island?

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