Phillip Island Penguin Parade
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Fairy Penguin Parade
I spotted this Little Penguin hanging out under the boardwalk and it's a good thing I snapped a shot when I did, because there are no photos allowed at the official Penguin Parade. Once the sun is almost at the horizon, the festivities begin at Summerland Beach, where the Little Penguins arrive in rafts (not inflatable rafts – groups of penguins are called rafts!) and just plop from the waves onto the beach in the twilight. Every night, hundreds to more than 1,000 penguins march across the beach to their burrows in the dunes. As I mentioned, no pictures are allowed because thousands of flashbulbs would be incredibly unsettling for the penguins to deal with every night. It can be chilly once the sun goes down, so dress appropriately or be prepared to shell out $20 for a small blanket from the gift shop. Around 9 p.m., the penguins slowly begin to arrive. They’re itty-bitty, only about as long as your forearm, and they literally pop up out of the waves and begin waddling toward their colony in the hills beside the bleachers. Some screech, some stop and rest right in front of you and others just lie down and chill for a while before getting up to go find their chicks. If you come to Melbourne, don’t even think about missing the Penguin Parade!
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