Penguin Island is like an insider secret for Western Australians – everyone in “the know’ visits! We love this tiny island packed with wildlife punch. It is a fun beachy day out for all the family. We believe that it should be on every local’s, and visitors, must do list when in the Perth area.
If you can, we highly recommend going slow and enjoying the beauty of Penguin Island for a full day. There is plenty to keep everyone occupied. If you can’t spend the whole day, then all the highlights can be touched on in a somewhat rushed 3 hour trip.
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You could combine your visit to Penguin Island with a trip down south. We have included a stop at Penguin Island on our recommended Perth to Margaret River List Of Stops
If you are visiting on a normal day (not during school holidays or on a long weekend) then it is worth noting that ferries to the island depart on the hour, every hour (e.g., 10am, 11am etc.) During busy times there are more ferries, but you don’t want to sit around waiting for an hour.
We’d totally encourage you to aim to arrive for the very interesting penguin feedings at 10.30am, 12.30pm & 2.30pm which give you lots to think about as you visit the island. These are well worthwhile as you get to see the cute little rescued penguins up close. Plus, learn a little bit about their life and why these particular penguins can’t be released to the wild. Seriously, cuteness overload!
There is a 2km walk around the island. The walk takes approximately 1 hour, and is a combination of boardwalk and beach. We saw some prams heading off, but didn’t see whether they made it or not!
With a gorgeous, sheltered beach and a gorgeous grassed picnic area we would recommend taking your bathers, snorkel and towel and settling in for the day. There were loads of families enjoying the calm waters, and sand on the day we visited. If you are going to picnic- make sure you pack your lunch because there is no food for sale on the island.
Extra Activities Available On Penguin Island
We opted to take a Penguin and Sea Lion cruise and were SO glad that we did! We got to see a lot of sea lions at close proximity and they even put on a show for us, cavorting in the water and sparring on the beach. Opportunities to see animals in the wild, in their habitat and unaffected by humans is a privilege and one that we believe should be encouraged (vs seeing animals in cages or zoos). We were enormously thrilled by the Penguin and Sea Lion Cruise. The cruise gave great views of the wildlife, and birds like the nesting Pelicans, Ospreys and Cormorants. There is a glass bottom boat that offers great views of the sea grass meadows and limestone reefs.
How To Get To Penguin Island
It takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour to drive from Perth. If you wish to use public transport, you can the train south from Perth on the Mandurah line. Disembark at the Rockingham Station and get a connecting bus to the Penguin Island ferry terminal.
IMPORTANT – Penguin Island Is Closed In Winter
Penguin Island is open daily September 15 to early June (Western Australia Day Public Holiday), subject to weather. When the island is closed due to bad weather, an ‘Island Alert’ is displayed on the welcome page of their website.
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