|Jetty at Penguin Island|
|Reached after a short 5 minutes ferry ride|
Little Penguins got their name from being little, literally, the smallest penguins among the penguin species. An adult little penguin weighs about 1.5kg, and it's about 30-40cm tall. Emperor penguins are averagely double the size of a little penguin.
Just imagine how adorable are they!
|The little penguins at the discovery center|
|These penguins here are moulting (changing their feathers). It happens every year, and it's a stressful period for them as they will not be able to go down to the water.|
|The seagulls are conquering the beach|
|Nice picnic area outside discovery center|
|The beach where I brought my son for a dip in the water|
Having said that, chances to see a truly wild penguin is very very low. The wild penguins go out to hunt for food during day time, and only go home in the evening. You can see the 12 captive penguins in the discovery center anytime during the opening hours, and also during the feeding time. If you're a bird-watching-kinda-guy, don't forget your binoculars and telephoto lens. There are thousands and thousands of birds in the island. I can only recognise seagulls, crows and pelicans though.
The west side of the island faces the magnificent Indian Ocean, so do make time to take a stroll along the pathway and enjoy the great view of Indian Ocean.
|View of Indian Ocean in Penguin Island|
Besides visiting the discovery center, you can also join one of the cruise they have. Due to age limit, we can't do anything adventurous with the little one (most cruises have minimum age of 3 except for Sea Lion Cruise), we can only do Sea Lion cruise. The cruise took us to the Sea Lion Island, just a little further from Penguin Island. We did not go near, just observed from a distance, a row of Australian sea lions (only found in Western and South Australia) resting by the beach. They go out to hunt for food for a few days, and come back to the shore to rest for a few days.
|Resting sea lions|
One interesting fact of the sea lions there, is that they're all males. To breed, they will have to travel to another island to court the ladies. After that, they'll go back to their own island. And they do bring the teenagers back with them. As they're once almost extinct, they're currently given a special protection.
After seeing the sea lions, the cruise also tried luck to spot any inshore bottle nose dolphins. To our luck, we did see quite a lot of them. Mostly mother and child, and some coming very very near to our boat. It's really an exciting experience. (But due to the fact that I was carrying my son most of the time, I didn't take any photos of the dolphins.)
If you're planning for a trip to Penguin Island, you do need to take note of the timings of ferry (usually one per hour), the feeding time of the penguins, the timing of the cruise you want to join, and the last cruise out of Penguin Island. Plan your trip properly to avoid disappointment.
For your reference, our trip goes like this:
11am-Ferry to Penguin Island
~Picnic, watch penguins in the discovery center~
12.30pm-Watch penguin feeding
1.15pm-Sea lion cruise
~Watch Indian Ocean~
3.10pm-Left Penguin Island
We really like Penguin Island, if you like animals and island, this is a nice place to visit =)
AUD78 for two adults (ferry between main land and Penguin Island, discovery center and Sea Lion Cruise)
FOC for children below three year old
Free parking outside Pangos Cafe.