This was the perfect day trip from Melbourne. The tour company was on time, the bus was clean, our driver Steve was very knowledgeable, he provided details about points of interest as we were leaving Melbourne, then once out of the city advised that he would start talking again once we got closer. The trip was timed out perfectly. The cost of the trip was perfect, and part of the cost goes back into conservation. We went in September and saw hundreds of penguins. Highly recommend this trip.
We enjoyed our stop at Maru Koala where we were able to hand-feed some of the kangaroos and wallabies. All along the drive Steve, our guide, gave us some history and scientific information about the area and the penguins we were going to see. We did the Underground Viewing Experience, and it was well worth the money. We were separated from the penguins by a sheet of glass and some of them stopped along their walk to look through the window at us too. We were also able to take in the parade from the platform outside, but it was incredibly crowded and loud, and people were using flashes to take pictures even though we had clearly been told multiple times that this was bad for the penguins' eyesight. The rangers and guides need to limit the number of people so they can better protect the wildlife, but this isn't the fault of the tour company.
This was a fantastic trip. The drive was quite a bit longer than I though, but absolutely worth it. The driver, Mark, was excellent, friendly, funny, and personable. The little wildlife park stop was great the only time I saw an albino grey kangaroo - actually two of them, but the sunset views from the cliffs on Phillip Island were breathtaking. And the little penguins are awesome!!
We were picked up just after lunch and taken to an animal sanctuary where we saw a variety of animals and birds, but particularly wallabies, kangaroos and koalas. We were able to purchase feeding for the wallabies and kangaroos and had them eat out of our hands. Later we travelled to Phillip Island where, after some sight-seeing and a meal, we went in the evening to watch the penguins come ashore as the sun set and then head for their nests. Unfortunately, the rain came on and we had to buy capes, but it was still a fascinating experience - one not to be missed.
It was a very relaxing and restful tour and my family and I were so very excited to have seen the penguins upclose and see how their activities and movements were in the evening. Our experience were worth the cost of getting the Skybox Penguins because you are so close to the penguins and you can clearly see how they walk in line and in group and they were so amazing! Would recommend this tour to my friends and relatives!
The tour provider was AAT King and our driver was Peter. He was excellent! Very knowledgeable and funny. And he was regularly making sure the tour group was well attended to and he asked each of us if we had seen penguins. My group was lucky enough to see them and they were so cute! I was very happy with the tour.