Penguin Parade At Phillip Island – Ventnor, Australia - Atlas Obscura

Penguin Parade At Phillip Island

Ventnor, Australia

An unphotographable nightly march of tens of thousands of "fairy penguins" from sea to shore. 


Approximately 65 million years ago, “Fairy Penguins” traded their wings for flippers in exchange for the ability to traverse the sea at distances of up to 100 kilometers per day.

Today, these little penguins remain the smallest of their kind on Earth, standing at an average height of just 30 centimeters (compared to Antarctica’s famed Emperor Penguins’ imposing 122-centimeter stature).

Officially known as the “Little Penguin” for obvious reason, the one million Eudyptula minor on earth exclusively call Australia and New Zealand home. Yet there is one place within their dominion that remains most unique: Phillip Island. Here, a colony of 32,000 of these minuscule penguins makes their way from sea to cubbies on land each and every night at dusk in what has become known as the “Penguin Parade.”

Visitors from all over the world flock to the Australian island to witness this most endearing ritual with their own eyes, only to escape largely without proof of it ever having transpired; the birds’ eyes are so light-sensitive as to prohibit nearly all forms of photography (and certainly all those to non-professionals) which renders capturing the tiny, endearing pilgrimage largely impossible, proving that some of nature’s most adorable sights must be seen in person to be believed. 

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