If you are heading to Australian and have read about Philip Island, then skip all that as I tell how you can see St Kilda penguins instead. All for free too! Without having to pay for a tour. You work through a Melbourne itinerary during the day and then head to St Kilda beach at night and see the cute little penguins seeking shelter in the rocks on St Kilda Pier. The penguin colony comes in after sunset and as it gets dark on St Kilda beach in Melbourne.
Tours to Philip Island will set you back about $70+. This gives you a cheaper way to see the penguins with paying anything unless you include the expense of dining out in one of the St Kilda Beach restaurants as you wait out the sunset.
The Best Place To See St Kilda Penguins In Melbourne
The best places to see the St Kilda penguins is, of course, the pier on St Kilda beach in Melbourne. At sunset, you have to walk all the way to the end of the pier on the shoreline by the rocks. There is no exact time for the penguin parade. Viewing time for the penguins is any time after sunset is the little fairy guys seem to prefer a little darkness before they come out.
What time do penguins come out in St Kilda?
We arrived a little early as it was still fairly light outside so we parked the car nearby and went out to eat in one of the restaurants on St Kilda Beach. As far as what time do penguins come in at St Kilda, you start seeing the little penguins shortly dark.
The usually hide between the rocks. We went out to eat and then set off around 7pm to walk to the pier when the St Kilda penguin colony were just starting to come ashore.
Photographing the Penguins
Just a note that you are not allowed to use flash when taking pictures of the penguins. While that might be difficult as decent pictures require good light. The helpers around the pier will help you our and shine some red light when they spot the penguins but just bear in mind that flash can be damaging to the fairy guys so try as much as possible not to use it.
The lack of light means you may get blury pictures. I took these before the fancy ass Samsung Note 9 or iPhone XS came out with really great ability to take great pictures at night.
How To Get To St Kilda Beach By Tram, Train or Car
As far as how to get to St Kilda, you can take the tram from Flinders Street station to St Kilda. The cost of the tram from Melbourne to St Kilda which takes about 20 minutes. You can also take the train to St Kilda from Melbourne’s Flinders St station. This will be about 10-15mins but the station is much further from the beach than the tram stop.
The tram from Melbourne CBD to St Kilda as well as the train cost around $6. You need to take the tram from Federation Square heading towards to Barkly St/Carlisle St. By far the best way to get to St Kilda beach is by tram as it stops much closer to the pier and all the bars and restaurants.
Travel By Car – St Kilda Beach Parking
During this visit, my friend drove as we had a car rental. There is parking by the pier. There are a couple of restaurants by the pier many of which have parking but you have to pay. I believe we paid somewhere around $5 or $6 for the car park which is not too bad compared to London.
The cute penguins are really worth seeing. The bonus is that they are also free to go and see.
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Pin For Later
Do they offer any tour groups or guides in order to help learn and show you the penguins?
I visited St. Kilda last year. My advice is to visit as late in the day as possible and you’ll be rewarded with the penguins. They hide under the rocks during the day or are out fishing. There’s a cafe on the pier so snacks are available. If the weathers nice the beach is nice to stroll along we watched dolphins from the pier it was pretty special