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4.6 based on 10 reviews
We choose a Phillip Island One Day Tour as we didn’t think we needed two days there. And I feel we choose well. We were lucky to be sitting outside melbournes strict lockdown zone when we went, so the island, and the Penguin Parade in particular was very quiet. I have been once before, many years ago, right in the peak of school holidays and it pandemonium! Due to that bad memory we had been avoiding the island, but now we view it in a completely different light - partly due to the lack of tourists around, but largely due to the excellent tour Posh Penguins put on for us. This was a taster of what travel will be like for us going forward, now that we have hit retirement. We cannot wait to get out there and explore Australia and eventually internationally!
We took a 1 day tour with Posh Penguins to Phillip Island. Very enjoyable indeed. Booking process was easy. It was a nice mix of island sights and activities. I particularly enjoyed watching the different farming activities on Churchill island, including the sheep dog demonstration, sheep shearing and we even got a chance to crack a whip! The journey down from Melbourne is about 90 minutes. We were staying at a friends house in eastern Melbourne so we pre-organised to get a direct doorstep pick up. This worked perfectly and meant we didn’t have to go all the way back into the city in the morning to get picked up. Nice shiny car and guide/driver who knew the roads and the island well.
I will probably have to write a few wrongs right from a previous poster by the name of VB, before I give my review of the actual tour. This previous poster claims the Penguin Parade is ‘exploitation’. This is complete and utter rubbish. The time we spent chatting with the staff at the Penguin parade was so overwhelming positive. They truly care about the welfare of the Penguins. They are very conservation driven. Nothing else. I don’t know if that reviewer literally went into the Penguin parade with his eyes closed….I don’t know? Yes, the Penguin parade cafe is over priced, yes the gift shop is a rip off…..but hello….it’s a tourist venue…..and this is all to draw as much money in as possible to pay for all this conservation effort. Nothing is free in this world. If I was in charge of Posh Penguins, I would just have deleted that persons garbage review and not given him (or her, who knows) the time of day. Ok rant over. I will now begin my review of the actual tour itself. We choose a private tour vrs hiring a car and driving ourselves. We wanted an expert guide who knew the island. And that’s exactly what we got in Sally. She was a brilliant ambassador, not only for the island, but also the wildlife and the overall conservation effort that mr Vb for some reason managed to completely miss. It was a very relaxing day. Well organised. We took the extended option (14 hour tour option instead of the 12 hour tour option) after Initial discussions with James via email, and we are glad we took his advice. He also persuaded us to upgrade the Penguin Parade ticket type, which again, totally worth its weigh in gold. All these discussions were well filtered through to our guide Sally, So much so that she even knew that my wife was a strict pescatarian and had made arrangements around this. Kudos for that. Most other private tours we have been on have failed at that hurdle, despite making that information public prior to booking. We were initially tossing up between this tour and another private tour provider. To be honest, the other company seemed more refined. They had a Mercedes and the overall feeling was a bit more professional, but it was also double the price of Posh Penguins. So we took a gamble. And it paid off. Sure we didn’t get the Mercedes. But We did get an incredibly comfy people mover though - just without a pretentious logo. And our guide was very down to earth and friendly. You could tell she was from the island, because her mind hasn’t been warped by the big city like many of us - come on, we are all guilty of this. She really knew the road and the local region. We seemed to always end up away from everyone else, just surrounded by the most beautiful countryside and wild animals. Yes we did do some of the tick box stuff as well, like the koala conservation centre and Churchill island, but what was good about that, was Sally was totally flexible as to how long we spent at each location. If we hated it, we could just says ‘can we move on please’ and if we were having fun we could just ‘can we stay a bit longer’. That really put us at ease and I don’t think I even looked at my phone to see the time the entire day. It was that relaxed. In fact, come to think of it, apart from taking a photo, I don’t think I looked at my phone once. I actually can’t remember the last time that even happened. It is one of my bad traits and I didn’t even realise this until the next day, when I asked my wife what the best bit of the tour was. She answered ‘the fact you were totally engrossed in the tour that you didn’t stop for one minute to check your phone’. The final curtain call was the Penguin parade. Again, some smart thinking from their team, as Sally gave us : 1.comfy cushions to sit on 2.warm blankets to wrap up warm in 3.binoculars so we could view the Penguins from afar I saw customers from the company we were originally going to book with, climbing out of their flashy German automobile with what could only be described as a dis-interested tour guide. But what made me take note, was what they didn’t have : Did they have cushions? No. Did they get sore backsides? Probably!!! Did they have blankets? No. Did they get cold. Yes absolutely!!! it was freezing!!! Did they get given binoculars? No. Could they see as much as us. Of course not!!! This just reaffirmed that we had chosen the best option. It just requires a bit more digging when you are booking a private tour to make sure you not only end up with the best company but also the best bang for your buck. The number of automated responses we had gotten from companies gobsmacked me. That’s the very reason why why wanted a private tour in the first place. Be be treated as individuals, not as another number. To finish : Kudos to Posh Penguins for delivering such a relaxed, personalised and fun day out. Thanks to James for fielding all our questions and the behind-the-scenes of organising everything, and of course Sally our star tour guide and driver.
We could not find many operators still doing tours down to phillip island due to covid. Eventually we stumbled upon Posh Penguins. Being a private tour, the price was a bit more than we had anticipated to spend, but we went with it anyway. In the end, the extra cost was worth it. Our guide James was was really friendly. He knew the island very well and we were taken to some incredibly nice secluded spots, to be at one with nature and away from the tourist masses. The Penguin Parade blew me away. Take their advice and book the upgrade. As the sun began to set, the rain started to set in. However, James had secured what they call 'underground bunker' tickets so we could not only shelter from the rain, but also we gained a much better view from the bunker. It was only an extra $45 each (from memory) but again, totally worth it. The drive between melbourne is pretty mundane, but we had a fun chat with James on the way down in the morning and slept for the entire journey on the way back to Melbourne.
The people who gave this 5 stars should be ashamed. What a terrible exploitation of animals to make money, the Penguins were terrified and they put through this ordeal every night just so they can get to their burrows. Penguin Parade you should be ashamed, I don't know how you can sleep at night, awful.
Phillip Island has lots of attractions, but the Penguin Parade is the stand out. The Penguins are quite charming, when they come out of the water they look like little gentlemen in dinner jackets coming home from an evening out. With Posh Penguins, you will get a great view of these aquatic birds. I have been to the Penguin Parade many times but these black and white birds never cease to amaze me.
My friends and I had a great day out. We choose to visit the wildlife park, where we got great photos holding a koala. We also fed the cute kangaroos. The island was beautiful, particularly when we got off the beaten track. The parade is well organised and fun.
It was a wonderful experience to visit Phillip Island with Posh Penguins. The whole private trip was smooth and safe. I particularly love wildlife. James is a very thoughtful person and is an excellent guide (and guy) who could bring you to fascinated sceneries and places that fulfill your wish and preference. The communication with him was pleasant and efficient. His recommendation on the Penguin Parade tour was fabulous. It has been an unforgettable trip that I could get an up-close encounter with wildlife. This private tour is highly recommended.
We used Posh Penguins back in 2018 for our first trip to Phillip Island. We have family that live in Victoria, so we normally make the long trip over every 1 or 2 years. This time we were travelling with friends who had never visited, so we decided to use them again. We had James as our driver last time. This time we had Tom. He was just as good, safe, professional and just wanting us to have the best experience. The trip back in 2018, we choose to visit the Vietnam museum from their ‘optional extras’ list - which was really good. This time, my wife insisted on choosing the Wildlife Park. Again, this option was very good. We got to hand feed kangaroos, got a picture up close holding a koala (well, as close to holding it as you are allowed) and met some other native Australia animals that our friends from Europe had never seen before. The rest of the tour had a similar pattern to the previous year. A visit to the stunning Churchill island, where this time we took part in some of the activities. My wife successfully tried the cow milking, whilst I comically failed at the whip cracking. We also watched an interesting sheep sharing demonstration and a working dogs display. Heaps of wildlife here as well. Very varied - black swans, wallabies, funny purple hens, highland cows.....all sorts!). We visited a koala refuge, got some great pictures. Then we went on a bush walk and saw some wallabies in their natural habitat. Dropped in at a local surf spot, watched a few wipeouts, then grabbed dinner. Dinner venue was not great (at The Penguin Parade), but it would seem all the visitors eat in the same place as there is literally nothing else anywhere nearby for miles and miles. So I guess this unavoidable. The food wasn’t bad, but it was quite busy and the food is at tourist prices. Our guide did make us feel better about the experience - all the money spent in this venue goes back into the fight for local penguin conservation. For the Penguin Parade last time we had the Penguins plus upgrade. This time.....we choose the ‘Underground’ upgrade, which was fortunate, as it was raining in the evening, and this is the ONLY place you are undercover AND it’s limited in number, so we were one of the very few tourists who didn’t get wet. I strongly recommend upgrading your ticket, at least to this option. This was very easily done when we made the booking, and we just paid the difference to Tom on the day. It’s worth noting here that the main grandstand can have 2,000+ people, so it was much more civilised to get an upgrade. Plus We were only charged what we would have paid if we had of upgraded directly ourselves, so it’s nice to see a company not seeing it as another way of making extra money in the side. So yeah, another great day out with Posh Penguins. I feel I have now seen everything there is to see on Phillip island so won’t be using their services again, but I would certainly recommended them to my friends and family.
Nice relaxed tour. Initial communication with Posh Penguis was good, and making our deposit payment online was painless. Very quick and easy. Shame the same can’t be said for some of the other operators we had to deal with in New South Wales. We had a slight hiccup with our flight arrival time, meaning a slight delayed pick up time which we weren’t able to communicate in time, but James was very accommodating about it all, even charging us less money, as we missed out on a small portion of the tour. This was an unexpected but most welcome surprise. Phillip Island was charming, particularly the little coastal towns. After visiting some of the big cities around Australia, it was nice to get out and see some of the countryside and the real Australia. Not quite the outback, that’s being saved for our next trip DownUnder. Penguin Parade was unique and certainly worth the trip down just by itself. But if you are going to go all that way, it’s even better combined with some of the other attractions you get to visit.
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