Thursday, 17 March 2016

Around Perth with my Parents - Penguin Island

Back to my visits around Perth with my Parents!

After our short holiday down South I had to return to work as we were short-staffed, but during the Christmas period I managed to get a day off here and there and then I would use the day to show my Parents a few interesting things further away from Perth...

Penguin Island
On one of those days I took them to Penguin Island, a tiny island just across the Indian Ocean from the suburb of Rockingham.
The last time I was there was in November 2013 with my German blogger friend Iris and husband Ingo, and although I've been there a few times I always enjoy it!

Penguin Island and  Discovery Centre

One of the island's beaches

Penguin Island is not habitable, it's just a haven for Penguins and birds, and the staff leave the inland at the end of the day.
The island has beautiful beaches, but if you want to spend the day take a picnic as there's no food available on the island.
The island closes from June to September during breeding season and is also closed on the 25th December.

Walking across to Penguin Island via the sandbar = danger

The ferry crossing takes about 5 min, although we spotted some people walking across the sandbar, which can be dangerous. A couple of people drowned a few years ago, during high tide and strong winds...
The ferries operate from land to the island from 9am to 3pm only, on an hourly basis.

My husband, me, Dad, Rosa, Mom waiting for the ferry to depart - notice our cooler box with our food

Discovery Centre and Penguins
We arrived just in time for Penguin feeding and a talk at the Discovery Centre  (3 times a day at 10,30am, 12,30pm, 2,30pm).
The fairy penguins or little penguins are only about 33 to 43cm high and weigh between 1 to 1,5kgs and while some were darting around in the pool, others just stood within close proximity to their little "caves", while one of them posed for the photographers looking from side to side while standing on the same rock.
When the carer arrived with the bucket of sardines some of them came to get their share, by the bucket, while others ate the ones she threw in the pool.

This penguin was a real show-off looking around at the photographers

At the time we were there, some of the penguins were molting, which means their old feathers were being replaced by new feathers. This happens once a year just after breeding season, from December to March.
This process takes about 2 weeks and the penguins basically fast as they're no longer waterproof. Because they gorge themselves before this process they can live off their fat.

                                                        One of the sorry looking Penguins that was molting and not eating

The 10 penguins in the Discovery Centre are hand-fed, still some of them didn't want to get their share of sardines and just looked around somewhat embarrassed.                             You had to feel sorry for them...                                                                       

Being fed sardines

 The World's various Penguin species, with the tiny Fairy Penguin at the end

Penguin Island is also an haven for birds, and there is a Pelican breeding colony at one end of the island that can't be accessed by the public.
From the viewing platform you can see hundreds of Pelicans.

Nesting Pelicans don't like being disturbed, reason why the area is restricted.
Incubation of between 2 to 4 eggs takes about 32 to 35 days. Upon birth both parents feed regurgitated fish to the young chicks.
They learn to fly by watching the adults, launching themselves from rocks or cliff edges to catch the updraft.

We saw lots of other birds, but unfortunately I don't know what they are...

Hope you enjoyed the visit to Penguin Island and learnt a bit more about the Fairy Penguins.

Another side of the island and a lovely beach


  1. They are so adorable! I think I have never heard about this species and I had no idea there was a Penguin Island near Perth, so thanks for sharing. I also didn't know penguins fast for changing feathers. Very interesting!

    1. I had never been there when they were molting, so it was also a new experience for me.

  2. Yes, thank you again for that wonderful pre-wedding pressie, Sami, we enjoyed it heaps!
    Also a nice coincidence we share the same wedding-day, that way I´ll never forget yours :-)
    Those penguins are really cute, is "the old penguin lady" still around?

    1. It was a pleasure Iris. Yes we share our wedding date, and now I have a niece who also got married the same day. The lady that was there this time was in her 60's, not sure if she was the same.

  3. Thank you for mention us and the wonderful trip to Penguin Island in 2013.

    1. Pleasure Ingo, it was an enjoyable trip.

  4. Tão giros os pinguins e os pássaros!!
    Deve ter sido um dia absolutamente espectacular. :-) Maravilha!

    1. Obrigada Sara, são muito fofos os pinguins, pena não podermos tocar neles...

  5. Penguins are really cute, as is the picture of you all on the ferry with your cooler box! Penguin Island looks a fabulous day trip. We have Phillip Island near us, in Victoria which you drive onto and wait to see hundreds of Penguins waddling up the beach at night!
    Have a lovely weekend Sami!
    Wren x

    1. Thanks Wren. I've been to Phillip island too a few years ago on one of my visits to Melbourne when my husband worked there on a project for 7 months.

  6. Fab series of shots Sami, I loved Penguin Island, bet your folks did too!

    1. Thanks Grace, of course they did, I love it too, such a cute island with even cuter creatures!

  7. Schöne Bilder von der Insel der Pinguine.



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