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“Cute Little Penguins” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Penguin Island

Penguin Island
Corner Arcadia Drive and Penguin Road | Rockingham/Shoalwater Bay area, Rockingham, Western Australia 6169, Australia
(08) 9591 1333
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Visit Penguin Island like an insider
$68*
and up
Ranked #2 of 27 things to do in Rockingham
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Activities: Viewing wildlife
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Attraction details
Owner description: Located in the spectacular Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, just 45 minutes south of Perth is Penguin Island- a beautiful, unspoilt nature reserve home to WA's largest colony of little penguin as well as dolphins, sea lions, stingrays, pelicans, ospreys and more. Visitors can see the penguins being fed by rangers at the Discovery Centre. It's also fantastic for swimming, snorkelling, having a picnic or just enjoying some of the best coastal scenery in Perth. Rockingham Wild Encounters operate an hourly ferry service to Penguin Island (it's only a 5 minute ride), glass bottom boat cruises of Shoalwater Bay and adventure style cruises to watch the local dolphins and explore more of the marine park. Sea Kayak Tours and Kite boarding Lessons are also available.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Perth, Australia
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Cute Little Penguins”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2012

The safest way to get to Penguin Island is by ferry from Mersey Point Jetty that leaves every hour on the hour for about $6 one way. There is a sandbar from the jetty to the island, but I strongly recommend you don’t try walking it unless you are an extremely strong swimmer and are wearing a life vest, as there have been too many deaths over the years by currents and tide changes sweeping inexperienced swimmers away.

The Little Penguin is the smallest species of the penguins. The largest population of the Little Penguin in Western Australia can be seen at Penguin Island. The discovery centre on the island is very informative and it is wonderful to see them up close.

If you intend to spend the day there, there are no shops, so you will need to bring enough food and water to last you. This is such a wonderful way to spend some real quality time with the family and you won’t be pressured into having to buy ice creams, chips, etc, etc.

There is a breathtaking walkway around the island with a magnificent look out point. Don’t forget to bring your snorkelling, swimming gear, sun cream and get ready for some summer time fun.

PS the glass bottom cruise is well worth doing as you get to see the seals and dolphins up close

Visited October 2011
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PenguinIslandLocal, General Manager at Penguin Island, responded to this review, May 17, 2012
Thanks for your great rating and very informative review on Penguin Island- especially regarding catching the ferry rather than attempting to walk the sandbar. Just some advice for visitors reading this review. Although there are no shops or restaurants on the island, you are welcome to bring eskies and picnic baskets on our boats. There is an excellent shaded picnic area in front of the discovery centre that has great views of the marine park and overlooks a safe, sheltered beach ideal from young children. Alternatively if you don't want to BYO we do have a cafe located next door to our shop where you can buy food and drinks to take with you. Your ferry ticket also allows you to travel back and forth throughout the day as you please so some visitors choose to go back to the mainland for lunch.
Lastly in regards to our cruise options. With the glass bottom boat you will definitely see sea lions and only occasionally see dolphins. You just have to be lucky enough to find the dolphins inside Shoalwater Bay on the day you go out and although this does happy regularly, your chances of seeing dolphins are much better on our Shoalwater Safari cruise (we have a better than 99% success rate). This is because you travel on a much faster boat that can cover more of the waters where the dolphins are likely to be. This is also a 90 minute cruise whereas the glass bottom boat is 45 minutes. On the Safari we also visit the sea lions, pelicans, ospreys nest and more of the islands in the marine park. Lastly if you happen to go on the Safari and are unlucky enough not to see any dolphins, we will offer you the opportunity to do the cruise again free of charge.
Thanks again for reviewing us on Trip Advisor and we hope you visit again soon.
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Singapore
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14 reviews 14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Nice experience :)”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2012

We visited penguin island on a wet autumn weekday on route to rockingham back from Margaret river. I would recommend paying to view both the penguins at the discovery center and sea lions/seals. The guides were friendly enough. However, due to the weather, we were unable to explore more on the island. We could only see about 8-10 penguins at the discovery center and most of them in the wild were huddled inside the caves.

Taking the ferry to view the seals, we could see a lot of pelicans and a few seals. One seal even came out to the sea and played a little game with the guide.

I would recommend bringing your own food and water. Do use the toilets at the main island before you head out.

Visited May 2012
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PenguinIslandLocal, General Manager at Penguin Island, responded to this review, May 17, 2012
Thanks for your kind review of Penguin Island. We really appreciate your feedback. It's a shame you had bad weather during your visit but at least there was plenty of wildlife to see.

I hope you enjoyed the rest of your stay in WA and visit us again soon.
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Perth, Australia
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“it could be so much more”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2012

i have been visiting pengo for over 30 years. not much has changed on the island exept for the observatory, which is a good addition. you need to go all over the island to really get the place. snorkeling around the reef systems is fantastic .

Visited August 2011
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PenguinIslandLocal, General Manager at Penguin Island, responded to this review, May 17, 2012
Thanks for your review of Penguin Island.

In regards to your heading 'It could be so much more'- we do get some visitor feedback similar to this from time to time and although I do understand this point of view, I think it's important to remember that Penguin Island is a Class A nature reserve and it's primary purpose is for conservation. The island has been deliberately undeveloped to ensure the penguins (and 57 other species of birds that use the island) will be there for generations to come. I also think it's important that we have nature reserves like Penguin island so that people can come and reconnect with nature especially as Perth continues to be developed.

Thanks again for your review and we hope you visit again soon.
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Perth, Australia
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
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“good Surf Beaches”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2012

to access the island you need to catch a ferry across which i believe also gives you access to their penguine observatory where they house injured penguines and nurse them back before releasing them back into the wild. although it is called penguin island it is more like "seagull island" with more seagulls than any other living creature on the island. if you are a strong enough swimmer you could walk tot he island (which is which is how i visited the island) but it's not reccomended due to the fact that the currents are strong and people have lost their lives doing it.
their is a lovely park setup for BBQ's and if you venture to the far side of the island you can find some great surfing spots.

Visited May 2012
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PenguinIslandLocal, General Manager at Penguin Island, responded to this review, May 18, 2012
Thanks for your review on Penguin Island. I appreciate that you mentioned the dangers associated with walking the sandbar. We rescue a few hundred people every year who get into difficulty when attempting to cross the sandbar. For anybody reading this review and considering doing the walk, you should be aware that the distance is approximately 850 metres and that the water depth is usually between waist and chest depth. it's more like a 'wade' than a walk and the northern edge of the sandbar is very steep- if you walk off the edge you will be in deep water. Wind and water conditions can change quickly here and make it very difficult to keep track of where the sand bar is so you need to be a very confident swimmer if you are considering attempting to walk the sandbar.
Also just on a couple of other points you raised. Regarding the BBQ area- this is a picnic area only (there are no BBQ's to eliminate the fire hazard). There are plenty of tables and chairs under the shady trees but you do need to bring your own food and drink. Eskies and picnic baskets are welcome on our boats. Also regarding surfing on the back of the island- it's really popular for local body boarders, however, it is a shallow and fast break so not so popular for the stand up surfers.

Thanks again for your review and we hope you visit again soon.
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Perth, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Amazing Day Trip!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2012

We kayaked to Penguin Island with Rivergods Kayaking Tours (much recommended also). This place is so great for the view from the top, the wildlife (sea lions, rescued penguins - didn't see any wild ones, birds, and skinks), and the beaches/water.

Visited April 2012
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PenguinIslandLocal, General Manager at Penguin Island, responded to this review, May 18, 2012
Thanks for your great review and rating for Penguin Island.

Sounds like you had a great day on the kayaking tour. Paddling is a great way to explore the islands and marine park as nothing beats getting a close up water level view of the wildlife!

Thanks again and we hope you visit again soon.
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