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“Devistating :-(” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Penneshaw Penguin Centre

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Penneshaw Penguin Centre
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Devistating :-(”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2014

We were absolutely devastated to find out that there are so few penguins left on the island! We had been warned at the start of the year that numbers were declining rapidly, but they had hoped that numbers would improve once the hatchlings started...

I'm not surprised at all that Kingscote Penguin Centre has closed, and I think it's time that Penneshaw did too. Our guide seemed depressed and just went through the motions. We didn't see or hear any penguins while on the tour, despite being able to hear them from our balcony a few hundred metres away.

Don't waste your money until the penguin populations increase again - our last visit 3 years ago was just terrific and informative.

Visited April 2014
5 Thank Mommaofon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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35 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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  • Any
English first
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great guide, not a lot of penguins.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 29, 2014

The guide and the walk was very nice. But there are not many penguins left, and sometimes you don't see any.

Visited April 2014
Thank Peter R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, UK
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2014 via mobile

I was disappointed by this as the guide was really nervous in a largish crowd - we were with some fellow YHA guests who were German and for the most part we had to translate - they spoke excellent English so there should have been no need but the guide was very mumbly. I understand that they are volunteers but I usually find that means enthusiasm which was sadly lacking. We were warned that we may not seen any penguins but we did see a few and they were really cute! However I do not feel that I got my money's worth although the money does go to conservation but it was expensive (worth noting that guests at YHA across the road get a discount)

Visited December 2013
Thank LancashireLass10_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
73 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“We did ourselves”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2014 via mobile

After finding penguins quite easily at Kingscote we were told penneshaw had a lot more so decided to look ourselves again. We left half an hour before dark with my 2 kids and found 3 burrows with penguins off the trail. We wandered into the tour area and by this time it was dark. Penguins moult in January and stay out of the water for 3 weeks so that's why we didn't have to go late. The tour came along and the guide got really angry at us and demanded money and said we were disturbing the penguins and we should have topmost like everyone else. His bright red light hurt our eyes, we had an orange shirt over our light but he caught us using the white light on a crystal rock so we could see the rock light up. Anyway we saw more penguins than the tour people and if you ask me the tours are exploiting the penguins for money and they disturb the penguins twice nightly. Maybe the penguins are declining because of the tours! Maybe not. Anyway we see them regularly in Sydney out in the surf and they seem friendly little critters not scared of people. Tour operators are just concerned about money.

Visited January 2014
1 Thank annabanannake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Wear closed-toe shoes, be patient, and enjoy the penguins!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2014

We attended the 9pm tour (there are 2 tours each evening - 9pm and 10pm). The guide was knowledgeable and obviously has a passion for the penguins and helping them survive so we enjoyed the information session prior to the hunt for the penguins. Once the information session ended (which was no charge and located inside the Penguin Centre), the guide asked for those who wanted to search for the penguins to pay their fee for the rest of the "tour."

He then led our group up the path and around the ferry docking station to another gate that leads to many rocky areas that are made for penguin dwellings (some natural, some man-made). At first we were a little impatient and thought we wouldn't see the penguins, but eventually around 9:45-10pm the penguins started coming in from sea.. and they are truly adorable! We stayed until about 10:45pm continuing to hear and spot more penguins all the while. In total we saw about 12 penguins, which is a devastating drop to the thousands they had on the island in previous years, but we really enjoyed the ones we saw!

A couple of notes if you want to go on the tour and see the penguins...
1 - Wear closed-toe shoes!! The paths leading to the penguins and the areas surrounding them can be home to some native black snakes,which are poisonous. The guide allowed me to walk near him since I had only sandals on, but I was still quite scared.
2 - If you are planning on taking photos, you should know that the only light available is a red torch/flashlight, and you are NOT allowed to use flash (might scare away the penguins since there are so few of them). Therefore, be prepared to bring a monopod or hold your camera steady for good shots. You could also try bringing a white/gray card to adjust white balance later.

Visited January 2014
1 Thank TinyWizards
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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