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New visitor centre for penguin patrons

/ 28 Jun 2019
Phillip Island Nature Parks opens the doors on its brand new $58m visitor centre this month.

Phillip Island’s iconic Penguin Parade is one of Australia's most popular tourist attractions and this month, it opens the doors to an exciting and visually breathtaking new visitor centre.

The modern, environmentally sustainable new visitor centre replaces the existing facilities and providing a world class asset. The architecturally acclaimed star-shaped building is nestled strategically in a junction of wetland, dune and headland, showcasing the spectacular surrounding landscape and putting the much-loved Phillip Island Little penguins at centre stage in their unique habitat.

The new centre, which has been moved back from the important Summerland Peninsula which the penguins land on to find their burrows each evening, will provide to Phillip Island’s colony of Little penguins with the restoration of over 6 hectares of prime penguin habitat on the site of the old building and coach parking areas. Up to 1400 breeding penguins will soon be able to reclaim this area as their own.

Visitors will be able to enjoy a wide range of new facilities inside the new centre, including a host of fun and interactive interpretive activities, a state-of-the-art theatre, diverse dining experiences catering to all tastes and budgets, plus modern retail spaces.

Guests are welcomed via the arrivals hall which leads through the building to the penguin viewing boardwalks. This area can manage visitor demands including a peak of over 3,000 people expected on at least 15 days a year.

A dedicated education wing includes flexible activities classrooms for education rangers to deliver school programs. These spaces will also be used as special group facilities for guided penguin viewing experiences such as the VIP or Guided Ranger Tours.

Two new retail outlets offer merchandise for sale, one of which is a specialty store focusing on Australian-made and responsibly sourced indigenous products.

There is also an in-house theatre with seating for 100 which will be used for teaching and education groups, lectures, small conferences and conservation seminars, as well as the nightly showing of the Penguin Parade experience video.

The centre also features two new dining outlets include a café and a restaurant, enabling guests to enjoy an evening meal after their penguin viewing experience.

This world-class environmental centre is a unique Australian experience like no other.

The centre’s environmental credentials are equally impressive, with an array of 666 solar panels on the expansive roof, a water filtration system to recycle rainwater for non-potable use, increased roof and floor insulation, and double-glazed windows. Low carbon building materials have been used throughout the centre’s construction, including sustainably sourced Victorian Ash hardwood for the impressive laminated beams. 

Its spectacular architectural design has already been acknowledged internationally, having just been announced as a winner at the 2019 International Architecture Awards, out of a field of over 380 submissions from 41 countries.

The Penguin Parade Visitor Centre development was made possible through generous funding announced by the Andrews Labor Government in April 2016 in the amount of $48.2M, with an additional $10M contributed by Phillip Island Nature Parks, a self-funded not for profit conservation organisation.


This content can be shared and edited for the purpose of promoting Victoria as a visitor destination. Not for use in paid advertising. Please credit Visit Victoria.


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