Penguin Island
Penguin Island
4
About
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. 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.
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  • Jan J
    3 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    No penguins but still a worthwhile trip
    Although we were disappointed not to see any penguins, we did see plenty of pelicans and other seabirds along with a few skinks. The island is a bird sanctuary and I was happy to pay the charge so it can be maintained. The walk around the island, especially the view points, was lovely.
    Hi V2466XDjanj, Thank you for a review, we appreciate the support. Sorry to hear you didn't get to see any of our wild penguin but glad you still had a nice day on the island and saw our other seabirds. Hope to see you again. Kind regards, Perth Wildlife Encounters
    Written 17 December 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 4 December 2023
  • snooks5970
    Holt, United Kingdom281 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Ok
    Went over on the ferry and we are glad we can tick this trip off but it wasn’t a wow factor.Penguins are fewer on the island now, there seem to be more Pelicans than anything.They are not near enough to get a good photo of.The island is incredibly windy. Water is lovely and warm and shallow too. Lovely to see the Skinks.
    Hello Snooks5970, Thank you for coming to Penguin Island and for your review. All of the penguins on the island are wild and they are in their natural habitat looking for food in the water, so unfortunately sightings are not as frequent. The island is indeed windy in the afternoon as the sea breeze comes in. Thank you, Kind Regards, Perth Wildlife Encounters.
    Written 1 February 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 26 January 2024
  • GLOBETROTTERS170
    London, United Kingdom186 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Penguin Island
    We've visited Penguin Island many times over the years & also taken the Dolphin Encounters trip as well. Have many great memories of the wildlife & staff . Being from the UK we haven't been to Rockingham since the end of 2019 mainly due to the Pandemic. We were so saddened to learn of the demise of the Discovery Centre(DC) for the injured / rescued little penguins . Understand the rationale for the final decision though . Even more sad to learn from the DBCA about Kevin ... would like to let Jane D . & the other DC staff know we share in their loss of him & some of the others before rehoming to Perth Zoo & CWP occurred . I still think Penguin Island is worth visiting & wish the all staff involved all the very best .
    Hello Globetrotters170, Thank you for your wonderful review! We are pleased that you enjoyed your experience with our dolphin encounter! We hope to see you again soon! Kind Regards, Perth Wildlife Encounters.
    Written 22 March 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 11 March 2024
  • IBenevolentDictatorI
    375 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    No Penguins
    Warning you won't be seeing any Penguins! Although, the Penguin Island website states "A five minute ferry ride is all it takes to meet the world's smallest penguins .....", without the Discovery Centre there is very little chance of seeing the world's smallest penguins. This is because the penguins leave the island early in the morning and don't return until after sunset. I went to Penguin Island expecting to see at least one penguin because I had no idea that the Discovery Centre no longer existed. Nevertheless, it is a nice day trip to the island. I just wish I would have known that I wouldn't be seeing any penguins.
    Hello IBenevolentDictatorl, Thank you for your review! Unfortunately, the discovery centre closed in June 2023, so now we only have wild penguins on the island. They leave the island early in the morning to hunt for food and return late at night. There is a slight chance of seeing or hearing them but unfortunately, we cannot guarantee this. We apologise for this. Your best chance of seeing them would be in December to January during moulting period ! Kind Regards, Perth Wildlife Encounters
    Written 23 May 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 April 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles1,185 reviews
Excellent
578
Very good
377
Average
139
Poor
55
Terrible
36

Stacey B
3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021 • Family
Don’t waste your money! It is $35 a ticket, you get there and there is a ‘discovery centre’ which has 5 captive penguins. There is no shop or cafe, just grass and some picnic tables. There are small strips of beach covered in seagulls and bird poo. All the walk ways are covered in bird poo. It smells so bad!!! Then when in the discovery centre on one of the signs it says the wild penguins don’t return to the island until dusk…the last ferry leaves at 3pm. So it’s a total rip off! You basically pay to see a small tank of penguins, empty penguin boxes, seagulls and poo.

Due to all the bird poo, it’s not suitable for toddlers and young kids. We were so disgusted, after 30 mins we headed to the dock and we took the next ferry back. $70 for an hour on an island of poo.
Written 19 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi StaceyLB2102, Sorry you weren't able to enjoy Penguin Island they way we intend people too. Penguin Island is an A class nature reserve intended to home, nurture and conserve the birds that nest and breed on the island including the silver gulls. We are very lucky to be able to set foot on the island and share it with the vast birdlife as this is the only island in the marine park which allows monitored access to the public Inside our discovery centre we have 6 rescue penguins that have been found orphaned, injured, deformed and simply just unfit for the wild. We give these rescue penguins a second chance and accustom them to a better life with help around the clock. These penguins would not be able to survive the wild, and they love their new nature reserve that is cared for by qualified rangers and environmentalists. The Fairy Penguins are either hiding in the burrows or deep sea fishing during the daytime and they arrive back or leave their burrows as dusk sets in. This is why we have a last ferry before dusk to ensure the penguins are feeling safe enough to roam free on the island. Fairy penguins are small endangered animals who wouldn't enjoy humans walking around them all day and night hence why we have a last ferry before dusk sets in. These 'empty penguin boxes' you write of are actually man made burrows put around the island to encourage breeding and mating for the fairy penguins. They are crucial on the island and whilst you might not of seen any in active use they do help out with the breeding cycle of fairy penguins and any other life that chooses to use them. Upon arrival and receiving your ticket we do remind all guest there is no cafe or restaurant on the island, it is also written on your ticket. We have Pengo's cafe next to door to the Gift Shop and they provide great food suitable to take over to the island or have on the mainland . Once again as an A Class Reserve we have no shops, cafes or bins to ensure a waste free island. Any rubbish that comes onto the island should leave at the end of the day. Many families come and have been coming to penguin island for years with their toddler and young kids and have not found a problem with the so call "island of poo". Kids are free to roam around the sheltered bays and the grassed picnic area and they have so much fun doing so. It's unfortunate that you didn't. Penguin Island really is a nature lovers haven to be able to see the wild birdlife breeding and nesting and too also have the opportunity to see the marine life as well, such as the Indo-Pacific Bottlenose dolphins, the Australian Sea Lions, Stingrays and much more. I hope our comments can give you some insight on the beauty of Penguin Island and the Shoalwater Island Marine Park it really is such a shame you weren't able to appreciate it like others who do.
Written 10 December 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Matéo
Fribourg, Switzerland11 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022 • Friends
We paid over $30 for a 5min ferry ride and only to see a few little penguins in a tiny pool. We had to stay in a very small place, it was forbidden to visit the island. However, I think going there in the right season is definitely much better. They should do a discounted rate for off season visits. Other than that, the scenery is very pretty.
Written 26 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your review. Due to the penguins breeding season extension, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions have placed new (first time) restrictions on visiting the island. These restrictions include number of people able to go to the island, time spent on the island limited to 1 hour, and limited to the grassed picnic area and jetty on Penguin Island. In placing these restrictions it has allowed visitors like yourself to still be able to visit penguin island and see the little penguins, rather than not at all. The 7 Little Penguins in the Discover Centre are rescued due to injuries or becoming an orphan, and unable to be released into the wild. We are glad this number is only 7, and in return they can be showcased educationally, so people can understand why these penguins need our help. As our ferries and cruises are still operated as usual (running all day with full crew), we hope you can understand why we have not changed our price. These restrictions will be lifted on the 15th of October, and we hope our efforts to contribute to more penguin offspring has helped during this time. We appreciate your review though, and are glad that you enjoyed the views of Penguin Island. We hope to see you again once the island is fully reopened. Kind regards.
Written 26 September 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

sarahhuk2017
London, UK130 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Solo
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Penguin Island. The staff were friendly and helpful and everything was incredibly well organised. I learned a lot at the feeding and loved the chance to see the penguins up close. The glass bottomed boat tour enabled me to see so much life wildlife, including sea lions, dolphins and pelicans. I cannot recommend those enough to those who love to see some of what nature has to offer.
Written 21 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi sarahhuk2017, Thank you so much for your review! I will pass on your kind feedback to our passionate crew! We are so glad you enjoyed your experiences on Penguin Island and the Penguin and Sea Lion Cruise! The Shoalwater Islands Marine Park really is the perfect place to come enjoy some incredible wildlife, where it is all 100% wild and free! Hope to see you again soon, Gabby Rockingham Wild Encounters
Written 21 January 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

jacki t
Perth, Australia38 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2021
Have been going to Penguin Island for years, first with own kids, now with grandchldren. We had planned to go in December until I checked on the fares, and found it would be $120 for 3 children and two seniors. I checked on the price to go to Adventureworld, and it was $170. Guess where we went instead. Honestly, for a five minute ferry ride, and for the few actiities you can do for free on the island, the price was ridiculous. Visitors wouldnt know any better, but locals sure do. Pick up your game.
Written 28 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi jackit_12, We're sorry you feel this way about the pricing to go to the island. During these Covid times we really do appreciate the support of locals and far away visitors. We play an important role in educating guests on the precious marine and bird life here in the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park.
Written 11 February 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sheridan K
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
It should be called Seagull Island instead of Penguin Island. Paid for the ferry today to visit the island whilst on an holiday and didn’t see a single penguin. Wandered around the island in search of penguins, however only seagulls and pelicans in site. Seagulls absolutely everywhere and some quite aggressive, due to being in mating/breeding season.
Overheard a tour group being informed that the sanctuary has been shut down and that the penguins had been moved to the zoo. Extremely disappointing. Especially after paying money to visit the island and see the penguins, which weren’t there. Got on the first return ferry and went to another beach where we didn’t have to pay just to see seagulls. Would not recommend
Written 20 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for sharing your review about your visit to Penguin Island. The Department of Biodiversity and Conservation Australia have indeed closed down the Penguin Island Discovery Centre. We apologise that you were not informed of this information. As an alternative educational experience to the Discovery Centre, Perth Wildlife Encounters offer a short walking tour to share some information about the penguins and an opportunity to learn about some of the unique biodiversity that Penguin Island holds. As you mentioned, there are many species of sea birds that use Penguin Island as a significant habitat and breeding place and still encourage you to come over to enjoy these aspects of the island. As all of our experiences at Perth Wildlife Encounters are completely wild & free, we do not feed or lure the animals in any way. Wildlife sightings are common for most days, but we cannot guarantee sightings of all the wildlife every day, including the penguins. We do have them on the Island, but they are free to come and venture out as they please. Your feedback is valued and will be passed on. Sorry for any confusions about the Penguin Discovery Centre. Kind regards, Lara, Perth Wildlife Encounters
Written 7 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ty D
2 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Friends
Today, January 16th 2020 we took two friends who are visiting from Canada to Penguin Island. We were a few minutes late for the 9am ferry but they wouldn't wait even though the ferry was still tied up and hardly had anyone on it. The next ferry was at 10.20 but the advertised times are on the hour. The 10.20 ferry was late getting to the Island, consequently we were told that the 10.30 Penguin experience was just about finished and the next one was at 12.30.The office staff where tickets are paid for seemed the least bit interested in providing any decent customer service. What a shabby show Perth Wildlife Encounters are running. Don't be fooled by gloomy brochures or their website. Happy to take our money but not one ounce of quality customer service. Shameful.
Written 16 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi 47tyd, Thank you for taking the time to write this review. We are sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your experience with us yesterday. Unfortunately, we cannot ask the ferry crew or the passengers who paid for the 9:00am ferry to wait for latecomers and it was likely that the office staff were unaware that the 9:00am ferry was running late. The ferry transfers do operate every hour on the hour, however the 10:00am ferry was full so to accommodate higher numbers we added the extra 10:20am ferry. As you were within your cancellation policy we were not required to change you to another ferry however, out of goodwill we often try to accommodate for everyone. In the future, if there is an issue, it is always good to come and talk to us so we can help you out at the time and explain what is happening or rectify the error. We hope to see you again soon. Regards, Trini Rockingham Wild Encounters
Written 17 January 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

GLOBETROTTERS170
London, UK186 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
We've visited Penguin Island many times over the years & also taken the Dolphin Encounters trip as well. Have many great memories of the wildlife & staff .

Being from the UK we haven't been to Rockingham since the end of 2019 mainly due to the Pandemic.

We were so saddened to learn of the demise of the Discovery Centre(DC) for the injured / rescued little penguins . Understand the rationale for the final decision though .

Even more sad to learn from the DBCA about Kevin ... would like to let Jane D . & the other DC staff know we share in their loss of him & some of the others before rehoming to Perth Zoo & CWP occurred .

I still think Penguin Island is worth visiting & wish the all staff involved all the very best .
Written 11 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello Globetrotters170, Thank you for your wonderful review! We are pleased that you enjoyed your experience with our dolphin encounter! We hope to see you again soon! Kind Regards, Perth Wildlife Encounters.
Written 22 March 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Dan L
Bunbury, Australia8,395 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021
Penguin Island is well worth a visit, I'd go as far to say that a visit to Rockingham is incomplete without a visit to the Island. We caught the 10am ferry with Perth Wildlife Encounters and spent a pleasant couple of hours on the island until returning at 12.15pm. We enjoyed our visit to the Discovery Centre and the feeding frenzy of the Little Penguins. Gulls of various species everywhere throughout the island and a squadron of pelicans occupying their territory. We managed some of the boardwalks and the climb to the hilltop lookout and views over the island and surrounding waters.
No Little Penguins spotted in the wild.
Written 25 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Dan L, Glad to hear you enjoyed your day at Penguin Island! The Shoalwater Islands Marine Park is thriving with wildlife and a must see spot when visiting Perth. The penguin feeding at the discovery centre on the Island is the best way to get up close and personal with the Little Penguins. Sometimes you can get lucky and see the wild penguins, however their natural behaviour is to hide away from predators in their burrows during the day or go out fishing at dawn and come back at dusk. You will have to come back and experience the Dolphin, Penguin and Sea Lion cruise next time on our glass bottom boat! Kind Regards, Perth Wildlife Encounters.
Written 10 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

IBenevolentDictatorI
Perth375 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Warning you won't be seeing any Penguins! Although, the Penguin Island website states "A five minute ferry ride is all it takes to meet the world's smallest penguins .....", without the Discovery Centre there is very little chance of seeing the world's smallest penguins. This is because the penguins leave the island early in the morning and don't return until after sunset. I went to Penguin Island expecting to see at least one penguin because I had no idea that the Discovery Centre no longer existed.
Nevertheless, it is a nice day trip to the island. I just wish I would have known that I wouldn't be seeing any penguins.
Written 3 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello IBenevolentDictatorl, Thank you for your review! Unfortunately, the discovery centre closed in June 2023, so now we only have wild penguins on the island. They leave the island early in the morning to hunt for food and return late at night. There is a slight chance of seeing or hearing them but unfortunately, we cannot guarantee this. We apologise for this. Your best chance of seeing them would be in December to January during moulting period ! Kind Regards, Perth Wildlife Encounters
Written 24 May 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

JamesRW78
Haywards Heath, UK60 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Family
A great trip over to the island, which only takes 5 minutes, a nice leisurely walk around the island taking in the scenery, and wildlife. Lots of Pelicans to see and then a talk inside the education centre where the penguins were.
Well worth a trip if you are in the area.
Written 16 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi JamesRW78, Thankyou for your lovely review. Its great to see you had a nice time on Penguin and enjoyed the lovely scenery. Regards Sam Perth Wildlife Encounters
Written 16 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Penguin Island (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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