Exploring Penguin Island – The Unique Nature Reserve of Western Australia

High Res TIFF Penguin

Teeming with wildlife and home to the west’s largest colony of Eudyptula minor (little penguins), Penguin Island is just a short ferry boat ride or kayak paddle from the Australian mainland. There are no native mammals on the island, but the island is visited by the odd sea lion. This nature preserve is home to over 600 breeding pairs of penguins. They share the island with 30 other species of birds. The island gives the birds a unique place to breed and raise their young protected from predators.Exploring Penguin Island1

Getting to Penguin Island

You can take a ferry from the mainland or kayak over to the island. You can also take advantage of the many charter boat trips to the island. One of the most popular is the glass bottom boat that takes you to the island and gives you a 45 minute tour of the wildlife sanctuary zone to view sea lions and penguin feedings. You can also take a 90 minute cruise and see more of the marine park and wildlife.

Feed the Penguins at Discovery Centre

Once you get to the island you can go to the Discovery Centre at 10:30am, 12:30pm, and 2:30pm to feed the penguins that call the centre home. Be sure to look out for the leader of the pack, Piggy (named for his huge appetite), and his lifelong partner and only female of the 10 resident little penguins, Gerry. They have two chicks, Nemo and Sassy. The rest of the group Include six other penguins that have been rescued or been badly injured. The feedings usually last about 20 minutes, and afterwards rangers are available to answer visitor’s questions.

Built in 1987 The Discovery Centre was constructed by the Department of Environment and Conservation. It serves as an educational facility, and a sanctuary for injured wild penguins. It was designed to be like the penguin’s natural habitat with sandy scrub environment, and a saltwater pond. The pond has viewing panels so you can watch the little penguins play and swim.Exploring Penguin Island2

Sandy Beaches

If you love the water, Penguin Island is the perfect getaway.   You can swim, snorkel, and kayak the crystal clear waters to get the adrenaline rush you need. Snorkeling equipment is available for rental on the island or you can bring your own gear over with you on the ferry. You can also fish the waters of the island or enjoy stand up paddling along the chain of limestone reefs. The calm shallow rock pools also make Penguin Island the perfect playground for families with young children.

Explore Penguin Island’s Nature Trails

Penguin Island is a must see destination for nature lovers. The island is home to many sea birds during nesting season which sees its highlight from September to December. The Bridal Terns return from Borneo each year in late October and early November. The King Skinks call the island home all year as do the pelicans. You can also spot humpback whales on the west side of the island from September to December.

Penguin Island is truly a unique nature reserve of Western Australia. With some of the most popular trails in the country and the little penguin colony the island offers many chances to experience wild Australia and explore its natural wonder.

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