Penguin Island

Orientation & Geography

Australia, Australia, Western Australia

Penguin Island is a 12.5 ha island off the coast near Perth Western Australia, 700 m from Rockingham. It is home to a colony of Little Penguins, the largest population of the birds in Western Australia. The waters surrounding the island make up the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park. (Download a map from here). Regular ferries carry tourists to and from the island and other marine-park sights. Access is also available by private boat or by swimming. Walking across a tidal sandbar at low tide looks tempting but is very hazardous—unpredictable tide rises have resulted in several drownings. Visitors should take their own supply of food and drink, since none can be purchased on Penguin Island, though there is a picnic area with seating. Waterless composting toilets are in use there. Visitors are strictly prohibited from being on the island except during specified daylight hours from mid-September to early June. This means that only a small population of captive penguins can be viewed. However, there are many other sights including nesting seabirds and a 500-strong colony of pelicans. Penguin Island has many geographical features, such as cliffs, small sea caves, headlands, beaches, coves, notches and natural bridges. There are also numerous wave-cut platforms. Significant areas of Penguin Island include North Rock, Pelican Bluff, North Beach, McKenzies Well, South Beach, Abalone Point, and Surfers Beach. There are numerous lookouts and walkways throughout most of the island. Some areas are fenced off to the public to protect wildlife and lessen dune erosion.