The Nobbies are two rock “humps” off Point Grant.
The Visitors Centre, managed by Phillip Island Nature Parks, is situated
on the Point at the western end of Phillip Island.
A further two kilometres out to sea are Seal Rocks - with a colony of approximately 10,000 Australian fur seals.
As parking is limited at the visitor centre, during summer there is a free shuttle bus between the penguin parade car park and The Nobbies which runs about every 15 minutes. Follow the signs at the penguin parade car park for where to wait.
Raised boardwalks take visitors past penguin rookeries and breeding areas for sea birds.
A pram and wheelchair-friendly boardwalk to the east takes visitors to the Blowhole and Lookout.
Formed from ages of erosion by the sea, the Blowhole is spectacular on a day when the waves are crashing in. Plumes of spray rise high in the air.
From the Lookout, visitors can enjoy fantastic views of the rugged southern
coast - a photographer’s paradise, with bays stretching to Cape Woolamai.
During moulting season (around March), penguins can sometimes be seen sheltering under the walkways amidst a pile of down.
Sometimes penguins can also be seen sitting in the box nests which are close to the boardwalk.
A delight for children.
This is a great opportunity for children to see penguins if they are too young for the nightly penguin parade.
The other, lower boardwalk has steps and is not suitable for prams or wheelchairs.
Take a look at the seals with the coin-operated telescope at the viewing platform and enjoy their antics.
(There are more telescopes near the visitor centre car park).
In front is an Aboriginal midden, a remnant of the culture of the Bunurong people, Phillip Island's first inhabitants.
The original stairway which once allowed access to The Nobbies is now closed to protect the habitat of nesting sea birds, such as silver gull and crested tern.
Inside the centre, there are new
displays showing a journey to the Southern Ocean and Antarctica. This project is a joint venture between Phillip Island Nature Parks and WWF Australia.
The first level area, just past the ticket counter, has a small display about Phillip Island.
The second level, called The Lab, has interactive displays and the third, a multimedia experience.
The Lab has many displays about sea and land animals from Phillip Island to the Antarctic. A large touch screen has wonderful footage of penguins, albatross, short tailed shearwaters, whales and sharks.
Among other things learn good and bad choices about the fish you eat, the importance of the Antarctic currents to world weather and climate, and the natural habitat of marine creatures.
Test your stamina in the Antarctic Chill Zone.
Although very educational, with lots of interactive displays, most displays are for older children and adults.
Young children can have lots of fun in the last section- The Journey.
This area has stunning film on huge screens of all the creatures which call the Antarctic home.
Visitors can sit as if on icebergs and marvel at the images around them on eight screens - worth the admission price alone!
For children there is a screen where they are superimposed mingling with penguins, seals and orcas - a lot of fun!
Ramps between exhibits make everything accessible to wheelchairs and prams.
Entrance fees (guide only) are: Adults $18, Children (4-15yo) $9, family (2 adults, 2 children) $45, Australian pensioner $12.60.
The Antarctic Journey is open in Summer 10.00am-approx 7.30pm; Autumn 10.00am-approx 5.00pm; Winter 10.00am-approx 4.00pm; Spring 10.00am-approx 6.00pm.
Click here for Antarctic Journey bookings - www.penguins.org.au
Point Grant is a popular spot for whale watching during the winter months.
The visitor centre includes a large cafe with huge windows giving beautiful views over the sea.
There is also a shop and toilet facilities.
The Centre opens at 10.00am each day and closes one hour before sunset.
This is to protect native wildlife which crosses the road to burrows or nests.
In summer this would be around 8.00pm, and 4.00pm in winter.
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