Bicheno Penguin Tours is a privately owned company formed in 1992. A penguin tour is the best way to see these glorious little creatures up close, and while staying at Bicheno, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to marvel at these adorable creatures in their habitat. Below we share what you can expect on a Bicheno Fairy Penguin Tour.
Depending on the time of year you visit, it can be a late night with some waiting involved if the Penguins have not ventured onto the beach, so I believe the experience is more for children aged three – four years and upwards.
What to expect on a Bicheno Fairy Penguin Tour
The little blue and white penguins (also known as fairy penguins in Australia due to their size) only grow to an average of 33cm in height and weight around 1kg.
Our guide was extremely informative and answered all the questions with enthusiasm and passion.
Our first stop was overlooking Redbill Beach to watch the penguins disembark from the water and make their way up the sand in groups to their burrows. The Penguins were tentative on our tour as the moonlight shone over the beach and even though it is not the ideal setting for these timid creatures it did cast a glorious backdrop for our tour.
Continuing along the track we saw the penguins in their burrows, and as we travelled to Tasmania in “chick raising” season we were given a special treat of seeing two babies – one at four weeks and another fluffy brown fur ball were only a mere 1-2 weeks old, huddled into its mother.
There were two more stops along the track to see the penguins disembark from the water at different areas. By this time some were quite close to the path, and the guide reminds us that they can be quite inquisitive creatures and may venture close to you if there are no loud noises or sudden movements.
The hour tour passed very quickly, and before we knew it, we were returning to the bus to head back to the office in town.
Where does the tour depart from
The Tours leave at dusk via a shuttle bus from the middle of Bicheno, located on the East Coast of Tasmania. You are shuttled to private property off Redbill Beach, where you follow the dim lights down the prepared boardwalks.
How to book a Bicheno Fairy Penguin Tour
I was not surprised by the popularity of this activity in Bicheno and bookings are required via phone or their website.
Their website offers a seasonal calendar giving you fabulous information on how many penguins you may encounter, what time you would embark on the tour and the cycle of the penguins.
When do the tours operate
Operating seven days a week (except Good Friday, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve).
Adults $35 Children $15 (under 4 years free) .. prices are subject to change, and I would suggest viewing the companies website to confirm.
No Photos, but you still receive a keepsake
As there is no photography permitted on the tour the office gives you a card if you would like to request photos of the penguins as a keepsake.
Would we recommend it
Each group only holds around 20 people with one guide per group giving everyone an opportunity to witness the penguins. The Penguin Tour was a marvellous experience and something we enjoyed immensely.
Tips on what to wear
Not knowing what to expect, this was one of the questions I asked before the tour. The pathways are firm underfoot so covered in walking shoes are suitable. Depending on the time of the year the amount of layered clothing you bring may differ. In summer long pants and a jumper were appropriate.
All photos in this article were provided by Bicheno Penguin Tours due to photography restrictions.