Kangaroo Island


*Penguin Tours nightly
*Aquarium Fish fed on tour
*On the Kingscote Wharf
(formerly Kangaroo Island Marine Centre)
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So Much More Than A Tourist Attraction...

Video by Rose Ayliffe.



Our nocturnal Penguin Tours ceased in November 2013 due to the very low numbers of Penguins in the Kingscote colony. Predation by the increasing numbers of New Zealand Fur Seals from 2010 onwards has decimated the Penguin Colony, because the seals kill the adult penguins as they swim ashore at night to feed their chicks and therefore the chicks also die. We apologise for this, but the situation has been beyond our control.


John Ayliffe & Jenny Clapson.

Kangaroo Island Penguin Centre at Kingscote offers you so much more than just a chance to see the inhabitants of the local penguin colony where they live.

When you join us for personalised, guided tours of both the Little Penguin Colony and our Saltwater Aquariums, you'll begin to understand that the heart of our business is supporting, protecting and caring for the penguins and sharing our fascination with Kangaroo Island抯 sea creatures so our visitors can understand the importance of caring for the ocean抯 complex wildlife.

Staff and volunteers at the Penguin Centre have spent years working on the provision of newer, safer breeding habitat for the Little Penguins who have always made their home in the cliffs, rock walls and even tiny nooks and crannies close to commercial buildings in the Kingscote Wharf area. As loading facilities in the Wharf area have been decommissioned extensive work has been done to provide protected breeding habitat along with improved walkways and viewing areas for visitors.

Evening Tour - Discover our Aquariums and Penguin Walk

Our evening tour begins with feeding some of the aquarium fish as your guide provides an informative talk about various species, including detailing some strange and fascinating behaviours, before leading you outside on a walking tour of the Kingscote foreshore penguin colony. You'll learn about the interesting habits of the Little Penguin, see where they live and enjoy the excitement of watching out for those who may venture out of their burrows to greet the occasional visitor. If the weather permits, your guide will give a laser guided talk about the evening stars .

Tour Times

During Daylight Saving tours start at 2030 and 2130 and in the winter tours are at 1930 and 2030. At peak Daylight Saving in December and January, tours commence at 2045 and 2130. Our building opens ?hour before the first tour commences.

Pelican feeding takes place daily at 1700, at the waters edge behind the Kangaroo Island Penguin Centre on the Kingscote Wharf.

Best Time to Visit the Kingscote Penguin Colony

The best time to visit our colony is between April and November when Kingscote抯 Penguins are concentrating on building their homes and families. During these months, penguins are either mating, nest building, laying eggs or raising chicks.

Don抰 Let the Moon Spoil Your Penguin Viewing

If you are able to plan your penguin tour so that you don抰 come on a moonlit night, you抣l be much more likely to see penguins on the Kingscote foreshore. Little Penguins all over Australia become very quiet on land when the moon is bright. No matter the time of year, moonlit nights mean calm waters and smart penguins are inclined to stay feeding out at sea when they occur.

Bring Warm Clothing ?Even Summer Nights Can Be Cool In Kingscote

Even when days are fine and sunny, it can often be cold and windy outside at night, so its best to be on the safe side and always bring along some warm clothing. We want you to be comfortable while you are outside so you can enjoy every moment of seeing the penguins (After all, they won抰 think twice about sitting in a chilly spot as they always have their own waterproof coats!!). Please make sure you wear sturdy, enclosed walking shoes in the Penguin Colony because we sometimes leave the raised walkway and venture onto the beach.

Disabled Access

The Kangaroo Island Penguin Centre building is wheelchair accessible and includes DISABLED ACCESS toilet facilities. For those wanting to join the evening tour, the Hospital Beach Penguin Colony features DISABLED ACCESS boardwalks suitable for wheel chairs and children抯 prams.

Remember Your Visit With A Very Special Souvenir

The Kangaroo Island Penguin Centre has a retail area which also features the artwork of Jenny Clapson. Jenny is a celebrated South Australian contemporary artist and you will find a small sample of her artwork and cards on display and available for sale in the front of the building.

The 2012 Kangaroo Island Penguin Census is upon us!