Friday, January 3, 2020

Tourist Information for Platform

Viewing Little Penguins at Lillico Beach

The little penguin is found only in southern Australia and New Zealand. It is the smallest but noisiest of all penguins. Lillico Beach Conservation Area is the second-largest breeding colony on Tasmania’s ‘mainland’, with some 3,000 little penguins.

There is a carpark and viewing platform where visitors can watch some of these penguins at close quarters. Volunteer guides from the Friends of Lillico Penguins group are rostered at the viewing platform every evening during the summer breeding season (late September to early April). They are there to assist visitors and to minimize disturbance to the penguins. Friends of Lillico Penguins is a Wildcare group that works closely with the Parks and Wildlife Service to protect and manage the native habitat of the Lillico Beach Conservation Area.

Getting to and from the viewing platform

Lillico Beach is located between Leith and Don. The viewing platform is at the eastern end of Lillico Beach, at the foot of Don Hill. It is only accessible from the left hand, eastbound lane of the Bass Highway.

If approaching from the West, there is a small sign to the Lillico Beach Conservation Area 500m from the carpark (which is about 4km east of the Forth River).
If approaching from the East, you will need to overshoot the platform and make a U-turn at the Lillico Road turn-off.

When leaving the platform, all traffic must go east. If you want to go west, then you will need to make a U-turn at Waverley Road, just beyond the railway overpass. Please take extra care when re-entering the highway traffic, as it will be travelling at speeds up to 110kph.

Parking: Cars and small campervans should reverse park on an angle on the seaward side of the carpark. This prevents headlights from disturbing the penguins or other visitors. The spaces on the highway side of the carpark are for long vehicles such as buses and motor-homes.

For more information contact: Parks and Wildlife Service, Short Street, Ulverstone 6429 8719 or email
Friends of Lillico Penguins on

Important guidelines for visitors

Due to a rapid increase in visitors to the Lillico penguin viewing platform, it has become necessary to set an upper limit of 70 viewers on the platform at any one time. This is to maximize visitor experience while minimizing disturbance of the penguins. If the platform is already full when you arrive, please be patient and wait a few minutes until someone leaves before you enter. Thank you for your co-operation and understanding in this matter.
  • Monday to Thursday evenings are generally not as busy as Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  • There are no facilities at the viewing platform; that is, no toilets (so go before you arrive!), no refreshments and no garbage bin (so please take any rubbish with you).
  • Aim to arrive just after sunset, as the penguins generally don’t appear until it is getting dark.
  • Please note that access to the beach below the platform is closed between 6pm and 6am during the breeding season.
  • Wear warm, dark, comfortable clothing. It is often windy and chilly at the platform. Dark clothes are less noticeable to the penguins. No flashing children’s shoes, please!
  • When on the platform, please be calm and quiet; don’t run or jump and avoid any sudden movements or loud noises that might startle the birds – or annoy other visitors.
  • Please note that penguins are wild animals and that they scratch and bite. Do not try to touch them!
  • Torches: It is a Parks and Wildlife policy that only the guides are to use torches on the platform – and these are to be red light, only. This is to reduce disturbance of the penguins and of other visitors. Why red light? Have a look <here>.
  • You are welcome to bring binoculars if you wish.
  • NB No flash photography is allowed at the platform. This can have serious
  • consequences for the penguins, especially if they are feeding chicks. The guides have good quality photo prints available, taken at Lillico without flash. Photographs taken using red torchlight come out well when converted to greyscale.
  • No smoking on the platform, please.
  • Viewing is not advised during the ‘off-season’. Although there may be adult penguins visible occasionally, they are not present every night and the weather can be challenging. Also, there will be no chicks nor guides present.
  • Box for donations is provided. Although viewing is free, donations are always welcome and all funds received are spent on the conservation area.
  • Friends of Lillico Penguins is always looking for new volunteer guides. If this is something you would like to do, please give your contact details to one of the guides on duty and we will send you more information and an Expression of Interest form.
Printable PDF is HERE.

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