When Is the Best Time
Every evening guided tours are offered at Low Head. The best time to spot a higher number of Penguins is during the main breeding season from November to February: At this time of the year, you may see 100-200 penguins at high tide and on the new moon. The little blue penguins have to walk smaller distances to their nests when the tide. From March to October considerably less than 100 penguins come ashore.
More visitors during summer from December to February. The people get separated into smaller groups on the tours. Fewer tourists in winter and spring but fewer penguins to spot.
Low Head Lighthouse
The picturesque Low Head Lighthouse next to the penguin colony is not open to the public. What makes this lighthouse special is the kind of foghorn which is one of only two existing ones in the world. It always only sounds at noon on Sundays. If you plan to visit the penguins during the evening at Low Head, have a look at the lighthouse as well.
Best Months to Visit
Location and Tips
It is a marvellous experience; to see penguins arriving on the beach and walking up the hill to their burrows. If you are lucky and don't move, they walk above your feet or even legs if you sit in in the sand, which was an unforgettable experience for me. It is very rare to come so close to these cute penguins. Although we've already seen these cute little guys at different places in Tassie, Melbourne, and NZ, this was the most outstanding experience at Low Head. These guides do an excellent job; therefore, we highly recommend this tour. Even wheelchair access is available.
Facts About the Fairy Penguins
- Most of the little penguins breed on offshore islands less than 5 % are found on the mainland.
- These cute penguins are not taller than 40 cm and weigh one kg.
- They live on average 6-7 years.
- They dive typically between 10-30 meters to catch small fish, squid or krill.
- Some return year-round to their burrow, but most of them stay at sea in autumn and winter.
- In the breeding season, the parents share the 33-37 days' period of egg incubation.
- After hatching, the parents leave their chick unguarded to catch fish during the day. When the chicks are about 5 weeks old, they wait outside the burrow to get fed at night.
- Another 2-3 weeks later they will leave the nest and their parents forever to move to the sea.
You need to book the evening tour in advance. The tour takes part directly after sunset. Give them a call on the booked day and ask for the exact time. These guided tours are great value for money, 22 AUD per adult and 10 AUD per child. The guides have a huge knowledge and let you know how to observe the Fairy Penguins without disturbing them. No flashlight or torch, only red light for obvious reasons! Dress warmly, the tour lasts one hour. More information and tour booking
Low Head Lighthouse and Cottages
The first navigation marker at Low Head was a flagpole in 1804. The same year a pilot station and signal station with a fire beacon were established at the entrance of Tamar River. Nevertheless, serious shipping accidents still occurred. Finally, in 1833 a lighthouse was constructed. Tasmania’s only foghorn was installed in 1929 and is usually used by the lighthouse keeper during fog. Low Head is one of the oldest pilot and signal stations in Australia. Nowadays it offers self-contained cottages beautiful located. Combine your stay with a guided evening tour at the penguin colony. There are several nice and affordable accommodations around.