Phillip Island’s iconic Penguin Parade, one of Victoria’s most popular tourist attractions, is now just four short weeks away from opening the doors to its exciting and visually breathtaking new visitor centre.
“We feel both proud and honoured to have developed this modern, environmentally sustainable visitor centre, which will replace the existing ageing facilities and provide a world class asset that better meets visitor expectations,” said Catherine Basterfield, Phillip Island Nature Parks’ CEO.
“One of the primary drivers of this development has always been the benefit the new centre will provide to Phillip Island’s colony of Little penguins, with the restoration of over 6 hectares of prime penguin habitat on the site of the old building and coach parking areas. It is exciting to know that up to 1400 breeding penguins will soon be able to reclaim this area as their own, and we will be able to continue our world-leading penguin research.”
Visitors will be able to enjoy a wide range of new facilities inside the new centre, including a host of fun and interactive interpretive activities, a state-of-the-art theatre, diverse dining experiences catering to all tastes and budgets, plus modern retail spaces.
The centre’s environmental credentials are equally impressive, with an array of 666 solar panels on the expansive roof, a water filtration system to recycle rainwater for non-potable use, increased roof and floor insulation, and double-glazed windows. Low carbon building materials have been used throughout the centre’s construction, including sustainably sourced Victorian Ash hardwood for the impressive laminated beams.
Its spectacular architectural design has already been acknowledged internationally, having just been announced as a winner at the 2019 International Architecture Awards, out of a field of over 380 submissions from 41 countries.
“This is the most significant infrastructure project in the Nature Parks’ history. We are thrilled that this important development has had the added impact of boosting jobs and tourism in regional Victoria not only during construction, but also once operations have commenced.”
“We are looking forward to officially opening the doors of the new Penguin Parade Visitor Centre on Thursday 25 July and welcoming our visitors into this fabulous new space.”
The Penguin Parade Visitor Centre development was made possible through generous funding announced by the Andrews Labor Government in April 2016 in the amount of $48.2M, with an additional $10M contributed by Phillip Island Nature Parks, a self-funded not for profit conservation organization.