AFTER amassing 25 million viewers across almost 100 countries, Phillip Island Nature Parks’ Live Penguin TV will finish its nightly livestream on Tuesday, December 15.
For 112 nights, viewers from around the world watched the famous little penguins make their evening pilgrimage from the beach to their burrows.
The rangers who narrated the nightly journey – Skye Nichol, Jordan Roberts, Meagan Tucker and Stephen Pendlebury – became household names, even getting stopped in the street to sign autographs.
“While we have loved every minute of Penguin TV, we’re now very excited to have visitors back to the parade which means we need to return to our normal ranger duties,” ranger Skye Nicol said.
“We have enjoyed connecting with people online over our little penguins, but now the rangers and the little penguins would love people to come and visit us in real life instead.
“When the parade was closed, Penguin TV was the perfect way to not only provide some entertainment for people when they weren’t able to travel, but also teach people about conservation.”
Penguin TV captured the hearts of Australians and penguin lovers around the world at the height of Melbourne’s travel restrictions in August this year.
More than 771,000 people tuned in to watch the first night, and Penguin TV quickly became a nightly ritual for many households.
Phillip Island Nature Parks CEO Catherine Basterfield said while everyone had loved Penguin TV, there was nothing as special as seeing people fill the parade stands and enjoy the penguins in real life.
“We were honestly blown away by the success of Penguin TV,” Ms Basterfield said.
“We received thousands of photos and videos of people watching the parade from their loungerooms, and it was such a joy to see.”
With the latest easing of restrictions, over 1100 are now welcome at the Penguin Parade each night.
Bookings must be made ahead of time at penguins.org.au.
Penguin TV will return for a series of special events, including a Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve screening.
The last nightly screening of Penguin TV will be on Tuesday, December 15, at 8.45pm.
Top countries for viewer numbers: Australia (66 per cent in Victoria), UK, Hong Kong, India, US and Singapore.