AECOM is providing project management services to Phillip Island Nature Parks for the $58 million redevelopment of the Penguin Parade Visitor Centre.

Phillip Island Nature Parks is a leading not-for-profit conservation organisation in Australia, and is widely known for being home to the largest Little Penguin colony in the world and the iconic Penguin Parade which attracts over 700,000 visitors a year.

The new Visitor Centre is an important component of the Summerland Peninsula Master Plan that sets a long-term vision for the provision of authentic ecotourism experiences for all and conservation excellence within a wildlife habitat.

The scope of this project includes:

  • The new visitor centre, which will include education spaces, a café, restaurant, retail, theatre and interpretative/educational areas
  • New car parking areas and landscaping leading to the new building
  • The rehabilitation of over six hectares of land for penguin habitat, including the demolition of existing buildings.

Phillip Island Nature Parks CEO Catherine Basterfield said, “This building will provide us with some outstanding environmental outcomes, such as the restoration of 6.7ha of habitat for the penguins, and is a major step towards the Nature Parks’ ultimate goal of becoming carbon, energy and waste neutral. The new centre will also offer significantly enhanced visitor amenities and a range of new interpretive activities to provide a special experience for both day and evening visitors.”

The project is currently in the latter stages of design, and construction is due to commence in February 2018. The Visitor Centre is due to open in late 2019.

AECOM has managed the design phase, working with architects and subcontractors, since September 2016, and are also responsible for the management of the tender phase for the appointment of a builder.

We will be the superintendent of the construction contract once building begins in this unique environment of basalt bluff, coastal dune and wetland, with penguins as neighbours. AECOM’s strict standards will ensure the safety of both personnel and penguins, though only the humans will be required to wear hard hats on site as the penguins watch on from the safety of their colony.