Phillip Island

Today was perhaps my most favourite day thus far.  I booked a half day trip with Escape Discovery to Phillip Island to watch the daily Penguin Parade at dusk, and they added in so many other great experiences. I could have gotten a cheaper tour, but it was 100% worth paying a little more to have the best experience.

The bus was picking my up at 1:45, so I decided to take it easy in the morning, since we wouldn’t be getting back to the hostel til 12:30 am. I treated myself to brunch and just wandered around the city until it was time to leave.

Our first stop was at the Phillip Island Wildlife Park, a family run free-range wildlife center where you can feed the kangaroos and wallabys and emus. I did feed the roos and emus, but I was not happy about it. I was happy about all the animals we got to see though, including dingoes, tasmanian devils, wombats, a kangaroo with a joey in its pouch and koalas that were moving (a rare sighting indeed!).

Our next stop was dinner in Coews, where we also had time to check out the beach and local market.

We went to The Nobbies next, an ecotourism site on the western edge of Phillip Island.  We had been told we may see penguins, but it was unlikely.  Good thing all our animal encounters worked opposite they usually do, because we saw 2! Plus, the views were just gorgeous, so we just really lucked out.

And then we got to the penguin parade!  What happens is that there are thousands of penguins that have made this area their home.  Every night at dusk those who have been feeding make their way back home.  They come in groups (some big, some small) and so now its an ecotourism attraction.  No photography is allowed so we don’t disturb the penguins, but I got to see them come up from the beach and walk along their well-worn path to their homes and it was so fantastic! Some of the penguins are getting ready to molt and are double their usual weight and can’t even wobble.  They have to take so many breaks and they are adorable.

Here’s a few pictures of the area, including a little wallaby that came by to visit before the penguins arrived.


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