Day 57: Sat 23 Aug 2014: Victor Harbour
Victor Harbor, South Australia
After pack-up, headed back into Hahndorf one last time. We all had a few things we wanted to get: C got a big lavender candle from the other candle shop; we all got something from the bakery; I got more kangaroo salami and a hat; Amanda got face cream stuff; and we got 2 umbrellas - because it was raining.
Then we drove down to Victor Harbour. It's a lovely drive along winding country roads that rise and fall with the rolling hills. Everything is green. There are avenues of gum trees which lean over the road. And the wattle trees are in bloom. SA wattles somehow seem to be much bigger than Qld ones, some about 10m high, and absolutely covered in their characteristic little yellow flowers.
Victor Harbour has changed a bit since we were here 15 years ago. It's bigger and more commercial than I remember. The van park is great and after a lightning fast set up, J and I rode into town to explore and book the penguin tour. We rode our bikes over the wooden causeway which we found out later we weren't supposed to!
All four of us headed into town later to take the last horse drawn tram over to Granite Island. It was fun. We met Misty, the Clydesdale, who pulled the tram.
We had a quick bite and then rugged up to walk back in for the penguin tour. It was really sad. When Amanda and I were here last, we saw hundreds of little penguins arriving home for the night. They waited on the rocks in spots called bus-stops until little groups formed and then headed up in to the rocks to their individual burrows for the night. Tonight, we saw 3 penguins and that took nearly 2 hours. The guide explained that in the year 2,000 they had about 2,000 penguins on the island and this year they have 30 left. The reason for the decline is not clear. They think the growing NZ fur seal population has something to do with it. We saw a seal on the way back, swimming under the causeway in the light from a streetlamp. They still have the penguin conservation centre where we saw a little video and some 'rescue' penguins who have been injured. It was a chance to get up close to them.