Saturday 24th of January we went on a tour of Phillip Island.
Our bus arrived at 12pm... well it was meant to, but was 15 mins late and to our surprise, the driver was the same lady from our Neighbours tour!
Her driving appeared quite a bit worse than yesterday! Jolting around and creating high revs! We weren't sure that we were going to make it there! lol!
After 1 1/2 hours of driving we reached probably our 3rd wine tasting trip in Australia :) While sipping a glass a Japanese man tripped over a stack of chairs and fell head first into a table along with his glass of wine smashing to the ground! Maybe two sips was his limit! lol. By the way, he was okay just a little startled for a few minutes.
Next stop 'Fauna Park' where we saw Tasmanian Devils marching up and down their enclosure, kangaroos which included two albinos!, koalas awake! two parrots competinig with one another to grasp the attention of humans by saying hello and mimicking evil laughter :) One which could do it perfectly and the other still had a lot to learn, but that made them a very cute pair:), plus many more animals.
We got back on the bus and travelled to Anzacs beach, where we all took a 30 min walk along the sand to Woolamai beach. The sand was yellow and there were black pebbles scattered about, it was windy and waves were crashing as we walked in the late afternoon sun.
After a bit of exercise we had lunch, Ian ate pizza for the first time as it was free and I had some bits and bobs from a convenience store Mmmmm lol
Our next few stops were what we had all been waiting for. On route to Nobbies rocks we passed some penguin houses, by the road, both man-made and penguin made. We hoped to spot a penguin or two and what luck! One was out and about, minding it's own business as we did a U-turn and stopped the bus to take photo's from the windows.
When we arrived at Nobbies rocks we walked the boardwalk looking down at the ocean on our right and searching for penguins on our left. After dark we were not allowed to take photos of them because of their bad eyes, so we wanted to find some whilst it was still light. We met a baby penguin! It was standing right by our path! :) When we were happy with our many photo's, we proceded with our walk, watching the oceans water crash against volcanic rocks and trickling through the cracks appearing to look like a small waterfall. A little way in the distance we could see Nobbies rocks with the sun behind it, creating a beautiful silhouette. The scenery all appeared to be performing a natural display.
We all got back on the bus and drove to our final destination 'Penguin Parade'!!Yay! Our driver informed us all on what to do and expect later. We were going to see the smallest penguins in the world! 'Little Penguins'. They are only 35 cm tall, 2 pounds in weight and they need to live in a warm climate! :) They were all going to emerge from the ocean as the sun set and cross the beach to their sand dune burrows, where their young waited anxiously for food.
It was a little like our New Years experience, where people all sat and waited for the show to begin, except this time we were only waitiing a couple of hours and it was colder! lol!
We found a spot to sit quite early on, it was on a step above the sand. There were rows of steps and they were filling up quickly around us, as it was a bank holiday weekend because of Australia Day.
As we were waiting something black came out of the water, it was quite large, it didn't seem to fit the name 'Little Penguin' plus it appeared to be holding a surf board! infact it turned out to be a surfer, running along the sand, as the sun was setting with a surf board grasped under his arm like a pro. Everyone cheered and clapped as someone shouted "it's a penguin!".
Not long after, we began to see a few penguins come out of the water in the distance on our right. There were two baby penguins closer to us, who had no patience to wait any longer for their parents and approached the water. Naughty seagulls waited by the water also, hoping to take advantage of the penguins eyesight and scare one of the adults into thinking they were birds of prey, so that they would regurgitate the food they had collected. The seagulls seem to always be looking for an easy meal :D
As soon as the adult penguins got out of the water, the baby penguins leaped up at them, nearly knocking them over. One adult appeared to have had enough and dived back into the ocean! lol but had to rejoin another group of about three adults swimming to land, it didn't look easy either! The waves kept on pushing them back as they put all their effort into going forwards.
Once we had seen a few groups arrive, we decided to follow the crowds to where the penguins were returning back to their homes. We walked along a boardwalk that was partly lit up with dimmed lighting and searched along the edges for the little ones. It wasn't long before we sighted a few, they seemed to not be in much of a hurry, with the odd one lagging behind.
We were feeling the cold and it was getting towards to end of our time before we had to get back to the coach. So we walked through the crowds to the car park and sat back in our seats. We were delayed travelling back, as a family seemed to be missing! It had only been around ten mins and the driver was becoming very impatient, nearly leaving without them! luckly they jumped on just in time :)
This trip was one of my favourites in Australia, despite the bad reviews we had heard previously. I was overwhelmed with the natural beauty of Phillip Island and will cherish the photos and memories forever.