Day 49 - Dandenong/Philip Island
Today is the day me and Lou have been looking forward to the most ... the trip to Phillip Island to see the penguins!
After quite a lengthy car journey we arrive on Phillip Island and since you cant see the penguins until sun set we decide to find somewhere to have a bit of lunch.
The first little town we tried was Cowes but as its the winter everything was closed so we moved on to the Nobbies thinkiing it was another town but it was a seal spotting sight ... we didnt see any seals so moved onto the next town Rhyll (who knew we'd travelled so far!) but again everything was closed :(.
By this point we were all famished so headed to the chocolate factory for some much needed grub!
After our food and a beer it was time to get ourselves to the penguins and on the way we even got to see a wild kangaroo just stood eating in a field!
We wandered around the shops inside to kill some time and the doors were soon opened for us to walk down to the beach and await the penguins. Me and Lou raced to the front to get a good seat and were slowly followed by Si and Jason (dont think they were as excited as we were). We all patiently awaited the penguins whilst hearing some facts about them.
Apparently they are the smallest penguins in the world growing only up to 33cm. Their feathers on their backs are dark blue so they are camoflaged when swimming in the sea and they only come back to the beach at night as otherwise their dark feathers would stand out too much against the sand and make them vunerable to predators.
Once it was dark we soon began to see little things emerging from the sea in the distance and waddling along the beach to get up the banks to go to their burrows. They were so tiny and most of them all swim in a big group so you just see all of these tiny things waddling along. The sea had come in quite far and was right up to where we were sat so they didnt have much beach to waddle on, it was so cute they'd make such an effort to run to the banks and then a wave would take them back out and they'd have to start again .. bless! We were lucky where we had sat as the majority of the penguins seemed to be coming out of the water on the side closest to us.
After a while you can walk back up to the walkway to the building and along the way you get to see them all closer going to their burrows and they make the strangest noises! Apparently it was mating season so I think we were probably hearing some male arguments :). Just as we were walking back into the building I saw a man that worked there telling everyone to clear a walk way, one of the penguins had decided it wanted to cross the walkway it was so cute I shouted everyone back and we all got to see our very own penguin crossing :D
Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take pictures as it scares the penguins but it was still an amazing experience. Even though they tell you they are the smallest in the world you still cant believe how tiny they are when you see them up close.
After our penguin fix for the day we headed back to Dandenong for some pizza and beers before calling it a night ready for what lies ahead tomorrow.