We heard about Phillip Island and the penguin parade and as we don't have much time in Melbourne and may not be able to come down South before we head off to Sydney, we decided to drive here via the Queens ferry.
After we'd been entertained by the visiting flock of cockatoos at the outdoor breakfast table, we raced along the magnificent Great Ocean Road to make it in time for the 12 o'clock ferry to Sorrento.
Our lunchtime stop was at the Caldermeade Farm & Cafe on the South Gippsland Highway. This place makes the BEST beef pies I have ever tasted! It was here that Wendy had an encounter with a friendly, young local - the farmyard ram that chased her around. Of course, I captured it all on video and quickly uploaded it onto my Facebook wall. It's hilarious!
After our good food and merry laughter, we drove on to Phillip Island and checked in to our dorm room at Amaroo Park. A lovely place that's clean and central with a swimming pool. Then, after a quick rest, off to the Penguin Parade!
Basically, the Penguin Parade is a natural "non-event" (I.e. little penguins coming home after a day out fishing) that has been turned into an outright opportunity to cash in on this as it happens fairly regularly and set times.
I have not come across this before: thousands of people sitting in amphitheatre seats looking out onto a beach waiting for the world's smallest penguins to come waddling out of the waves and scurry quickly up the beach towards the safety of their nests. I have started to become quite cynical about these sort of wildlife experiences - especially when they are directed at mass tourism and charge an entry fee. In this case, it is $30! And, of course, exit is via the shop which sells all manner of penguin paraphernalia.
On the plus side, I managed to sneak a couple of photos of the penguins with my iPod and they had free wi-fi, so we stayed until closing time and sent emails and skyped!