We set out for Phillip Island which meant we had to drive through Melbourne which proved less traumatic than expected as we stuck to the highways and toll roads which included the tunnel under part of the city. We stopped for pancakes and coffee before arriving on Phillip Island. The caravan park we had booked was awful to say the least! Fortunately they kindly refunded our deposit and off we went to look for another place to stay. The next park we went to was quite quaint but when we heard the price we high-tailed it out of there. We decided to look at the caravan park on the mainland just before the bridge to the island. This caravan park was far better than any others so we checked in for 3 nights.
The next day we headed back onto the island, purchased tickets for the Penguin Parade and then headed out to look at the beach where the Little Penguins come to nest. We chose a good place to view the penguins for the evening parade. We headed off to see Swan Lake with its wetland birds and hides then down the road to Nobbies at the far western end of the island where there is a boardwalk and long-distance viewing of the seals. The boardwalk was lovely with seagulls nesting in the grass and also amoungst the wild flowers. We noticed burrows in the grassy banks and realised they were Little Penguin burrows and there were quite a few penguins home. It was difficult to photograph them and we only managed a few reasonable photos. We headed home for an early supper before rugging up for a cold penguin parade. It was thrilling to see hundreds of penguins coming out the sea, grouping together then waddling up the beach. No photos were allowed so the pics here are from their website. Once the penguins reached the bush at the edge of the beach they rested because of their full stomachs, then headed for their burrows. We followed them from the boardwalks as they completely ignored us while they waddled up the paths to their burrows. It was a thrilling evening even if we were frozen.
Next day we headed out to the koala sanctuary where there are two enclosures with koalas easily viewable. Beyond these enclosures is a much bigger enclosure where there were 20 or so wild koalas. As we started our walk we came across some rangers trying to capture a large male koala for a health check. We were allowed to watch, photograph, video and ask questions. This gave us a great insight into how you handle these small but powerful animals. Koalas are sensitive animals and can overheat easily as was the case with this little fellow. Once released the koala would not climb his tree. After a little water on his forearms to cool him off, he took a fancy to a tree near Vlasta and head up to a branch where he settled in to recover from his ordeal. After this excitement we continued our walk to 'find' our own wild koalas. We managed to spot 4 of them! You have no idea how hard it is to find koalas in the wild!
|The Penguin Parade|
|A Little Penguin|
|Cape Barren Geese|
|Measurements being taken|
|A bemused look after being released|
|Superb Fairy Wren|