|Phillip Island @ The Nobbies|
The main attractions on Phillip Island are basically:
1) Chocolate Factory
2) Churchill Island
3) Penguin Parade
4) Koala Conservation Centre
5) Phillip Island Wildlife Park
6) Nobbies Centre (Seal Viewing)
On our first evening, we went to see the famous Penguin Parade but didn't have time for other attractions cos we arrived at the Island quite late (We had stopped by Rayner's Stone Orchard before heading to Phillip Island cos I wanted to do the fruit farm tour but we missed the tractor tour by 5 minutes and we didn't have the time to wait 45 minutes for the next tour). Photography of penguins are strictly not allowed, so no pictures of the penguin parade except for the souvenir picture at the entrance, where you can take a group photo and they will insert digitally the penguins in the photo.
I didn't really do any research on Phillip Island as we had visited it with my parents in 2009 BUT I was slapping my forehead when we went to the Penguin Parade because apparently there are different packages available for the penguin parade:
1) General Viewing - which is the basic package (Adults $23.80)
2) Premium Plus - which is limited to 190 people and situated at the main path of the penguin and have to be bought about 2-3 days in advance (Adults from $46)
3) Ultimate Adventure Tour -limited to 10 people and accompanied by a ranger at a secluded beach away from main parade ground (for 16 years and above only, tickets from $84.20
We really really should have taken the Premium Plus because the penguins did not come up in mass numbers at the same time, given the cold wind when you are sitting in front of the beach, of course you don't want to be sitting on the front row from 1 hour before penguins are expected to arrive cos you will be freezing by then. The super tiny penguins come up in maybe group of five or four near dusk when it is getting dark, by then I don't think my MIL who is 73 could see the penguins clearly, so too my kids, especially the 4 year old boy cos he is not an observant boy in the first place. We also forgot to bring binoculars :( Anyways, I asked the ranger after about 45 minutes sitting at the 4th row whether they will be expecting more penguins and should I stay as I have with me kids and a senior, she suggested going to the Premium Plus boardwalk to see the penguins waddling back to their nest.(they open the Premium Plus boardwalk about halfway through to general viewers 45 minutes after the penguins first reach the beach) So we did that. Though it was not like I expected, cos I had initially thought I would see maybe about 20 penguins coming up to the beach in quick consecutive turns, but the view of the penguins waddling besides us at the boardwalk was sufficient enough for my MIL and kids.
Be sure that you are dressed warmly for the penguin parade cos it gets very chilly by the beach, gloves, long johns, sweater, jacket and snow cap highly recommended during winter. I even brought a few packets of chemical warmer for my kids and MIL just in case they can't cope with the cold weather.
The next day, hubby didn't want to go to the chocolate factory, churchill island nor koala conservatory centre cos we did that in 2009 and he said it was just ok (But personally I think if you have time to kill before the Penguin Parade and have not seen any koala, the Koala Conservatory is quite ok but the koalas are high up on the trees and you can't really see them up close and Churchill Island is beautiful and has a farm with milking activities at 2.10pm and you can get to meet cattle, horses, sheeps and baby animals).
|Kangaroos hopping towards us for food @ Phillip Island Wildlife Park , they were very gentle :)|
|Geese @ Phillip Island Wildlife Park|
We decided to go to Phillip Island Wildlife Park cos my 4 year old wanted to feed kangaroos and The Nobbies cos I wanted to see seals.
We spent quite some time at the Wildlife Park, it has changed quite a bit since 2009, with different types of kangaroos in different parts of the park. The geese which was quite aggressive from my memory was also less in numbers and did not greet the visitors hungrily for food from the entrance much to my relief. There were also other animals like the wombat, echidna, reptiles, fruit bats, tasmanian devils, koalas, variety of birds and emus that we try to avoid cos we are too scared to feed them!
|Kangaroos @ Phillip Island Wildlife Park - the grassland was expanse|
|Wombat @ Phillip Island Wildlife Park|
|Echidna @ Phillip Island Wildlife Park|
Next stop was the Nobbies to see the seals (the first picture at top of post) the place was really beautiful but we didn't manage to go walk down the boardwalk to the beach nor did we get to see the seals cos the seals were at the rocks far out at the ocean and our teeny weeny binoculars are not strong enough to see that far. Sadly, all three cameras that was supposed to feed views of the seals on the rocks at The Nobbies Centre were not working.. ho-hum.. and the seal cruises were not running on the week that we visited Phillip Island :( Oh well, it was time to say goodbye to Phillip Island and head to Melbourne CBD..
|Feeding the kangaroos @ Phillip Island Wildlife Park|
|My happy kids getting what they wanted, close up encounter with kangaroos @ Phillip Island Wildlife Park|
|The gentle kangaroos @ Phillip Island Wildlife Park|
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