Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Philip Island Tour

On March 7 we went on the Philip Island tour where the highlight was to see hundreds of penguins waddle home from the ocean after a day of fishing. Leading up to the Penguin Parade at sunset, we stopped by a few places. The first was the Moonlit Sanctuary where we saw some koalas, dingoes, tawny frogmouths, and even a python. I was supposed to be able to feed some wallabies but there were too many people crowding them. 

Koalas only have enough energy to be awake for 4 hours a day which they use to eat eucalyptus

Dingoes! We saw a dingo at the other wildlife sanctuary near Sydney but it was asleep. These guys look alert...

Remember the Tawny Frogmouth - at the other sanctuary, there was one just hanging out that you could pet!

The ROUS (rodents of unusual size) have finally been found! They no longer just live in the fire swamp.

Southern Hairy Nosed Wombat - these guys are endangered
A python just hanging out...ok, it was in a cage.

We then stopped by Churchill Island Heritage Farm, a historic landmark where one of the original owners lost the land by gambling it away.

Looking towards the Western Port

I love how the wheels look up against this barn

These trees again...with the view of the water in the background

We also got to stop by the Koala Conservation Centre to see even more lazy koalas sit and lay around.

Yeah, he just sat there

Yeah, he just laid there...look at his claws! 

Koala Sanctuary grounds

We then stopped by Woolamai Beach. It was pretty but too cold to jump in (at least for us).

Woolamai Beach


Before heading to the Penguin Parade, we stopped at the Nobbies where we were able to see some of these Little Penguins hanging out. The Nobbies is most know for Australia's largest Australian Fur Seal colony but it was too hard to see them. Instead, I searched for the Little Penguins hanging out under the walkways.

Little Penguins spotted

Close up of one of them

Baby penguins waiting for their parents to get home to feed them

Paul's beard is getting long!

Looking towards the Bass Strait 

Close up of one of the rocks
Sunset at the Nobbies - the first sunset we've seen since January!

We finally headed to Philip Island to see the penguin homecoming. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photos (or video) of the Penguin Parade. The flash from cameras disorient the penguins and damage their eyes. I was good and restrained myself from taking photos - not that I would use a flash anyway. But, we did (sadly) see other take photos with their flash on.

Here's the only picture I got to take before heading to the beach

It was a cool experience watching the penguins come up from the water in groups of 10. They would come up and then waddle towards the beach but then one would get scared and then they would all waddle back into the water for safety. It would take a group maybe 10-15 minutes to get across the beach. Then, once they crossed, they walked to their penguin homes to feed their young. The homecoming consisted of a lot of squawking from the adult penguins. That is how I greet Paul now every morning.

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