Parading Penguins & Cute Koalas

Blog published by Evelien of Eef Explores Travel Blog

Melbourne is the capital of the state Victoria and also the perfect place to stay while going on day trips to the many parks and other attractions that surround Melbourne. The first time I was exposed to Australia’s beauty was last February when I made a day trip to Wilsons Prom and a three day trip to The Great Ocean Road & The Grampians. I had so much fun on these tours that I couldn’t wait to go explore with Bunyip Tours again. Destination: Philip Island!

Walking with wallabies and cuddling with koalas
Philip Island is located 2 hours south of Melbourne, and on the way there’s plenty to see and do. Our first stop was the Moonlit Koala Sanctuary. A sanctuary is actually just a small zoo. I’m normally not a big fan of zoos since I believe animals should live in their natural habitat, but Moonlit did a pretty good job letting them do their own thing and giving them the opportunity to get away from people whenever they pleased. If you go on their wallaby walk you get a chance to feed the wallabies and, very important in the age of instagram and snapchat, to take a selfie with them.

You also get the opportunity to take a photo with a koala, and what I really like here is that you are not allowed to actually hold the animal. Being handed over from person to person, which happens in a lot of parks around Australia, is very stressful for these furry creatures. At the Moonlit Sanctuary they only let two people at the same time get close to the koala, while the koalas itself is chilling in a tiny tree nibbling on some eucalyptus leafs. It was love at first sight!

Churchill Island
Our next stop was Churchill Island, a gorgeous little island right next to Philip Island, surrounded by crystal clear waters and bright meadows. We arrived at the Churchill Island Heritage Farm and had the opportunity to watch a classical sheep shearing, but since I can only imagine the horror of having all of my hair shaved off at once, I opted to explore the surroundings instead. I walked through the meadows, greeted some cows and horses and stared at the lovely view.

More koalas? Yes please!
There are no wild koalas on Philip Island. Why? It is simply just too dangerous for them, because they might get run over while trying to cross the road. Instead you’ll find a bunch of koalas living in a controlled area in the Koala Conservation Centre. At this centre you can walk the tree-top boardwalks to spot some more of these eucalyptus lovers. Did you know that koala is the aboriginal word for ‘does not drink’? A healthy koala gets enough liquid from the eucalyptus leafs it devours, so no need to drink!

Australia has over 10.000 beaches
…and Cape Woolamai is one of them. Because it was a hot, hot, hot (37 degrees) day we made a quick stop at Cape Woolamai at the end of the day. Ohhhh, the pleasure of dipping your feet into the ice cold water! What a blessing.

Look at that view!
It was almost time to watch the penguins come home, but not before we enjoyed the amazing coastal views at the Nobbies centre. The boardwalk offers some amazing lookout points and lucky as I was I even spotted a penguin already! Isn’t he adorable?

The moment I had been waiting for: Penguin time!
Our last stop was, of course, the Penguin Parade. We quickly got a bite to eat at the tourist centre and headed over to the beach. It was the busiest time of the year. The beach was packed, but we found a good spot and while the sky treated us to a wonderful sunset the day slowly turned into night.

Right after the sun disappeared to go and shine on other parts of the world we spotted the first penguins in the waves, and soon group after group made their way over to the beach, wobbling towards their little nests. Not being bigger than knee-height (or even smaller) you can have nothing but respect for them when you hear that some of them walk 2 kilometers to get to their homes! Wow!

After most penguins arrived at the beach you can make your way over to the specially made boardwalks to see the penguins pass by. I was amazed by how brave these little fellas are; there were hundreds of tourists watching them but they did not really seem to care and calmly carried on with their daily commute.

It is not allowed to take photos of the penguins because this might scare them and stop them from coming home to the island, so the following two penguin pictures are from the Penguin Parade themselves to give you an idea of how tiny and cute they are

After a long but lovely day we got back on the bus for the drive home. Dreaming of penguins, wallabies and koalas I arrived safely back in Melbourne, already looking forward to the next trip I’m going on with Bunyip. Curious where that’ll take me? Then don’t forget to follow me on one of the channels below to never miss a thing.

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