Parade of Penguins and Great Ocean Road

Trip Start Dec 29, 2012
Trip End Aug 15, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , Victoria,
Monday, March 18, 2013

There were two more things that we had to experience before leaving Melbourne.  One of those was to explore Phillip Island and the penguin march.  So Toby drove us to the island, a few hours north of Melbourne.  There are three attractions on the island - a historical hobby farm, a koala sanctuary and the penguin parade.  We had a quick look at the farm where the boys attempted to throw boomerangs, we walked through the sanctuary and saw koalas close up.  We even heard a male call and saw a koala scoot across the ground to climb a neighbouring tree!

We drove our to the point of the island and walked along a cliff path where we saw baby penguins hiding out in nest boxes.   And then we went to the penguin parade.  You aren't allowed to take any photographs of the penguins, but every night just after sunset, hundreds of penguins surf out of the ocean and waddle across the beach and into the grass to find their nest for the night.  They really were quite funny to watch.  They come in groups of 2-7 and sometimes stand up on the sand and then run back into the water, afraid of being picked up by predatory birds.  They waddle and fall onto their tummies because they are so full of food at the end of a day in the ocean.  After watching the penguins entertain us for a while we headed back to Melbourne.
The next day we took a road trip to the Great Ocean Road.  Taking in the scenery we drove for about three hours, getting the tourist photo by the Great Ocean Road sign.  We stopped at a few beaches along the way, including Bells Beach, which apparently is the setting for a well known surf movie.  Guess we'll watch that one when we get home.   At the last beach we visited we had a picnic lunch where we were invaded by cockatoos.  Once Jim gave up a little crumb of bread, it was the beginning of the cockatoo invasion!  There were tonnes that swooped in, kindly perching on our shoulders waiting to be fed.  They knew how to get handouts for sure!  One was really scruffy - I think it was moulting, or maybe was in a fight, but he looked like he had awoken from a bad night - we named him Vegas.  The rest of them were beautiful birds that had a great lunch with us!  We drove back to Melbourne in the dusk, Jim driving for the first time in Oz, on the wrong side of the road, or is it the right?
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Kelly on

Great Ocean Road is so beautiful. What movie was filmed at Bell's Beach? Cockatoo's are crazy.

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