Phillip Island

Trip Start Jan 03, 2012
Trip End May 02, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , Victoria,
Sunday, May 20, 2012

The cows were looking on as we woke the next morning. On the scenic coastal route we passed numerous beaches and lookouts, including Eagles Nest, a majestic split tower of rock resembling a bird spreading its wings to take flight and Cape Paterson, a perfect C-shaped cove lined with golden sand.  In a stroke of serendipity we happened upon a farmers market in Inverloch and picked up a piled high pumpkin pizza from the South Africans, chicken cheese and chive sausages from the Danes as well as strawberries and tomatoes from the locals.

Phillip Island, a natural marvel south of Melbourne, was where we spent the rest of the day.  Our adventure began with a hike around Cape Woolamai, along the beach then up the cliffs overlooking The Pinnacles, gorgeous red rocky towers slowly splintering into the sea over millenia and finally on to the solar powered acme beacon providing safe passage to seafarers.  From there we crossed to the far side of the island to see the Nobbies, smashing extensions of the rocky coastline.  More impressive was the view looking back eastward at the many fingerlike projections of land being pounded by the surging sea.

Next we booked in at the famous Penguin Parade.  Hoping to see the little blue miracles after sunset we made good use of their free wifi beforehand.  With grandstand seating for 4,000 people on a dimly lit beach bordered by burrows for even more penguins we shivered and waited.  The magic commenced right on schedule as the one foot tall blue-backed and white chested swimmers exited the water in groups, then waddled slowly through the rocks before making a run for it across the sand to their homes further inland.  They came by the hundreds, ten to fifty at a time to avoid being easy targets for predators.  We then strolled along the network of boardwalks laid out over the vegetated hills.  Penguins could be seen and heard at every turn, either waddling home, bellowing out their calls or, it being the season, engaging in mating activities.  To protect this precious colony, photography was not allowed.  We ended the experience by walking alongside a number of the little ones all the way to the visitors centre.  Sylvia marvelled "I can't believe we're walking beside penguins right now!"  Another dream had come true.

Unfortunately the San Remo Fisherman's Co-Op had closed by the time we arrived so we were left to cook sausages in the dimly lit park nearby.  With a few tomatoes thrown in for good measure, dinner came off just fine.  Somehow we managed to find the unmarked rest stop and parked for the night.  At just two degrees at sunrise, it was the coldest recorded temperature yet and surely sub-zero overnight.
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Steph Y. on

Glad to hear that you had another dream come true :) How cool that you were walking beside penguins!

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