A few weeks ago I had family friends visiting Melbourne from both interstate and overseas. And just with any other first-timer coming our way, it was up to me to take on the duties of the tour guide and show them around Melbourne. But what if your guests are not particularly interested in good coffee, fantastic brunches or strolling down the cultural lanes that our city has to offer?
How about taking them outside the city to experience the picturesque coastal shores of Phillip Island instead? And on that note, you may as well go check out a sheep shearing show and take some selfies with a few kangaroos too.
Along the drive to Phillip Island (from the city) is an animal park where a $20 admission fee will allow you to get up close and personal with some of the cute animals below:
The dingoes might look a bit intimidating but these ones were just genuinely curious about us!
A sheep shearing show is on at 2:30 pm everyday!
There is also a kangaroo enclosure on site where you can find numerous kangaroos of all sizes and colours (including two albino kangaroos!). There was even one with a joey hanging from its pouch!
Mum and me with the ‘roos ?
This cute little one was holding onto my hand with its paws while it was eating!
You can buy a box of feed for just $2 from the store which actually turned out to be quite a lot of kangaroo food. Something to keep in mind when you walk around the enclosure – there’s a lot of poop. So leave your nice shoes at home or in the car. We didn’t get to see much of the koalas as their enclosure was only open for a brief period at the start of every hour.
So from there, we then made our way from the animal park to the most western tip of Phillip Island – known as The Nobbies. This area is located on a cliff with long boardwalk trails where you can find spectacular views of the island’s coastline and picturesque lookout points.
Best wedges I’ve had in a long time from the onsite kiosk!
About a kilometre and a half off the coastal shore is Seal Rock – which is home to the largest colony of fur seals in the country. On a good day you can spot these seals sunbathing, playing, wrestling or just frolicking around in the water! It was really cold and windy on the day we went so we didn’t get that close for seal watching. However we did happen to come across a wallaby in the picture above as well as a penguin or two hiding underneath the boardwalks.
After having the most underwhelming dinner (of my life) at a restaurant in Cowes, we drove back to catch the penguin parade at sunset. We were told that at least half of the penguins make their way up from the sea within the first hour of sunset and the remainder throughout the rest of the evening. So if you plan to go, be sure to check the estimated times (varies throughout the year) on their site in order to get the best viewing experience!
Unfortunately photography of any kind is not allowed at the penguin parade. Even non-flash photography. So its probably best to not have your camera out at all unless you enjoy being told off by the patrol staff there.
Nevertheless there was something quite enjoyable about sitting in the dark on the beach, listening to the waves and watching the penguins without the lights from everyone’s phone screens obstructing the view. Which isn’t a bad way end to a day spent out at Phillip Island.
Photography by myself & Bi N.