Thursday, December 09, 2010
Our big road trip part 6 (Philip Island)

We could not possibly visit Melbourne without visiting Philip Island. After all there are penguins to be viewed, right?

All through the preparations for the trip, I said to Chris,"gee, I hope it doesn't rain while we're there", and when we woke up on Wednesday, the day of our "penguin trip" as Alex called it, it looked like God was being kind to us and there wouldn't be rain. Sure it wasn't sunny, but there was no rain.

We set out that afternoon and arrived on Philip Island in time for afternoon tea. After a short stop at the first information centre we came across,w e decided to have a quick bite to eat and a drink at the Chocolate Factory across the way. It boasted fine chocolates and a factory tour. Sure, why not?

We were very disappointed when we got in and found they were charging a princely sum of $12 per adult (can't remember the child rate) for the factory tour. So we just had a look around, stopped for a slice of cake and some iced chocolate and went on our way.

Second stop, Churchill Island, which has a farm and lots of animals for Alex to see. Well,w e saw them too but I think it's more a kids' activity. Alex enjoyed going from animal to animal and he even managed to pat some of them.

This peacock was far from shy.

Little show-off!!

Alex also enjoyed the animal statues. he wanted photos taken with each one, and this is one I thought was pretty cute:

After that we moved on to the Koala Sanctuary. The koalas were mostly shy creatures and we strained to spot them. Mostly they were to far up in the trees for us to photograph and to keep Alex entertained, we played "spot the koalas". This little guy must have thought he was well hidden, but he wasn't. Alex found him and we managed to photograph him. Amidst all the cameras flashing and noise around him, he managed to stay very still and barely moved. There were jokes about them being stuffed animal props placed there as a tourist attraction.Had I not seen one of them move ever so slightly, I'd have been tempted to think that was true!

This not-so-little guy wasn't shy. In fact he looked to us as if he was wanting to eat Alex for dinner. It was, after all, close to dinner time.

"Mmm.. come here, little boy. Let me see how sweet you taste! Mua ha ha ha ha!"

As we exited the Koala sanctuary, it started to drizzle. Nobby's Centre next, where we saw wild birds nesting. The slight drizzle did not stop us getting out and walking on the foot path built around the rocky edge of the island. Lots and lots of noisy birds. Very fascinating. Chris took lots of birdy photos which I am yet to get off the other camera. By the time we got back to the car, the rain had become heavier. We weren't sure that going to see the penguins would have been a good idea but since Alex was so eager, we decided to hold off the decision for another hour while we went for dinner.

We had dinner at a Tex-Mex type place in one of the little towns on the island. Food was reasonable, and not as touristy as we thought it would be.. and prices were certainly not as high as we expected. As we left the restaurant, the rain came bucketing down. What were we to do? If we went to the penguin parade, we would definitely be drenched, even with raincoats and umbrellas and who knew what time the penguins were going to appear?? So we ended up driving round to the ticketing centre for the penguin parade with our pre-paid tickets and I ran in to claim a free soft toy for Alex and we had to tell Alex that the rains were too heavy and the penguins were probably not going to come out that night. Alex was so disappointed. I felt so bad for him. He clutched his little stuffed penguin and I am pretty sure he cried a little but he agreed that maybe we should go home and we can try again another time when we're in Melbourne. Yes, maybe next time..

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...or come to Tasmania, stay with me, and see them here...

I'm loving your trip reports, by the way.
Tara! You're back! I didn't realise you're now in Tassie. We'll definitely say him if we travel southwards to Tassie. I am sure Alex would love to see penguins. He still asks me, "Mummy why didn't the penguins want to come out?"
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