Arrival in the late afternoon on Philip Island was magical. I first stopped at the side of the road which had a little walk way down towards the beach overlooking the sea and I was greeted with early winter sunset. I had no idea how gorgeous this sundown would become, but you can see from the photo above it was the start of a stunner.
I walked a little down a jetty stairway to take the above shot and whilst on this jetty, I became aware of something just under the jetty scurrying around. Thinking it was probably rats, I went and took a look. This was my first encounter with wild penguins. So as you can imagine, literally an excitable teenager, the camera came straight out and japanese tourist mode kicked in.
The excitement of this unplanned encounter with this first group of penguins, now meant I was struggling to contain my further excitement and couldn’t wait to arrive at the Nature Park. Upon arrival the sun was now a lot lower and we walked through the centre to an area that was overlooking some sandy dunes. Advised by the park rangers, I followed them to where I was to sit and wait and advised to keep a distance. A few minutes later, the first parade emerged. There are too many words to describe how you feel seeing these curious little birds waddling up from the sea, looking for their shelter for the evening. I will let a selection of my photos do the talking below.
Philip Island Nature Park works hard to ensure the conservation of the penguins, who face many threats, such as flying predators include large seabirds like petrels, swimming predators can include certain species of seals. The biggest threat is as always humans. The Park also conducts a lot of research with the view to educate. They are world leaders in little penguin research and study other wildlife including Australian fur seals and coastal birds. The experience in total was around 30 mins to an hour just sitting and watching but was worth it. Once our time with the penguins had drawn to a close, I travelled back to my hostel for the evening and the journey would continue the next day towards Adelaide when I was refreshed.
The next morning, still full of a chesty cough, I proceeded to try and make my way to Adelaide. It was hit and miss with my coughing and ultimately I only made it as far as Dunn, before finally admitting defeat and heading back to Melbourne to fly onto Tasmania.
During my journey back, we stopped off at The Grampian Mountains and here I had a little rest, taking a gentle walk around the National Park. You will see I found a gorgeous waterfall and the cascading water down the blackened rock face was mesmerising.
The noise of the water in the cool winter air was unbelievably relaxing and it helped to clear my head and to start recovering from being poorly. I was disappointed to miss out on going to Adelaide but at the same time excited that I would now be heading to Tasmania. My flight was the next morning so all I had to do was get a restful nights sleep and start planning ahead for my accommodation and sort out what I wanted to do next. The excitement and adventures continue apace in the next stage of my adventure was about to begin, with more interesting and memorable experiences to be had…