If you’ve been following my Aussie antics, you’ll see I’ve been exploring Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road with my mum and stepdad, and will be off to Sydney and Canberra in the next couple of weeks.
Today we headed down to Phillip Island to see the Penguin Parade, with a few stops along the way. Hopefully after seeing where we visited, you’ll fancy a trip to Phillip Island yourself! We visited with the same tour operator as our trip along the Great Ocean Road (A Tour With a Difference), and once again I was generally pretty impressed thanks to the stops and activities they had planned for us.
We were off to a great start by heading first to a beautiful vineyard for some wine tasting.
It was here, alongside a glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc, that I really felt like I was in the Australia I had imagined!
There was time for us to sample some local cheeses alongside our wine, with the hot sun beating down on us and a fantastic view, not a sound apart from the glug of wine being poured – bliss!
It was genuinely a brilliant experience and the chocolate was so tasty! It beat Cadbury Land or any other comparisons in my opinion…
It was actually pretty educational without being too patronising, telling us all about the chocolate making process. We also tried cocoa beans – yuk!
Another feature of the museum is its works of art made from chocolate, including a life-sized David.
There’s even a giant portrait of Dame Edna Everage made entirely out of Panny’s chocolates – pretty impressive!
There were some opportunities for free samples, and despite also being tailored for kids, there were games to play to win chocolate, and us adults couldn’t resist!
I’d completely recommend stopping off at Panny’s factory on your journey to Phillip Island if you’re a chocoholic like me!
Our next port of call was the very pretty Anzacs Beach for a quick breath of fresh air. Its beauty speaks for itself, one of many gorgeous Aussie beaches of our trip.
Next, we headed off to one of my highlights of the trip: Phillip Island Wildlife Park. Although maybe a little run down, in my eyes that’s more of a reason to support the park – by visiting! There were so many adorable baby wallabies and kangaroos to feed with the bag of food you’re handed upon entry.
And other cuties including this fella.
He eventually woke up and waved afternoon to us. Did you know that koalas are only awake for 4 hours of the entire day/night? Sounds pretty good to me!
Wallabies are such adorable little characters! Although a little shy to begin with, hand them some food and they soon warm up, as my Mum discovered!
Kangaroos are the cheekier characters. We were warned at the entry to the wildlife park that these naughty boys have been known to grab visitors’ bags of food and hop away!
There were also some Tasmanian devils, who looked pretty fierce.
Once we’d finished in the wildlife park, we had to make it to the coast for the start of the Penguin Parade, which would start shortly after sunset. After a sample of an Aussie ‘delicacy’, the chicken parmagiana, we hopped back into the minibus and whizzed off into the sunset, literally!
This is where the island’s famously tiny blue penguins – the only blue penguins on earth, and completely exclusive to this region of Australia – come back to shore after sunset to find their lifelong mates.
We were left to enjoy the sunset, which was beautiful, leaving pink streaks across the sky and sea, until we could start hearing the cute little bleats of the penguins.
Watching from under our picnic blankets with flasks of hot chocolate (it does get a bit chilly!), these tiny adorable blue penguins march up the shore from the coast, seeking their mates, who they will nestle with for the night.
Unfortunately, we were unable to take pictures as the flash is harmful to the little creatures’ eyes, but I can assure you they were just as cute as these cuddly versions with their knitted jumpers.
We headed back into Melbourne after, enjoying one last moonlit view of this incredible city. Tomorrow is to bring more adventures, as we say hello to Sydney!
Do you have any tips or recommendations for Australia’s largest city? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
I'm Laura, a roaming blonde who recently made the leap from my home in the Cotswolds, UK to be based across the pond in Vancouver, BC for a brand new job and plenty of adventures. View all posts by Laura