Today we headed down to Phillip Island to see the Penguin Parade, with a few stops along the way.
Take a look at where we visited – I think then you’ll fancy a trip to Phillip Island yourself! We visited with the same tour operator as we used for 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.
First stop, we headed to a beautiful vineyard for some wine tasting…
And 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!
To add another calorific chapter to our day, our next stop was Panny’s Chocolate Factory.
It was genuinely a brilliant experience and the chocolate was so tasty! It beat Cadbury Land or any comparables in my opinion…
It was actually pretty educational, without being too patronising, telling us all about the chocolate making process. We tried cocoa beans – yuk!
And saw some pretty impressive arty chocolate creations, including David…
Edvard Munch’s ‘Scream’…
…and a giant picture of Dame Edna Everage made entirely out of Panny’s chocolates – pretty impressive!
There were some opportunties 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 would 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 really!
And then we headed off to one of my highlights of the trip: Phillip Island’s wildlife park. Although maybe a little run down, in my eyes that’s more 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 like this sleepy guy…
…who 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 nervous to start, hand them some food and they soon warm up, as my Mum soon discovered!
And kangaroos are the more cheeky fellas. We were warned at entry that these naughty boys have been known to grab visitors’ bags of food and hop away!
There were also some Tasmanian devils.
And that was about it, as 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 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 actoss 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 little 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 these little guys’ eyes, but I can assure you they were way cuter than these stuffed 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 be delighted to hear some!