If you’ve been following my Aussie antics, you’ll see I’ve been busy exploring Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road with my mum and stepdad. Lucky for us, we’ll be off to Sydney and Canberra in the next couple of weeks. During our stay in Melbourne, however, we were determined to squeeze in as many day trips as possible. We’d booked on to a trip to Phillip Island just off Australia’s southern coast to see the legendary Penguin Parade with a few stops along the way. So, here’s what we got up to!
Visiting a vineyard in Victoria
We visited Phillip Island with the same tour operator as our trip along the Great Ocean Road, A Tour With A Difference. Once again, we were pretty impressed thanks to the stops and activities planned out for us. We were off to a great start by heading first to a beautiful vineyard for some wine tasting.
It was here, with a glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc, that I really felt like I was in the Australia I had imagined. Here, we had time to sample some local cheeses and wine, with the hot sun beating down on us and a fantastic view. It was silent apart from the glug of wine pouring. Bliss!
Panny’s Chocolate Factory
To add another calorific chapter to our day on Phillip Island, our next stop was Panny’s Chocolate Factory. Time for some chocolate after all that cheese. The factory was pretty educational without being patronizing, telling us all about the chocolate making process. We also tried cocoa beans – yuk!
It was genuinely a brilliant experience and the chocolate was so tasty, with plenty of free samples. It beat Cadbury Land or any other comparison in my opinion. Another feature of the museum is its works of art entirely created from chocolate. These include a life size sculpture of Da Vinci’s David.
There’s even a giant portrait of Dame Edna Everage made entirely out of Panny’s chocolates – pretty impressive! It seems there’s nothing they can’t sculpt from chocolate, including this model village.
There were plenty of opportunities for free samples too which was (obviously) very welcome. Despite being tailored for kids, there were games to play to win chocolate, and us adults couldn’t resist.
I’d highly recommend stopping off at Panny’s Chocolate Factory on a daytrip from Melbourne or 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.
We could have easily spent longer here, it was so beautiful. It’s a great beach for surfing so I’ll definitely have to come back and try that next time.
Phillip Island Wildlife Park
Next up, we headed off to one of my highlights of the day trip, Phillip Island Wildlife Park. Although perhaps a little run down when we visited, 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 get on entry.
We also saw an adorable sleepy koala bear. He eventually woke up and waved afternoon to us! Did you know that koalas are only awake for 4 hours of the entire day and 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 soon discovered!
Kangaroos are the cheekier characters. We were warned at the entry to the wildlife park that these naughty fellas have previously grabbed visitors’ bags of food and hopped away!
There were also some Tasmanian devils, who looked pretty fierce.
Phillip Island Penguin Parade
Once we’d finished in the wildlife park, we made it to the coast for the start of the legendary Penguin Parade, which starts 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 area is where Phillip Island’s famously tiny blue penguins return to shore after sunset to find their lifelong mates. These blue penguins are the only penguins on earth! They’re also completely exclusive to this region of Australia so are a rare sight.
We were left to enjoy the sunset, which was beautiful. With pink streaks painted across the sky and ocean, we began to hear something. It was the cute little bleats of the tiny blue penguins of the penguin parade. We watched from under our picnic blankets with flasks of hot chocolate as it gets a bit chilly at night.
We watched as the adorable blue penguins marched up the shore from the coast seeking their mates, who they’ll nestle with for the night. Unfortunately, we were unable to take pictures. This is because the camera flash is harmful to the little creatures’ eyes. I can, however, assure you they’re just as cute as these cuddle versions with knitted jumpers.
Back to Melbourne
After loving the famous penguin parade on Phillip Island, we left to go back to Melbourne. We enjoyed one last moonlit view of the incredible city on our final night. Tomorrow will bring more adventures, as we say hello to Sydney!
Do you have any tips or recommendations for Australia’s largest city? Have you been to Phillip Island? I’d love to hear your thoughts!