We were in a hurry that evening because we have to check in at our campsite before 6pm. There was the Grand Prix in Philip Island that week so most of the accommodation were full but we manage to book a campsite in Anchor Belle Holiday Park. We brought 2 tents with us; one was mine and the other was MR's. We were also rushing to catch the Penguin parade which starts at sunset so we decided to set our tents first and then drive to the Penguin parade.
This is my tent... (^^)
The welcome signage to the Penguin Parade at the entrance
We bought the 3 parks pass so we paid $37.50; that's for entry to the Penguin Parade, Koala Conservation Centre and Churchill Island. Or was it cheaper.. Hurm.. I can't quite remember.. Anyway..
Unfortunately, photo taking was not allowed during the penguin parade. And no touching the penguins too. So I just describe to you how things were.. The entrance was opened at around 6.50 pm so we walked our way to the seating area that faces the ocean. It's quite huge and we don't know where the penguin will be parading so to be safe we sat at the middle.. But actually they'll walk towards their nest at both ends of the seat. They come in groups. So some of them will be walking on your right side and some on the left side. But it was too dark when they came back from the sea and there were few spotlights so we can't see them clearly. Plus there were extremely small!! CUTE!!!!!!!
The species found in this island is the smallest of the penguins. They're called the Little Penguins or Blue Penguins or also Fairy Penguins. They spent the whole day swimming in the sea and only return to their nest at dusk. Macam mana mau describe the size..? O maybe about the size of 2/3 of the A4 paper! Very small! And they look exactly like the plush toy SJ is holding in the pic.
Actually we didn't see much when they were walking on the beach. But we got to see them close enough at the walking area but we were bordered by the fence, of course. As close as, if it is allowed, you could actually reach to touch or grab them with you hands. They're very tame. They don't seem to be intimidated by the presence of visitors at all.
I say, this is actually a must go place. You only get to see penguins in the southern hemisphere so going to this Penguin Parade is an opportunity to watch them at their natural habitat. Although, the building and the parking lot are there, still it is their natural habitat kan.. heee You don't have to go if you're planning to go to antartica, galapagos island (dream destination!) or if you don't like penguins :p
After the Parade, we went straight to our campsite to have dinner at the camp kitchen. It has a microwave, an electric kettle, a grilling stove and some power points that we used to charge our cameras. Sadly, we have to eat quickly too because the kitchen is closed at 9pm. Semua pon rushing that day..
It was super windy and freezing that night! My sleeping bag is meant for 7C but still the cold penetrate through it.. Deym! So the next morning we head to the Nobbies Centre
The Nobbies Centre is located at the tip of the island. There's a boardwalk where you can stroll on to enjoy the spectacular view of the coast. The Seal Rocks can be viewed from here but I didn't see it.
The network of the boardwalk might look like it's a long way to the end (well, it is quite a long way but definitely less than 1 km) but to me walking to the end is worth it because a reward awaits you there.
Wahaaaa!! Jaw dropped!! My camera is just an ordinary digicam thus this is all I can show to you. But seriously, all of us just stood there in awe.
That's the famous blow hole. It gave out this distinctive blowing sound when a wave came crashing in that hole.
Next was the Koala Conservation Centre
The building has this informative display inside which I think were actually neatly arranged. Meaning, it start off with what people usually thought about Koala; the misconception that they are bears and then followed by the basics like as you can see what's in a name there, then the life cycle, then the diet, then the habits, then the mating etc. Very helpful for someone who is Koala naive like me (^^)v I don't even know that they have pouch like Kangaroos (-_-") Do you know..?? Please don't make me feel stewpeed (oz accent d ctu)
Anyway, the grounds of the conservation centre is actually at the back of this building. We exited a door and there were walkways there and actually there were other animals too. But since we were there for the koalas, so we just focus on them.
There were wise-looking koalas snoozing on the trees but our closest encounter were these two adorable ibu dan anak! There was a mesh wire fence that prevented us from getting any closer but they were very close. Like if you stand right in front of the fence, they were like about a meter from you. O tengok la buah yang terlekat di atas mata joey itu!! COMEYL!!
Our next destination Churchill Island Heritage Farm!
It's actually a very small Island but I consider it as a big piece of land for a farm. When you first enter the entrance, you'll be driving on a narrow road sandwiched between tall bushes that you can't see what else is there behind the bushes. Then as we exited that road, we found ourselves driving on a gravel road on the sea and straight ahead was a narrow bridge that connects Phillip Island with Churchill Island. We were stunned by the beauty and were greeted by these Cattle
RA: Wah! Ni kalau bawak balik raya haji memang sebenar2 korban nih!
In this farm they let all the animals loose so they were wandering about and coincidentally, this beautiful peacock was opening its feathers! So I stood close to it and "SJ cepat snap!"
There were farm activities too. When we were there, it was time for sheep shearing. The guy demonstrated how it's done and after that we could touch the sheared coat but there were no session for visitors to try it :(. Sheep tu nampak pasrah jak bha masa tu.. It'll be living without it's fleece for a year because that's how long it'll take to make the fleece to grow again. Kesiannya sejuk la dia malam tu... haha And after that was the whip cracking and boomerang throwing activity. We'd wanted to try both but we only tried the whip cracking. O aku telah meng'whip' diriku sendiri on few attempts (-_-")
So the above is our group picture at one part of the farm. It was so cloudy so we can't get a nice pic. I'm not good with camera setting and I think the others' cameras battery were depleted because I can't find many pictures in their albums too. (-_-") Anyway serious bha cantik Churchill Island and we enjoyed out time there (^^) Should go!!!!!!!
And finally, we shared this tasty hot mocha before heading to Sorrento; the place where I will settle down if I'm given the chance to choose.. (ya la tu.. Aritu ko bilang mo settle down di Jeju!)
So lesson from this part of our trip..
Yeah~ So next will be the place where I will settle down.. Sorrento.. And will combine it with Queenscliff if it's not too long hehe