Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Koalas, Wallabies and Penguins, oh my!

Greetings loyal readers (that means you Grandma!)

Apologies for not having written anything in a while. One of my housemates accidentally sat on my laptop which broke the screen, and getting it fixed has proved a bit tricky due to differences between Canadian and Australian laptop models. This, combined with the fact that I've been working quite a bit has made updating my blog slightly more challenging than usual, but thanks to a laptop I borrowed off a housemate I'm finally going to fill you guys in on what I've been up to!

A few weeks back Ben and I made a trip out to Philip Island, a charming island situated roughly an hour and a half south of Melbourne which makes it a popular getaway for city-dwellers. We were lucky enough to get invited to stay over at the holiday house of a woman Ben knows (the one who spearheaded the dolphin research session I tagged along to a couple of months ago). She warned us that we shouldn't expect much but coming from our damp, ant-infested flat Ben and I couldn't have been more thrilled with our accommodation.

The bridge to Philip Island

Enjoying a cup of tea

The view from the deck - note the ocean

Philip Island is home to a wide array of amazing Australian wildlife that because I've been living in a city, I hadn't yet gotten the chance to observe. Over the course of our two days on the island we got to see koalas and heaps of wallabies. We also got to watch the Penguin Parade, Philip Island's most popular attraction, where hoards of little penguins swim up to the shore each night to nest. Unfortunately cameras weren't allowed so I don't have any pictures of it but trust me - these 30cm tall penguins are ridiculously cute!

Looks a little like an ewok, doncha think?

Doesn't get more Australian than a wallaby!

'The Nobbies', scenic nesting area for the penguins

Gorgeous shoreline at The Nobbies

Other highlights of our trip included slapping on wetsuits and going for a swim on a nearly deserted beach that due to a lack of stairs, we reached by scaling 'unstable cliffs'...

Going for a swim during Australian winter

The beach, and the climb we did to get there

... a bit of wine tasting paired with delicious kalamata olives at the Purple Hen Winery...

My idea of a perfect afternoon.

The winery dog!

The Purple Hen Winery

... and last but not least, me attempting to drive on the wrong other side of the road (in a manual car I might add). Aside for the few times where Ben kindly pointed out that I didn't look the right way entering a roundabout, it went pretty smoothly - but I'm definitely not ready to drive in a busy city center anytime soon!

I did it!


All in all Philip Island made for a fantastic and affordable getaway. The lack of crowds and incredible wildlife made it feel like we were somewhere out in the bush rather than just outside of a major urban center.
Living in Melbourne has been great but this trip has me eager to see more of what Australia has to offer outside of its cities!


rahul said...

Amazing pictures as always!

Christine_Vienna said...

So nice. This is how I felt when we went to Vancouver Island. :D This entry makes me want to go on vacation so bad!

Suzanne said...

Hi Alex-Loving this post. You make me want to visit more of the country, beaut photos and glad you are liking it there. So glad you got to meet Prue and I hope you have a chance to see her again.
Love Suzanne

Susan Zwick said...

Great to read your travel musings once again. Your photo of the beach reminded me somewhat of the coast of Saturna isld ( minus the koalas $ wallabys). Looks gorgeous. Glad to know you suffered no "tireh punctuurhs" like I did in the UK 45 mins into my first " other side of the road" driving adventure. You are brave indeed. Keep up the blogs when you can!

Wondering and Wandering said...

Rahul - Aw, thanks!

Christine - It was a lot like Vancouver Island in some ways actually! I miss that trip... if you can take time away from saving the world maybe you'll consider visiting me down under? :)

Suzanne - Yeah, it's a fabulous but massive country! She was lovely, hope I see her again :) thanks for reading!

Mom - Yep definitely a bit like a Gulf island, minus the animals of course. Yep no major incidents incurred! Will do xo