Penguins, koalas and kangaroos on Phillip island, Australia

February 17, 2011 2 comments

Phillip island, 2h30 outside of Melbourne, is quite a special place to see Australian wildlife from real close with the children. In one day today, we’ve been able to watch a father koala calling his baby who had gone a bit too high up in the tree. A baby penguin standing outside his home waiting for mummy&daddy to bring back some fish, and a kangaroo running in the bush just past some parrots in the tree…

The kids are now sleeping. I am wondering what sort of dreams they’re having and if they’re not too confused. As we arrived at the Penguin Parade tonight, Marcelo asked what time was the show. I had a hard time explaining that actually we were coming at dusk to experience their real life from close, when a whole colony of them come out of the sea to return home and bring food to their babies. This happens every night, and it’s not your typical scheduled show! There are about 60,000 penguins living on Phillip island.

Photo courtesy of Phillip Island Nature Park

The family combo ticket that lets you visit the Koala Conservation Center and the Farm at Churchill island is worth it, buy it online in advance. At the farm, we got to learn learn how to throw a boomerang, and how to shear a sheep from a professional shearer who normally does 100 to 150 a day. It was definitely eye-opening for Marcelo, to understand where our wool sweaters come from.

For accommodation, try one of these. There are also 2 b&b farms on the island which would be a great option with children but they’re often booked early on. We’re staying at a rented apartment for a few nights, The Wave, and it’s a very good, clean and affordable option, especially if you book on Wotif for a last minute deal.

Cowes is the main town on the island and where we are staying. There are also lots of beaches, playgrounds and it’s a popular summer destination during school holidays. It’s best to avoid week-ends, and also beware of the agenda of Phillip island circuit when it gets very crowded…

An excellent family trip for a night or two if you’re in Melbourne.

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