Sunday started with coffee/green tea at a cafe in Cowes. In keeping with Australian service, it was excruciatingly slow. Turns out when the prospect of a tip is off the table, people move at a snail pace. Go figure.
Our first adventure of the day was the Koala Conservation Center. While the koalas are technically fenced in, they are free to roam a large area, so sightings are not guaranteed.
This sign was posted near the entrance. I can't imagine being bit by a koala would be a pleasant experience, but it would probably make a good story. Fortunately, we didn't encounter any killer koalas. In fact, most of them were sleeping way up high in the trees:
Apparently they sleep for upwards of 20 hours a day, so we were excited to see this guy awake:
We kept going down the path and were lucky to come upon this active koala at eye level!
They move extremely slowly
Best picture of my life
If this isn't the single cutest thing you've ever seen, you need your eyes checked.
He slowly made his way up the tree. Peter captured this video, while tourists (myself included) fought for a front row picture:
The entrance to the conservation center was only $11/person, which we thought was a great deal. Next we headed to the Phillip Island Wildlife Park, or as I refer to it, heaven. On the top of my bucket list since we've been here has been "feed a kangaroo", and it was everything I ever dreamed of and more. Seriously. It's surprisingly entertaining. Peter wasn't initially convinced that it would live up to the hype, but ended up loving it too. Don't say I didn't warn you about the excessive number of kangaroo photos below...
Happily, the first little guys we came across were this mother and Joey wallaby! I'm not entirely clear on the technical difference between kangaroos and wallabies, other than the fact that kangaroos are bigger.
Petting the Joey!
Peter feeds his first wallaby, who looks demonic in this picture. I think it's just the angle, he was actually very cute and dainty. They ate pellets much like those you would get out of those dispensers at the zoo to feed the goats.
Next was the kangaroo pasture. These guys were quite a bit bigger, more aggressive, and less dainty when taking the pellets. I actually got nipped by an impatient roo while he was eating from my hand.
This is quite possibly the best picture I have taken in my life. I can't get over the way they hop.
I took this video of a kangaroo hopping to retrieve food. It really never gets old.
These guys almost started boxing over our food. The really eager and aggressive ones grabbed your hands with their claws, like the one above, which was kind of cute.
Redefining the phrase "chillin"
This is where the boxing match almost happened.
A GoPro pic. Roos everywhere!
I think this one was the grandpa of the bunch. He was HUGE and moved more slowly than the others. This particular enclosure also included emus, which was a nightmare. Basically, they would sneak up behind you and try to hijack the food. They're so gross and scary-and could probably peck out your eyes if they wanted to.
Boxing the roo
We had a late lunch at a restaurant on the beach, which was much busier on Monday, the warmer of the two days. There were lots of kids around, many playing cricket on the sand. I don't really understand the game, but it was fun to watch!
We spent the rest of the afternoon hiking some trails on the southeast end of the island.
At sunset, we went to see the Penguin Parade, for which Phillip Island is famous. There are thousands of Little Penguins (the smallest species of penguin standing at about a foot tall) that live on the island, one of the biggest colonies in the world. At sunset, they come in from the ocean in groups of about 10 and return to their nests to feed the babies. It was fascinating to watch, but no cameras were allowed. I guess the penguins can become disoriented by camera flashes causing them to break away from the pack and potentially get eaten by a hawk. I did sneak a picture of this seal that swam right up on shore as we were waiting for the penguins, though:
We headed back to Melbourne on Tuesday in time to get a few things done around the house before Peter returned to work on Wednesday. We loved our time spent on Phillip Island and will likely be back, at least for a day trip, when we have visitors.