Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Phillip Island Day One

Peter and I took our first vacation since moving to Australia this last weekend and got to check quite a few things off our bucket list! It was great to get out of the city for a couple of days and explore a new place. Peter took Monday off of work and Tuesday was the Melbourne Cup holiday, so we had a few days to head out of town. Our destination was Phillip Island, located about an hour and a half southeast of Melbourne. We booked our first ever Airbnb for the trip, which we were a little nervous about, but turned out just fine. We arrived on the island at about 11 am and couldn't check in until 3 pm, so we headed to Cowes (hilariously pronounced cows), the largest of the small cities on the island. Phillip island isn't very big, it took us about 15 minutes to get from one side to the other. 

I checked Urbanspoon, which rarely lets me down, and we ate brunch at MadCowes. Aside from having a great name, the restaurant also had delicious food. Peter ordered eggs, bacon and hashbrowns, and I had the best pancakes in the entire world, complete with cinnamon butter. 
It was cool and raining when we arrived, which was kind of a bummer, but we sat by the beach anyway. 
The clouds started to break up and we actually got a bit of sunshine for a few minutes. I know I say this a lot, but the strength of the sun here never ceases to amaze me; even at 65 degrees we were HOT when the sun was out. But alas it started raining again, so we drove to the Purple Hen Winery (mainly because I had read Miley Cyrus and then-fiancĂ© Liam Hemsworth visited this place when they were on Phillip Island). It was a cute little winery, except for the sign warning of snakes in the area: 
Peter and I did some wine tasting and hung out for a bit. The legal alcohol limit is .05 here, so you have to pay a bit more attention to exactly how much wine you're tasting. 

We finally checked into our accommodation and then drove to the southwest corner of the island to a rock formation called The Nobbies. The view was beautiful and as usual, I probably took too many pictures. 
The barely-visible islands on the left side of the photo are the "seal rocks". Apparently thousands of seals live there and you can take a boat out to see them but it was really cold and pretty expensive so we decided to save that activity for another trip. 

We spotted what must have been a surfing class on a beach near The Nobbies. The waves looked pretty calm and we both decided this was the best place to take our first surfing lesson. Torquay was really cool, but the waves were much larger and stronger than at this beach, at least on the day we visited.
Peter is dying to learn to surf, so hopefully we can accomplish that in the next few weeks as the weather gets warmer.
I tend to stalk surfers. 

So after four months in Australia, we finally saw a wild kangaroo! Technically, I think it was a wallaby, but who's counting. The picture is a little grainy because I had to zoom in but it was pretty exciting! Apparently kangaroos are most active around sunset; we ended up seeing about 8 between the two nights we were on the island. I will never get over the way they hop around-they are the coolest animal ever! 
We ate dinner at White Salt Fish and Chips and then headed back to the beach to catch the sunset. 
Stalking surfers again. There was a long tunnel trail to the beach that was probably filled with scary bugs but looked pretty.
Sunset at the Nobbies 
Another wallaby/kangaroo 
We ended our first day with a bottle of wine from the winery.

I have a lot more to report from our trip to Phillip Island, so I'll do a day two post tomorrow, complete with more pictures of kangaroos than you ever wanted to see. 


  1. Did you see the penguins?
    Despite some great waves from the Southern Ocean (and yes we have Bell's Beach), unfortunately Victoria doesn't always get the best or the warmest conditions for surfing. QLD, WA and NSW seem to have way more entrenched surfing cultures (and warmer climates). If you really like surfing, you should check out Byron Bay or Noosa in the northern states or even Margaret River on the West Coast.

    1. Yes we did see the Penguins! They're so cute. I'm going to write about that in my next post but cameras weren't allow so unfortunately I don't have any pictures.

    2. Also, we plan to check out some of the northern and western beaches in the coming year. I'm impressed with Victoria's beaches, but it seems like the beaches Australia is really famous for are elsewhere!

  2. Thanks for the GREAT pictures and the wonderful information. So fun that you share with the rest of us--non Australians. Keep them coming!

  3. You can never have too many kangaroo photos.

  4. I want to go see the penguins! Come to Queensland you will see kangaroo's!



Welcome! I started Laura and Peter Down Under in July 2014 when my husband and I moved from the States to Melbourne, Australia for his job. I blog about expat life, our travels, food, and whatever else comes to mind. Follow along on our adventures Down Under!



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