Philip Island

I arrived in Melbourne with absolutely no plan whatsoever on what to do, so I contacted my Dad as he’d been here years before and he would most likely have good advice on what to do in this place. He immediately recommended Philip Island, as part of a tour group. Next thing I know, I walked into STA Travel office in Melbourne and organized a day trip to the island to see wallabies, kangaroos, views and penguins (all this for an extortionate price, though not the fault of the agency).

I would highly recommend using/checking out STA Travel to get great prices on your travel plans around the world. They offer AMAZING deals for people who are either students or under 25 years old, or both. Mainly they provide great deals for flights, activities and tours. I actually used them to plan my entire trip (as far as international flights, everything I did within each country was completely unplanned). Check out their website below:

STA Travel Website

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Wallaby in the wild. Photograph through a car window … unfortunately I cannot get rid of the glare in this picture.

We also went to an Australian wildlife preserve and I had the opportunity to see absolutely stunning animals like peacocks, Tasmanian devils, kangaroos, koalas and all sorts of other creatures … unfortunately, I didn’t expect them to be in fairly small enclosures and designed for tourist entertainment. I guess I should have, but I’d hoped there would be a stronger sense of admiration for the wildness of such animals.

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Close-up of a peacock. I was really happy about this photo because the focus was (for once) exactly as I hoped it would be. I switched to manual focus for this shot because the auto-focus isn’t quite as sharp.
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A close-up shot of an emu.

It took me a good part of 15 minutes of constant picture-taking to get this exact shot … We seemed to be playing a game of hide and seek. His head just reached above the height of the fence in which he was enclosed in and I only wanted to capture one eye in perfectly sharp focus. Every time I levelled my camera with his head, he just ducked down below the top of the fence and just peeked at me through the cracks of the fence! After time and time again of trying to get him to look over at the right time, in the right direction, with the best light possible, he finally ‘agreed’ and this is the final result. Obviously, I wish I’d been able to capture such a picture in the wild, but I still think it’s a story worth sharing!

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A little stop on the beach for an hour. Some of us sat down and sunbathed, others (like me) walked a fair while along the beach and found some awesome surfers shredding the waves of southern Australia. Hoorah to these guys!
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Kite surfing like a boss.

“Make today count. You’ll never get it back.”

I was incredibly lucky to spend an amazing day with an Austrian girl travelling in Australia for half a year – really had some good laughs that day. This one’s for you Elizabeth! I wish you all the best on your travels and hope to see you someday, somewhere else in the world to have a few more laughs.

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Thank you Elizabeth for making a good day become a great day!

After a great time chilling on the beach (not really doing anything, except chatting), we went off to see the penguins, first at the end of the peninsula and then to see them in the hundreds come to beach in the early evening.

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A BABY PENGUIN! Unfortunately, this is probably the only picture I have of penguins … But it’s still pretty cute. This is taken from above the bird, while we were walking on the built-up boardwalk.
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Just a little penguin chilling in a box.

In the evening at the beach homecoming for the blue penguins, we strictly forbidden to take any pictures because some people in the past had the bright idea of using a flash on their cameras/phones … this can actually temporarily blind them (and it’s thought to be permanent in some cases) and prevents the poor animals from reaching their home or from fishing. So, to all those people who use flash photography when told not to, I hope you realize the damage you are doing to to the wildlife.

Anyway, enough negativity! They were adorable. Hundreds and hundreds, and more hundreds arrived on shore in small groups, wobbles about to find their bearings in the dark, and then got taken back into the ocean by the following wave that crashed onto them. I found it hilarious (clearly I was the only one who found any of it hilarious because people were looking at me as if I was a monster), and the penguins didn’t seem to find too much as they just rolled over and hobbled back up the beach running away from the oncoming wave. It was like a cartoon to watch them running back home.
Even though I wasn’t able to take any pictures of the little guys ‘running’, I think it was definitely worth the time, money and the cold winds. If you were ever to consider visiting Melbourne, I’d recommend a quick day trip to Philip Island to check out the penguins and all the animals in the surrounding area.

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