Ken and Sheena - Living the Dream! travel blog

 

 

 

 

 

 


We had been listening to the weather forecasts as we traveled and as they were predicting some pretty heavy weather on the way we decided to hit Phillip Island a day early. This would give us a chance to get set up and put the annexe up before the rain hit. We hadn’t set our annexe up for about 9 months so it took a little bit of time as we tried to remember how it all fitted together. We had also had some renovations done to it while we were in Queensland so it was good to finally see if our ideas had worked. Once it was all up we went for a bit of a drive into Cowes (the main township on the island) then got organized to go down to watch the little penguins come ashore. The Little Penguin is the world’s smallest penguin and every sunset hundreds of wild Little Penguins emerge from the sea and march across the beach to their sand dune burrows. On Phillip Island you can view this from platforms set up at a point where they in each night.

By the time we headed down there it had started to rain and it was very cold so we weren’t sure how enjoyable this was going to be. But we rugged up, threw our rain ponchos over us and it turned out to be a magical experience. We got there about an hour before the penguins were due to come up on the beach to give us a chance to have a look around the information centre. We also hired some audio units which gave us a lot of information on these cute little creatures. As dusk started to creep in we headed out on to the boardwalk and down to the viewing area. It was very cold and drizzling but luckily our preparations meant that we managed to keep warm and dry. We had not been seated long at all when we spotted our first group of these tiny penguins on the edge of the water. Because of the low tide they had a big expanse of beach to cover before they would reach the safety of the banks where their nests were located. They gathered in small groups (obviously they were working on the ‘safety in numbers’ theory) waddling around until finally one of them (or all of them – who knows?) suddenly made the decision to go for it. And they were off - waddling as fast as their tiny little legs could carry them over the sand, often falling into puddles left by indents in the sand. It was such a painstakingly long trip for them – you just wanted to go and pick them up and carry them across but of course you couldn’t do that. Finally they made it to the base of the hill then they had the arduous job of climbing trough all the vegetation to find their nest. At this stage (when they obviously felt safe enough to do so) they would start to squark so that soon the night air was filled with the sound of them. After watching for a while we then wandered back up the boardwalk where you could see them waddling up the hill. How they know which particular nest is theirs I have no idea as there were literally hundreds of them – some of them with chicks who had been waiting all day for Mum and Dad to come back and feed them. SO cute!!!!

I have put up some photos but I did not take these as you are not allowed to. What I have done instead is buy some and scanned them in. The one with Ken and I in it is a superimposed one so the penguins are not really that big and we did not really get that close to them!!



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