Though unfortunately i do not have photos to share with you of my recent penguin parade experience at Phillip Island, i thought i would share some of my memories from my visit.
Some friends and i arrived at the penguin centre just before sunset, to buy our tickets and secure our front row seats in the concrete seating just inches away from the beach where the tide was due to come in.
Almost exactly on 6 o’clock it grew darker and colder. The spokes person who represented the penguin conservation team spent a good half hour squeezing late comers in between other people who had been seated for much longer. Eventually it seemed he was satisfied with our seating arrangements and proceeded to give a talk about the peguins.
This was the last colany of penguins on the island, which is sad really as there use to be over ten different colanies throughout Phillip Isand. Every single night of the year hundreds of penguins make the long journey home to their families and burrows in the time frame of roughly 6pm- midnight. Given their size this would be a massive adventure and use of energy for them every day, as it requires them to swim all the way back to shore, woddle up the sand dunes, weave through the stalky grass and finally arrive at their burrows/nests.
We as the audience to this impressive show were asked to put phones and cameras away as to not startle the penguins with the flash, remain quiet and simply observe. For some in the audience this was too much to ask, you always get one or two people that cross the barriers and try and be the hero that get a photo or almost touch a penguin. The ruine it for everyone else who does the right thing really..
Back to the penguins. Some of them turned the whole thing into a game. They knew we were there, though most didn’t seem to mind. This was a regular occurance for them. They retreated back into the water, woddled around in the sand, floated in on the waves, before making their final journey home. Other penguins who came in solo stood about until others arrived and they made there way up the sand dunes together. They really seemed to enjoy the compamy of one another.
Looking out into the distance, into the water you could make out the groups of penguins coming in together. Dark patches of water which at first glance could easily be mistaken for clumps of sea weed, though if you looked carefully enough you could make out little heads bopping up and down in the water. My friends brother referred to them as “bop bops”.
An hour past and we were ushered into the the main building of the facility where if you paid that extra $$$ you had the privilege of been able to view some penguins through a tunnel in their burrows under ground. This time around i opted not to participate in this encounter, though the walk back up the boardwalk made up for it as you were able to observe the penguins moving about and interacting with one another even closer than we were able to on the beach. They make a really unique sound.
Overall the whole experience was great, definitely something i would recommend as worth while if your ever in Phillip Island.
Stay tuned- J