Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Phillip Island (& koalas!)

Before heading into Melbourne, we stopped by Phillip Island, which is just full of nature parks and things to see and do outdoors. 

First things first-- we needed to see some koalas before leaving Australia. So we went to the Koala Conservation Centre, where we saw plenty of koalas (and other animals) in their natural habitat. 

Koalas were really hard to find because they curl up into a ball high up in a tree and don't move for hours. It was a fun game seeing who could spot the koala first. We learned that koalas eat up to 1 kilogram of leaves per day, which doesn't provide much energy, so they spend 20 hours a day sleeping and resting! 

Someone looks sad, but he's just sleeping.

The staff in the park place signs near each koala because they are so hard to see in the trees!

Australia has some crazy looking birds! Our birds back home are so ordinary in comparison.

When seen close up, koalas are much bigger than I expected!

Can you spot the koala in this photo?

Strangely enough, the wallabies provided more action than the koalas at the Koala Centre. 

Koalas climbing... a rare sight.

Echidnas move through the undergrowth looking for ants.

Next, we went to the Nobbies Centre, which sits on a cliff overlooking the waters of Bass Straight. Here we saw Australian Fur Seals (from a distance) and a baby penguin hiding under one of the bridges. There is a boardwalk that winds through the lush green cliff, and offers views of the famous blow hole. Bass Straight is the site of many shipwrecks, due to "the rip" (a stretch of turbulent waters) and heavy fog caused by the mixture of warm and cool water. 

The "blow hole" is a sea cave that explodes with water when the turbulent water rushes in and sprays out. 

Dinner in an empty parking sitting on a cliff above the water. This is it... last meal cooked on our little stove.

There's a "Penguin Parade" that I would have loved to see on Phillip Island, but it wasn't cheap (and we are), so we skipped it. 

There was so much nature and wildlife to experience in Australia. Those Aussies are big on wildlife  conservation and environmental love. We loved them for it. 

- Julia