Today I went to see the famous Penguin Parade at Phillip Island with my family. This event is pretty famous, as there isn't too many places you can go in the world to see penguins.
We reached around 4:30PM after 2 hour drive from Melbourne. The expected time for the Penguin Parade was 6:30PM.. So after taking the tickets to see the Penguin Parade, we decided to visit the The Nobbies & Seal Rock near by. The cliffs and dunes around The Nobbies were spectacular.
The wind was fierce and whipping up the ocean like nobody's business, and I got some pretty good shots of ocean surf crashing against the rocks.
At 5:30PM we head back to the other end of the island to experience the Penguin Parade. What an aptly-named attraction! Phillip Island's penguin colony claims to be Australia's most famous natural attraction, the world's smallest species of penguin and the only species found in Australia. The birds live in large colonies and they nest in the sand dunes, digging out burrows for themselves under the roots of the dune vegetation. Each morning the birds head out to sea to fish, and return each evening just after dusk. It was this "parade" in from the water that we had come to see.
A boardwalk led from the visitors centre out to the viewing platforms, and we marched out there along with a whole pile of other people to take our places on the beach and to wait for the birds to arrive.
It was nice weather when compared to other days except the chilling ocean breeze. We sat in a roped off area just above the beach at sundown and waited for the hundreds of little penguins come jetting out of the surf and start waddling up onto the beach. These hundreds of penguins, smartly dressed up in their tuxedos, marching along to the beach is really a great attraction to anyone.
I have no pictures of this magical event, or anything else from the evening, because there was a strict no camera policy enforced by the park rangers. The penguins are very sensitive to bright lights, and the camera flashes would upset them greatly - even to the point of driving them back into the water or leading them to abandon the colony! And since it is utterly impossible to regulate the use of flash photography, the centre had gone one step further and just banned photography altogether.
We raced up to the boardwalk, and the penguins were all around us! Baby ones coming out of their little holes in the hills to greet their parents, a couple having arguments, some just standing there being adorable. We were not allowed to take pictures, not allowed to touch, we just followed the penguins quietly as they made their way up the hill, overwhelmed by the cuteness of it all, wishing we could put one in our pockets and run away with it.
Since we were not allowed to take photos of these lil ones, I'm just posting the Penguin Parade photo I found on Google. Pretty much exactly what we saw!
Before closing this post, I'm posting a funny notice board I found at the car park!
And the stupid me had looked to make sure that no lil penguin is lost under our car before leaving the island!!!