With my mum visiting from Ireland my sister and I thought it was fitting to take her on a trip, somewhere where none of us had been before. So we decided on Victoria; Melbourne and Philip Island – or Penguin Island as my sister insisted on calling it – to be more specific.
Seeing the weather was good we decided to camp on Philip Island, something I hadn’t done in years. After a tedious but beautiful 10 hour drive through national parks and along the coast we finally arrived at the campsite which we were staying at just outside Cowes. Situated just behind the beach and a 10 minute walk from Cowes jetty and the village, it was ideally located.
Philip Island is renowned for it’s Fairy Penguins – or small penguins as they are now known due to someone taking offence to the name ‘fairy penguin’. They are between 6 and 12 inches tall and are too cute. They used to live all over the island but due to human interference there is only one part of the island that is conserved and where you can see them in their natural habitat. Every evening as the sun sets in the ocean the little penguins come ashore from their day of fishing. First one, then the next they wait till there is a good group on the shore before waddling up the beach, hopping up the rocks and into their nests for the night. This is known around the island as the Penguin Parade and one evening we went down to watch it, it was absolutely gorgeous. We saw hundreds of penguins come ashore. As no photography is allowed, these are not my own pictures but I just thought the penguins were too adorable not to post a few photos of them.
While there we visited a wild life park with lots of native animals. We got chased by emu’s, fed roos and wandered around, all of us enjoying it just as much as my 15 month old nephew. We sunbathed on the beach, built sandcastles, went go karting on the islands famous Gran Prix Circuit and go karting track and cooked on the campsite barbecue every evening, it was great.
After a few days of camping on the island we drove into Melbourne where we stayed for one night. It was 40 degrees when we arrived, pretty hot to be wandering around a city but it was nice to finally visit the city I’d heard so many good things about. True to what I’d been told it was very cultural and European in vibe, a foodie heaven with lots of quirky little cafes and restaurants down alleyways and
backstreets. We passed this gorgeous little tea room in the Block Arcade, the queue to which was too long so we just drooled from outside. For dinner we went to a lovely mediterranean restaurant, Ca di Vin tucked away on Postal Lane beside the GPO. The ambience was great and the food even better. We shared saganki and zucchini fritters as an entree and a gorgeous paella and pizza for mains. We let the waiter choose our dessert, which was a vanilla cheesecake with a pistachio base and basil dressing drizzled on top, it was very unusual and tasty.
All in all it was a throughly enjoyable few days away and we all had a really good time. We were back in Thredbo in time for Christmas and the festivities and copious amount of food that goes with it.