Penguins and the Antarctic ice capades

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A popular day trip from Melbourne, Phillip Island, on Australia’s southern coast, can make for a memorable family holiday. With its fishing hot spots, beautiful coastline and penguins and koalas galore, the Isle has a little something for everyone. Eight-year-old Nitya Suresh sends us her travelogue of Phillip Island, which she explored with her dad and brother Nikhil

Phillip Island is known for many things like Penguin Parade, the Nature Parks’ Antarctic Journey, Koala Conservation Centre and more. Here are some of the places we explored.

Koalas, wallabies and more

The Koala Conservation Centre was one place that was really fascinating. When Nikhil, daddy and I entered, we started having a look around. It was raining and we did not even have an umbrella. But the thought of not seeing even one koala made me want to go out and find one. I did not want to go back. It was our first spot from the itinerary sent to my daddy.

We started walking. We went past five galahs and one parrot at the start.

Our first koala was when we were on the board walks, our second was hard to find because it was hiding up in the trees.

We saw two blue jays, one of them did a poo. My daddy told me about his childhood when he spotted a similar bird in a town called Ooty in South India. The similar looking bird was a Nilgiri Flycatcher. I googled the birds and they only have their colours similar. I still think a blue jay is a prettier bird, although I would love to see a Nilgiri Flycatcher someday.

Koala at Phillip Island

Coming back to spotting more koalas. I found wallabies while searching for koalas. We saw a wallaby resting under a broken branch. It was a cub.

We found another one. It was resting under a branch like the other one. We also found a rabbit burrow not what we were expecting to see any rabbits but it was beautiful to see so many animals living together at the Koala centre—birds, koalas, rabbits, wallabies, rain drops. We also found a giant bull ant.

The Koala centre is a world full of beautiful creatures. Goodbye, Koala Conservation Centre, until we meet again.

Ice on the other side

We reached the Nobbies around lunch time. The restaurant overlooking the ocean is the best place in Melbourne for lunch. I loved my fish and chips and some lemonade.  The view of the ocean and the waves was so beautiful. To imagine that Antarctica is on the other side of the oceans is a nice feeling.

Soon after lunch, we collected our tickets and walked down the steps. The first experience I had there was in a little room which felt like a little ice bucket or a freezer. My brother and I walked inside the room full of mirrors. My brother and I screamed and jumped up and down. It was the most exciting part of our journey. Soon after leaving the freezer, we walked to the real Antarctic experience. This was a magical room with many screens around the big hall. Each screen had stories of different Antarctic creatures and the ice formation there.

Screen grab from the Facebook video of Nitya and Nikhil meditating

In a separate room, more popular with me and my brother was a screen with magical visuals of Antarctica. This is a must see for all visitors to the area. My dad came up with an idea to shoot a little film. He asked us to meditate as monks in Antarctica and on the screen, we could see my brother and me, with a lot of creatures from Antarctica like seals and penguins walking around us. It was a very strange experience. My daddy has posted this on The Indian Sun Facebook page. Please do like and comment on this video. It’s silly!

It was almost time for us to go but Nikhil said he wanted to buy something for his teacher for her birthday. I got a panda bear teddy and named it Blacky. After stepping out of the Antarctic Experience I wanted to look through the binoculars and I tried to find some penguins but I couldn’t find any. We walked to find some penguins and we found two hiding in their boxes.

We walked a little bit longer but found no more penguins. We walked back, but unfortunately, it was the end of our journey. Nature Park, bye until we meet again.

The Penguin parade

Yay! We get to go to the penguin parade.

We walked outside the car and…NO! There was such a big queue.

It took about 10 mins to get inside. We walked along a path then we found a spot to look at the penguins. Before that, we were looking at stuff that were under the water. Like sponge, coral, cuttlefish shell, some special rocks and some animals, but they were dead. There was a television and you could see the penguins coming from the beach. They came in groups, everybody was amazed.

Penguins

The penguins were waddling along thinking, “What are these humans doing, staring at a whole heap of ordinary penguins”.

When we were leaving two penguins were on the road. The people that worked at the place were shouting out “get behind the yellow line, get behind the yellow line”. One of the penguins went a different way, he was supposed to go through a little door but instead went around the fence. Whaaaa! It’s the end of the day.

We wondered what it would be like tomorrow.

Nikhil and Nitya at Woolomai Beach
Pebbles and nibbles on Woolamai Beach

Rise and shine, it was morning and after we got dressed we went to get a milkshake. I got chocolate my favourite.

Yay! We are now at Woolamai Beach

We collected lots of pebbles for the little house that our fish live in.

Nikhil had started digging a snack hole and I was making a nest for turtles we started walking along the side. Then we turned back, wow that went so fast looks like that was the end. We were off to Churchill Island.

Milking cows on Churchill island

It was a short drive to Churchill Island. On the way, it was like driving in the bushes. When we arrived, I was not expecting it to be about a farm. We started wandering around and we found a fake canoe boat, it was dirty. There were these old trucks that they used, I found out how to use them. We started walking and came across beautiful Clydesdale horses, and other really cute Highland cattle, sheep and baby animals. We got to try our hand at milking cows and then got to go on wagon rides. I’ve never seen such hardworking dogs as I did on these farmlands.

And with that, it was goodbye Phillip Island, until we meet again! And I do hope it’s soon. It felt like there was so much more to see.

You can get a lot of the details on www.penguins.org.au.

 

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