A Travellerspoint blog

Melbourne Australia

Hi again everyone!

We made it to Melbourne, our first stop in Australia, and last night we got to go to the penguin parade! (That would be Tuesday night to those of you in the Northern hemisphere)

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The penguin parade takes place at Phillip Island nature park, about a two hour drive from Melbourne. Little penguins (that's the actual type of penguin, not just an endearing name for them) swim ashore after a long day of feeding, out in the ocean, and waddle across the beach and up the surrounding land to go home to their burrows. They come out of the water at dusk to avoid predators that might otherwise snatch them right off the beach and eat them for dinner if it were daylight.

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We weren't allowed to take any photos once the penguins started arriving on the beach, but one little penguin made an early arrival before the park rangers made the "no photo" announcement. Sorry for the picture quality, but this is the early bird that we watched wander back and forth between the beach and the surf, unsure of whether he should proceed back to his burrow for the night.

Here's a link to a short video made by the park to give you a good idea of what the penguin parade is all about: https://youtu.be/CyVRl1owBXw

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We sat on these bleachers on the beach and waited for the little penguins to pop out of the ocean at dusk. Once they were ready, they started appearing in groups of 10-20 on the beach. They frequently seemed unsure of whether they should proceed across the beach to the dunes to complete their journey home. They would start heading onto the beach and then run back to the surf and keep going back and forth until they would finally make the decision to make a run for their home.

The best part was when we were heading back up the boardwalk to the visitors center after the penguins had paraded across the beach. Many of the penguins burrows are located along the boardwalk and, since it was nesting season, the fluffy baby penguins were waiting outside the burrows for their parents to get back and feed them. These are some of the man made burrows that the park provides for the penguins.

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The little penguins travel quite a way up the sand dunes and surrounding land. You're even supposed to check under your vehicle before you leave to make sure you don't run over a penguin.

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Penguins are only found in the Southern Hemisphere and Little penguins are only found in Southern Australia and New Zealand. Little penguins are about a foot tall and weigh about 1 pound. They enter the ocean before sunrise and return home at dusk.

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Phillip Island is beautiful and we also got to see many wallabies (what I would describe as a small kangaroo).

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It sounds like wallabies are kind of like deer are in Maine and New Hampshire, there are a lot of them and people often run into them while driving at night. It also sounds like kangaroos are like moose in New Hampshire, they are big and tall and when people hit them with their cars they often die from the animal flying up over the hood and crushing the people in the car. That's not a very happy way to end a post is it? Oops. Just thought it was interesting to hear this comparison.

I hope some of you like animals, because I'm fascinated by the animals of this area and will probably be writing a lot more about them. I haven't even seen any koala bears, kangaroos, or wombats yet!

I hope everyone is having a great new year and am looking forward to sharing more of our trip with you. Tomorrow we'll be flying to Cairns! Talk to you soon!

Posted by kevinjill 22:49 Archived in Australia Tagged penguins

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Comments

Great job blogging. Very interesting pictures and narrative. Kitty Kitty doing great.

by Anne Carter

I loved this post. I love all animals and have learned a lot in my years. But, I never knew there were penguins in Australia, nor ever heard of Little penguins. Something new learned. Keep it coming. Thanks for sharing. Why don't they want you to take pictures?

by Ellen Ineson

Gibb wants to know what predatory animals bother the little penguins. We like your pictures and writings very much.

by Jane Gower

Amazing! Love the pics and the info. Those wallabies are cute, I want one! Thanks for sharing!

by Sinda Chamberlain

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