Few weeks ago, when my brother made a visit to Melbourne, we decided to make a day trip somewhere within the perimeter of Victoria to make his visit memorable. We had a day reserved, we knew who and who is joining the trip but we didn’t have a destination. Even we haven’t made a trip in Melbourne ever since we arrived so we had too many options to choose from. After going through the options, and what we can do on the way, we finally brought our decision down to visiting Philip Island. Our decision was based on the attractions on the way, to keep our journey entertaining.
It was about a 2 1/2 drive from Melbourne to Philip Island and then you get to stop here and there on the way for other attractions. I will construct the post according to where we visited and what is worth seeing in each of those places.
My first ever Australian Kangaroo Experience. The tickets can be bought from the shop that is at the entrance, with a fancy looking colorful cow to greet you. Animal food can be bought from the entrance, to attract the animals towards you. We decided to buy only Kangaroo food and hopefully get every other animal attracted through the same. The farm offered many activities for Kids and Families but we decided to walk on our own inside the farm and take our own happy time to talk to the animals.
Starting from Wallabies, to Guinea Pigs, to Rabbits to Kangaroos, and then continuing to White Peacocks, Camels, Donkeys, The place was full of a variety of animals. There were also ducks in a pond closer to where the Kangaroos were. It is a Zoo/Farm experience, with having some animals in cages and while others just walk around freely.
Of all animals, I enjoyed the Kangaroos & The Camels the most. The Camels are quite funny and selfie friendly. They can scare you at times when you have food in hand, as they try to override the other camels and reach the food faster.
This is a great Spend-the-day activity venue for families with kids. The farm also has a small cafe, full of bacon aroma that makes your stomach grumble. My aunt had already given us a picnic hamper with loads of food, so we gave priority to home cooked meal.
The name is pretty funny for us, Sri Lankans. It was a bit rainy when we reached there, so we spent a couple of minutes inside the ticket counter/ souvenir store. They sell some funky accessories and souvenirs. Once the rain was over, we headed inside.
At the entrance itself, there is the Tasmanian Devil. There are enough warning sings to tell you what to do and what not to do near the little beasts. The first section is all carnivorous animals. There were Kookaburras, and a dangerous crocodile placed in a high security zone (Go check yourself to see what I’m talking about). There is also a man who comes with a snake called “Olive” and puts the snake on display. While the snake first is “icky”, once you touch and feel it a bit, you warm up to the reptile. I have never seen a man as passionate as him, about his job. He really loves the snake, knows a lot about snakes, and makes you fall in love with snakes.
Further in to the park, there is a land area full of Kangaroos freely jumping around. Some of them are resting under trees and others are posing for pictures. You can feed, mingle with them and even hug them as they are not caged. There was a white Kangaroo, which got everyone’s attention. She was such a slow & adorable eater. You can easily spend about 30 minutes to 1 hour in middle of these animals, if you like interacting with them.
Philip Island Chocolate Factory
I don’t really like visiting factories as they are boring. At least that is what I have felt from wherever I have been during my school trips. I entered this factory also with the same state of mind. Instead of an entrance ticket, we were given an edible chocolate, and the wrapper was the ticket. It was quite “Willy Wonka” for me, so I started building interest.
The Factory was full of chocolate education, presented in absolute creativity! There were games along the way, where you score wooden balls which can be exchanged to actual chocolates at the end of the tour. There is a machine where you can draw and make your own chocolate masterpiece, and also a machine that makes your own chocolate. Take your kids, put them in their and you can get them to be busy on their own, out of your hands for a good 2 hours.
National Vietnam Veterans Museum
For the love for big birds, my brother was escorted to this otherwise-invisible Vietnamese museum that was on the way, which housed many historic flying machines. There were flights right at the entrance, and around the area. My brother seemed happy just by looking at the ones outside, and said he didn’t want to buy a ticket and visit inside the museum. We trusted his instincts as he knew better about planes.
And, the final destination of the trip! This is where people spend many hours in middle of the freezing Antarctic breezes until the penguins walk out of their hiding spots. Philip Island is mostly visited to meet the Penguins and that is what Nobbies Centre is popular for. From what I heard, during the time we visited (That is in March 2017), the penguin time usually happens around 7.00 pm. People who arrive by around 5.30 – 6.00 pm usually kill time, taking pictures at the absolutely breathtaking deck that extends towards the ocean. That is what we exactly did, we took photographs of the beautiful view for about one hour. All four of us have already seen real life penguins, so we didn’t really want to stay back to see the little guys over here. And it was freezing cold! So we decided to wrap up our trip and head back home from Nobbies centre.
The Philip Island tour is one of the most popular trips taken from Melbourne. I feel it is more of a family trip and not for those who seek for adventure. It is the typical, pack-your-picnic-bag outing, that you make hoping to come back home by noon.
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