Wow did we ever pack in a first day in Aussieland. We arrived at 9 am which was great for having an amazing first day in Australia.
the morning was pretty much spent trying to stay awake, coupled by a trip to Phillip Islan:d –> a 2 hour ride from Melbourne.
We first drove passed Phillip Island to go to Churchill Island where they have a Heritage Farm. I’m not exactly sure what this place was, but we did get to see some good ol’ sheep sheering and enjoy some views, like this one:
The big highlight was Phillip Island where we met koalas at the Koala Conservation area, saw a million wallabeys on the way, and saw spectacular coastal views while viewing the penguin parade: basically thousands of the world’s smallest penguins wait until they’re free of predator danger at dusk and emerge from the water as a group, waddling back to these little burrows for party in’ up the night then sleeping. See photo evidence below. The photo on the top left is a burrow look closely and you can make out a little penguin .
I have no pictures to show you of the penguin parade. I’d have loved a picture to show you, and for my own memories, but we as a crowd were told countless times, in multiple language translations, that photography was not allowed.
Why? Apparently it creates challenges to the well-being of the Penguins. Not only did the park rangers make this announcement continuously and extremely clearly, but they also clearly welcomed any questions about this regulation. It was evident to all, even if you didn’t speak a word of English (remember they had many translations!) that taking penguin pictures harmed the Penguins.
And yet there we were, Ken and I, huddled together, enjoying the Penguins emerging in their little waddles, trying to watch the experience through our own eyes rather than the blurry distraction of people’s screens. I reminded people to put their phones away. The Rangers and security tried their best. But sadly many continued.
It was an awesome, magical, surreal night. But it was also one that perturbed me and made me glad I have a travelling blog so that I had an avenue to express:
When you’re travelling and you are told to put your camera away, put it away. Period.
There are reasons for such rules and, even if you don’t personally understand them, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t apply to you.
Ken and I had a fabulous day yesterday. And I have lovely memories of little Penguins waddling up from the water, checking that the coast was clear (literally!), and finding their way home. And you know what? I guarantee that my memory is stronger and more solidified than my neighbours filming.
Because all they have is the camera shots they spent so long taking.
But all I have are my incredible memories and the miraculous colours and stories depicted in my mind’s eye.