From Kangaroo Island we were driven back to Adelaide and then we flew across to Melbourne and spent a couple of days there. High on our agenda was to go to Phillip Island to see the Little Penguins. We have seen the spectacle of their dusk arrival a few times on various wildlife TV programmes, never thinking we would eventually get to see it ourselves. Phillip Island is actually a couple of hours drive from Melbourne and the trip down there included a couple of stops that gave us some more small birding and wildlife opportunities.
Purple Swamphen are to be found almost everywhere,
We eventually arrived at the Nobbies Centre to have our 'tea' with great views over Bass Strait,
Little (Blue) Penguins
After that we were driven over to the Penguin viewing area, we had VIP tickets so were right at the front. There are no photos from this bit as photography is strictly forbidden as the flashes confuse the penguins, so we stuck to the rules, unlike the Chinese tourists who totally ignored it and were constantly trying to get in front of people, the wardens did their best it was a herculian task to keep then under control.
Anyway it was brilliant, the Penguins came in in phases with the recce party hanging around on the rocks making sure that all was 'safe'. Once the moved on another group would come in and do the same and so on. Once it was pitch black, we went back along the board walks, following the penguins inland and watching individuals turn off into the scrub as they neared their burrows. A magical evening.
The following day we went on a steam train ride from Belgrave just outside Melbourne up into the Dandenong Ranges. The train was called the Puffing Billy, I'll add a photo, just for the sake of it, I know its not wildlife, but hey-ho!
Australian King Parrot,
As the weather was shall we say a tad damp, little bird life was seen from the train.
The weather perked up in the afternoon and as we were back in Melbourne, we took a walk towards the Botanical Gardens. To be honest neither of us were feeling to well, so we never made it all the way there, but we did spend a little time in the adjacent park. This gave us a couple of new species which was nice, before we ambled back to the hotel.
Next stop Ayres Rock and Uluru.