It was our first trip out of the city. Together with a couple of friends, we made plans to Phillip Island for a date with penguins, koalas, and kangaroos. Yay! I cannot tell you how much this trip made me feel like a kid all over again. I mean, we’re talking about penguins! If you have watched Happy Feet then you know the scale of giddiness that I am talking about. So, armed with smart phones for maps, we navigated the long and busy highway to our destination.
It was a smooth ride all the way to Phillip Island. We took the straightforward route, which we thought might be faster since we were driving on the freeway, and made an exit to Pakenham. From there, we proceeded to Koo Wee Rup and drove thru Lang lang onwards to Phillip Island. There were plenty of signs along the road to remind us we’re not lost or we’re nearly there, so the drive was fairly simple.
Our first stop was the Maru Koala & Animal Park, open from 9:30am to 5pm, on 1650 Bass Highway, Grantville. It’s not exactly in Phillip Island, but you’ll pass it on your way there. A short, quick visit here is really nice, especially when you can get up close and personal with the kangaroos. And I really do mean close since you can feed them with the palm of your hands. It is a quaint place with really friendly keepers, so it’s just like visiting a friend’s house and petting their animals.
And oh, did I mention that they have an albino kangaroo?
But, if you are keen on going to places where conservation is of the utmost importance and where you can view the animals in their natural habitat, then I encourage you to visit the Koala Conservation Centre at Phillip Island. Their address is 1810 Phillip Island Tourist Road near the attraction AmazenThings and opposite Rusty Water Restaurant & Bar.
The Koala Conservation Centre is open from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Here they have trails or boardwalks where you can watch and observe the koalas as you walk along, which can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 30 minutes or more to cover.
Next up was Panny’s Amazing World of Chocolate, otherwise known as Phillip Island Chocolate Factory. Boo was more than excited to be here and be surrounded by chocolate.
The exhibition showcased the origins of the cacao and how it is processed to produce chocolate. As you venture more inside, everything becomes more whimsical and interactive. You have plenty of opportunity to have a taste of their chocolate too.
Considering the scale of their operation, the exhibit was okay but their chocolate products are very limited. You could say I was underwhelmed. For a chocolate factory, they could offer more variety.
A stop that is more for the kids and the kids at heart is Amaze’nThings. I had a great time here with all the illusions and puzzles it houses. I’m not going to say more unless I spoil it for you, but I do have to say Amaze’nThings has big potential. With better upkeep and maybe even more puzzles, it won’t be a surprise if this turns into a huge amusement park. I really hope they make further developments with Amaze’nThings.
We included other stops in our itinerary, hoping that we would have enough time to visit them all or in case the weather turns, sadly we didn’t have enough time and it was already raining. So, we decided to go to Penguin Parade.
Since photography is not permitted, I can only tell you how adorable the penguins really are. It was a cold and windy evening but no one was deterred from spending a considerable amount of time hanging out with the penguins. What made it even more delightful was the sight of fat, fluffy chicks coming out of the burrows, walking around and calling out to their parents. Awwww.
Penguin Parade is truly an experience in itself. I would go again to Phillip Island again and visit other attractions and the surrounding towns as well. I’m sure there are plenty of treasures to be found.
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