Monday, January 28, 2013

One Crazy Fun Day Follows Another

Sunday's adventure to the Dandenong Ranges was followed up on Australia Day Monday with even more fun. Tammy and I started the day off right: going for a 2-hour bike ride around Melbourne, taking in the harbour and the nearest edge of The City (downtown) as well as several other areas:

Vicki got the driving tour while we were gone, courtesy of Ryan and the rental car. Then we all reconvened back at the apartment for our arvo (afternoon) and evening travels. We embarked on a 90-minute drive to Philip Island, to wade around in the water where the surfers go:

After lunch, it was Surprise # 1 of the day, thanks to Tammy & Ryan: koalas!

In the same conservatory, we got our first good glimpse of wallabies, also known as "mini kangaroos":

We then had dinner and hung out near another beach on Philip Island, waiting for the sun to get lower in the sky. Vicki and I didn't know why we were doing that, until we got to our final destination, and Surprise # 2 for the day: the world famous Penguin Parade!

Photography wasn't allowed during the march of the adorable little blue creatures as they came out of the ocean and headed to their burrows where hungry offspring awaited, crying out for food. It was a remarkable sight, though, especially as we moved to the boardwalk just above their path, placing us a mere foot or two away from thousands of waddling hunters returning home in small groups just minutes after sunset. I did manage to snap one fuzzy photo before the march began, showing one of the baby penguins waiting near its hole for its parent to bring home the proverbial bacon:
What an incredible experience it was to see this daily ritual acted out before our eyes!

Then it was time for us to make our own trek home, weary but extremely gratified by the day's events.  Major kudos to Ryan and Tammy, once again, for organizing and executing the perfect day trip for their guests.

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