I got all touristy yesterday. I feel that this gives me the right to impose upon you a series of pictures, not all of which are particularly good (photographically speaking), and tell you about my day.
The day's destination was Phillip Island. A rather pleasant little island just off the coast, about 90 minutes South of Melbourne.
I got picked up not far from my current residence, and discovered that a group of 10 people had failed to turn up, meaning that I was going to be part of a group of 9 instead of 19. I had no problems with this, however, I still did not enjoy introducing myself to the entire bus over the inbuilt microphone.
They have Koalas. I took a picture of one.
The other Koalas at the park were either being used as photography props by the keepers (for monetary gain), or asleep. Koalas sleep for 18 hours a day, so seeing one awake is pretty cool. Sadly for imagery purposes, my camera isn't particularly suited for this kind of scenario, having no zoom and whatnot.
Enough about the limitations of my camera though, when there's albino kangaroos just chilling out you don't really need a zoom.
There's also not much need for telephoto glass when you can hand feed the bouncy critters.
One handed photography is a tad tricky though.
After chilling with the animals for a while, and enjoying tea, biscuits and sandwiches courtesy of the tour operator, we set off for Phillip Island itself. We drove past the GP circuit there, I decided that taking a picture through a fence, of some tarmac in a field wasn't overly necessary, and we arrived at the next spot shortly after.
Anyone into their surfing will have heard of Woolamai surf beach, I'm not really into my surfing so I hadn't, but it's one of two beaches in Victoria that hold competitions; The Phillip Island National Surfing Reserve Tag Team Surfing Challenge is taking place there on Saturday.
I'd assume that when the weekend rolls around this place will be packed, but when it's not heaving with people it definitely is rather scenic.
And what's the best thing for a Tom to do on one of the World's greatest surf beaches?
Take artistic photographs of rocks and sand of course. What did you think I'd be doing?
We only spent a short time at Woolamai before moving on towards The Nobbies, a load of rocky things in the sea that play host to a load of Fur Seals.
I didn't sea any seals. The rocks they inhabit are about 1.5km away so you need binoculars. I spent $2 using the "magnifying eye holes for tourists". Twice. I still didn't see any seals.
I did take some pictures of the coastline though. Yes, the water is that blue; I'm in Australia, not Blackpool.
And I saw a white faced heron wandering around, munching stuff off the floor.
Again, this shot falls foul of the fixed focal length curse but it's not as bad as the photo I took of a wild wallaby, or the one I didn't take of a straw-necked ibis. And anyway, I'm not a wildlife photographer, so you'll just have to deal with it!
And that marks the end of my photographic journey around Phillip Island.
Oh yeah, I mentioned penguins in the title didn't I?!
After a spot of dinner in Cowes, the main town on Phillip Island, our little bus load of people trekked up to where we would see the day's main event; The Penguin Parade
Phillip island is home to the largest colony of the smallest penguin; Little Penguins. They grow to about 33cm in length, and every night they come in from a day at sea and make their way up the banks at Phillip Island Nature Park, back to their nests.
So why didn't I take any photos?
Because you're not allowed to, and unlike my dinosaur adventure, I wasn't naughty. The penguins have sensitive eyes and camera flashes can blind them. I know I could have taken some photos without flash (because my camera can see in the dark), but the Park found that if they allow people to shoot without flash, there's always some people that are stupid and leave the flash on. Thus, no photography.
Here's a picture of some little penguins, courtesy of the Phillip Island Nature Park Online Gallery for your viewing pleasure.
They are adorable little buggers!