Thursday, 3 April 2014

A Visit to Phillip Island - Part 1

Last week, I took the family away to Phillip Island, for a nice break. 

Phillip Island is located in Victoria, Australia, to the East of the Port Phillip Bay, as per the map below:

The island is famous for at least 2 main things:

  • The moto GP that happens every year in February, that sees hoards of motorbikes fans invade the island for the week, to listen to the beautiful sound of fast bikes going around the circuit at the south of the island
  • The penguin parade, that sees hoards of tourists come in buses to sit in the cold, waiting for the night to come, to then see little penguins come out of the water in hundreds, walk across the beach, and get into their burrows for the night
Sounds a bit sarcastic?! Well, I guess I'm not a big fan of either. However, Phillip Island has lots more to offer. 

I went there soon after I arrived in Australia (and yes, I went to the Penguin Parade!) for a day trip, but hadn't been there for years. Then, a few weeks ago, whilst my parents are visiting, we decided to go somewhere we hadn't been before, yet close to Melbourne. When you leave there, the obvious choice is to go somewhere along the Great Ocean Road (which is fantastic), but we had been there, so we opted for a visit to the Island.

I must admit I was really surprised, in a nice way. It's a great place to go to, especially for families (I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter) as well as photographers (I try to be one in my spare time). There are many little cafes and restaurants, nice walks, and the views are truly amazing, especially when you get a nice weather.

I am not going to do the job of the Information Centre and list all the things to do, but here are some of the highlights:

1. The Phillip Island Wildlife Park ( 
This is quite a small park, set up in the middle of the island, not far from Cowes (the 'capital' of the island). 

The nice thing about this one is that you buy a little bag of seeds with your ticket, and you then walk around the park, with no clear mandated path, and can feed the animals. Here are a few shots of the ones you'll see:

Kangaroo eating seeds in my wife's hand - (c) Gilles Royer 2014

Kangaroo - Mother with a little joey in the pouch - (c) Gilles Royer 2014

Emu posing for a portrait session - (c) Gilles Royer 2014

Blue-winged Kookaburra looking serious - (c) Gilles Royer 2014

Tasmanian Devil - Better to leave him alone.... - (c) Gilles Royer 2014
Portrait of a Koala - (c) Gilles Royer 2014
Goose - (c) Gilles Royer 2014

Portrait of a Cassowary - (c) Gilles Royer 2014
And many more animals to be seen, with lots of kookaburras, parakeets, eagles, wombats, etc.

In summary, a nice way to spend a few hours of fun, whilst having plenty of opportunities to take nice shots of animals, and get close to them

To be continued....