7th October 2008, Tuesday
Since we had a long day the day before, we started the following day a little later. Firstly, we visited the Melbourne Museum. If you are a student – regardless where you study or where you are from, you get to enter the Museum for free. Else, you would have to pay AUD6 per entrance and the ticket is good for the entire day. You can always walk in and out of the museum. Dan and Ryne got lucky that they entered for free. I don’t know how they use their charms but it seems to work! I should have used my driving license since it’s in Malay! They won’t know it’s a student card anyway!
I wish I could spend more time in the museum because there are many things to see. A gigantic skeleton of whale greet you at the entrance, there’s a story on how this whale landed on the Australian shore and subsequently died and being placed in the museum, aborigines history, human body history (a lot, a lot of naked people!), from dead animals to live animals, history of designs and architectures, science, psychology etc. too bad the dinosaur section is closed for upgrade while we were there. You can take pictures here except the human body and aboriginal sections.
We walked about town before hopping onto the AAT Kings bus again. We were glad that the tour guide for the day is the wise joker himself – Collin.
We prayed for good weather throughout the day. However, again it drizzled there and then. Bummer!
We made a stop at Warook Cattle Farm to see some Australian animals. It was a small farm with wombats (I didn’t know they could be bigger than a cat!), kangaroos, sheep, birds, ducks, chicken, swans etc. I went to feed some kangaroos and took pictures.
We had our Devonshire tea and some delicious scones. They are pretty huge! Just enough for morning breakfast to last right through lunch.
We then, stopped by the Koala Conservation Centre somewhere along the way to Penguin Island. This place.. there was nothing much to shout about. As usual, eventhough they adopted the concept of having koalas in the “wild”, it somewhat look like a “safari” to me, with more trees.
The way to the Philip Island is graced with yet and again picturesque landscapes. I have a favorite spot along the way to Phillip Island. Cape Woolamai. It has spectacularly beautiful and pristine clean beach. The sand at Cape Woolamai is soft and white. Cape Woolamai is a home for surfers during summer. The water is really blue and cold. Collin recalled vividly of his youthful days spending his entire summer away on this beach. You could see the sparkle in his eyes when he told his stories. I was envious that he could get this place all to himself every summer with his surfer friends.
We stopped by Cowes to have early dinner before we head for Penguin Islands. There was a port here. Sometimes, you get to see some seals hanging around the dock. When we were there, again, there was a gale and it lasted throughout the entire journey.
We stopped by the Noobies for some photos. Unfortunately, there was rain and gale as well. There was one nerdy Korean girl who traveled with us. She got down from the bus and stood in the rain to take picture of herself. We laughed at her and were impressed by her determination to get pictures at every single stop.
No one was supposed to take pictures of the penguins. Well, it’s like paparazzi chasing after some celebrities. Do you like people to shove their cameras on your face when you are walking on the street? No, right?
However, there were still some idiots having their cameras pointing at the penguins as they emerged from the sea. Even though, they don’t use flash, but by taking out the camera, it would have domino effect on everyone else. Others will follow suit when you take out your camera. So, for Christ’s sake, if you like penguins SO MUCH, you can get their pics on postcards or even have your pictures photoshop standing and patting the penguins at the local kiosk set up there.
It was quite silly actually, to wait for the penguins in the rain! The penguins would arrive to the shore from their daily fishing activity to their little burrows on Summerland. I find this place is overly commercialized. If you want to get good look at the penguins, you need to pay extra to go to one special platform where you could see bigger groups of penguins coming out from the sea, lining up and marching to their respective burrows. It was quite an experience though.
After freezing our asses off standing in the rain – I felt numbness on my fingers due to the cold, I couldn’t wait to get on the bus for some warm comfort. Seriously, it was freaking cold that night due to gale and drizzle! I was informed that, we can actually see penguins at St Kilda’s Beach for free!
The night ended with a movie “Happy Feet” on the journey from Penguin Island right to the city.