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by , 03-09-2010 at 05:34 PM (1282 Views)

The next stop on our recent Australian trip was to Melbourne. Although located at the southern end of the continent there was no relief in the heat. The temperature and humidity continued to be almost as high as it was in Cairns.
Phillip Island
One tour we took was to Phillip Island to see the
March of the Penguins. Each night, around 9pm, 600 to 800 Little Penguins come out of the water and waddle along the beach past our viewing stands as they make the climb up the hills to their burrows for the night. No photography is permitted and is strictly enforced. The reason is that past visitors used their camera flash which permanently blinds the sensitive eyes of some of these penguins.

Here’s a picture I took during the day on another part of the island where we were allowed since it was daylight and no flash was needed. I had to hang upside down and shoot under the boardwalk to get this:

This is what the viewing platform looked like:

We also visited Churchill Island and its kangaroos in the wild; the Nobbies and its beautiful coastline; and also the Koala Preserve with its wonderful Koalas in the wild.
Here’s one of the Nobbies:

And of course, one of those Koalas:

Port Campbell National park
My primary reason for traveling to this city was to be able to visit
Port Campbell National park, the site of the “12 Apostles”, large rock formations just offshore. Unfortunately, it rained, obscuring most of the formations. I did manage to get a few pictures, however.
Here’s my best of the 12 Apostles:

To get there we had to travel the famous Great Ocean Road, similar to California, with its wonder ocean cliffs, beaches, and even wild koalas!
And this is one from the Great Ocean Road:

Other tours
Other tours included visits to the Grampian Mountains and its scenic heights and views, and the
Healesville Wildlife Santuary. This sanctuary is really special since the inhabitants there, although contained, are not behind bars and are in more natural settings. You get to go around with a knowledgeable guide from the Sanctuary who told us all about the habits and wonders of each of the animals and exotic birds. They also have a wonderful animal hospital there which saw a lot of action last year with the devastating fire that occurred north of Melbourne.
After all of those years of watching cartoons as a kid, below is a picture of a Tasmanian Devil!

This city surprised us. At first sight, it is an older city. But upon closer examination, it had a wonderful, vibrant life. It has an excellent in-city free trolley system, the kind you can hop on/off and visits particular sights. Jayne especially enjoyed the Queen Victoria Market. It is a tent complex with a host of vendors with goods that are really cheap to exotic and expensive. It was enjoyable to walk the streets at night and find local musicians on the street corners, or even escape artists!

Here’s one of the night shots:

You can see the rest of my Melbourne series

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