Melbourne - Philip Island

(38 Posts)
flagging Mon 02-May-11 12:35:52

Melbourne MNs - is this a day trip? My DCs are desperate to go but we are staying in the city.confused

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Hardandsleazy Mon 02-May-11 12:38:40

Yes but a long one - we went at Xmas from city and it's a good 2 hours there ( and only one road in afaik so can get stuck In traffic. The penguins only come out at night ( if that's what kids want to see) so day trip may not work

kreecherlivesupstairs Mon 02-May-11 13:02:17

We went there about five years ago. TBH, I had expected more than a couple of teeny tiny penguins coming out of the sea. It was freezing cold (July August time) and we stayed overnight in a bizarre place.
Unless they are desperate, my DD who was around 5 wasn't impressed.

PinkWinged Mon 02-May-11 13:12:22

We went last month. Yes it's a day trip from Melbourne, but a longish one. We had a fab trip with a guide & had a couple of stops on route & a meal after wards. Lots of kids were watching the event & seemed to really enjoy it.
There are two viewing areas, "public" and a "private", to watch the penguins come up at sunset. You have to pay extra for the private area but it's definitely worth it. About 70% of the penguins come up the beach this way rather than through the much larger public one.
I'd take a small tour trip checking where they watch the penguins from, we went with Australian Wild Escapes.
www.australianwildescapes.com/index.php?page=awe-philipislandecotour

kreecherlivesupstairs Mon 02-May-11 13:16:29

Well, I wish I'd known about the private tour. We were crammed in with a lot of Oriental people oohing and aaahing constantly. Seriously, we only saw about 12 penguins sad

silverfrog Mon 02-May-11 13:27:38

we went a couple of years ago.

agree, quite a distance form Melbourne. we set off after lunch, to get there for penguin time (sunset)

the whole family loved it - me, dh, dsd (then 19) dss (then 17 - he was really, really, over the moon about it all), dd1 (then 4) and dd2 (then 2). the littlies were squeaky and excited, the bigger ones equally squeaky tbh grin. we paid for the more expensive area too.

it is full, overcrowded, bloody windy (we were there in August too), but we woudl do it again - was really fab.

flagging Mon 02-May-11 14:00:20

Thanks for all the fab tips. Didn't realise either that you can go on tours. Will look at the link. grin

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PestoShearsSheepInSummer Mon 02-May-11 14:02:58

I've been too. Our trip included an afternoon cream tea at a kangaroo & koala sanctuary on the way there. You could even stroke the roos!

Have a fab time smile

flagging Mon 02-May-11 14:07:25

pesto can you remember who you went with?

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ninedragons Mon 02-May-11 14:10:46

Deffo pay for the private area. I've been twice, once in spring and once in autumn, and both times it was absolutely fucking freezing, so rug up.

And take something to eat if your DCs will not last the trip back to the city - there is one pizza place and one strangely 1980s steak house that is wildly expensive for what it is. I can't understand why there isn't more open in the evening, given that its one and only tourist attraction is nocturnal.

If you want a close-up experience with penguins, the Melbourne Aquarium has a fab exhibit.

LadyWithErmine Mon 02-May-11 14:19:53

Ohh, this was THE stand out thing from a 5 week trip to Aus with my parents twenty three years ago...

Go, I've never forgotten it, and hope to take my children one day.

echt Tue 03-May-11 08:38:31

And when you're leaving, all pissed wet through, you'll see penguins scuttling through the car park and round your legs to get to their burrows.

They are too cute for words, so don't reverse over them.smile

flagging Tue 03-May-11 18:02:19

When you say freezing..........what kinbd of coat do we need to bring in June?

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silverfrog Tue 03-May-11 18:10:57

we were all kitted out in fleeces (newly acquired - it was astronomically windy when we were there, even by Melbourne standards!) and raincoats, and scarves.

we bought woolly hats when there, as the girls were getting cold.

we were still cold (had to teach both dds how to stuff their hands up their sleeves, and also cuddle them for warmth a lot - they wouldn't be carried as they wanted to skip along following the penguins!)

but it was worth it.

ninedragons Thu 05-May-11 01:35:13

Bearing in mind that I am a bit of a creampuff about the cold, if I were going in June (especially towards the end, when it'll be full-on winter), I'd wear a vest, a long-sleeve t, a fleece or a jumper, a Barbour, gloves, a hat, some sort of pashmina arrangement stuffed down into all crevices and gaps between Barbour and skin, jeans, boots and hipflask (DH would drive).

Barbour would be important because it blocks the wind. The onshore wind comes straight from Antarctica and feels like it.

ninedragons Thu 05-May-11 01:39:46

Actually, thinking of driving, stick to the speed limits or go even slower.

It is an unlit road and roos can come bounding out of the bush on either side of the road and would hit your car like a 70kg cannonball.

ninedragons Thu 05-May-11 01:42:38

If you're going to hire a car for the trip, spring for a 4x4. It should have a roo bar fitted as standard.

Roo vs Nissan Micra would not be a pretty sight, for either party.

If you go on a coach, you will be fine grin

PestoShearsSheepInSummer Thu 05-May-11 07:52:30

Sorry flagging I can't remember. But we didn't arrange it until we arrived in Melbourne (we'd been travelling all over Oz for a month). There were plenty of leaflets in the place we were staying, so we just chose a tour from one of those and arranged it through them.

Enjoy smile

kreecherlivesupstairs Thu 05-May-11 13:31:19

I vaguely remember some sort of Ripleys place on the way. DD loved it, it had a mirror maze, an outdoor play area and a giant tap on the roof which appeared to be running.

flagging Fri 06-May-11 15:40:48

OMG to weather forecast. shock
Is that just Philip Island or Melbourne in June full stop? I need to rething my packing arrangements.

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ninedragons Fri 06-May-11 23:04:46

Melbourne in June is not that far off London in January, Im afraid. You can get brilliant sunny days but don't go picturing yourself having dinner at delightful outdoor cafes! You will definitely need coats and probably gloves and hats to be out in the evenings.

But it is a lovely city and much better set up for the cold than Sydney, where cold weather takes everyone by complete surprise every year.

flagging Sat 07-May-11 16:59:06

Gosh it is a lot colder than I thought. I was picturing light fleeces but sounds more like winter coats and tights????

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ninedragons Tue 10-May-11 04:03:54

I would say so, but as I said before I am a total wimp when it comes to the cold. You may be hardier! I was in Melbourne in September (so early Spring) and was ok in shirt, jeans and a jumper. But we weren't going out at night - our hotel was opposite the MCG and people going in to the Aussie Rules game one night were wearing coats, scarves, gloves and hats. I would say you'd definitely need a coat in full-on winter.

Philip Island is much colder than Melbourne because of the onshore wind, which is truly brutal.

savoycabbage Tue 10-May-11 05:59:53

I was wearing a wooly hat today. And a jumper, coat and boots. And I'm a Geordie!

ninedragons Tue 10-May-11 06:08:55

Doesn't that mean you should be wearing just a bikini top and a miniskirt in anything down to -15'C? grin

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