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Ruth Rosenthal | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> Australia Cruise: Adelaide, New Years, Phillip Island tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Australia Cruise: Adelaide, New Years, Phillip Island

Part 3 of our great adventure. Spent a day in Adelaide (went to Zoo - compact with native animals we hadn't seen before) & walked through the Botanic Garden). Thought of taking the train back at night to the area of the Semaphore (timeball) for New Year festivities since the ship didn't leave until 2 AM. Instead, ended up staying on the ship. Oceania put on a pretty good party.

After Jan. 1 at sea and some of Jan. 2, the ship anchored off the coast of Phillip Island, a small island 90 minutes or so (driving) from Melbourne. I had plans to rent a car and travel the whole island but they had to be cancelled when Oceania announced an itinerary change with a different date and time for PI. After the long tender ashore and a short shuttle ride to the main town of Cowes, we assessed the cab/car situation and found it non-existent due to a huge tie-up at the bridge over to the island. I had found a great Vietnam Museum for Howard, but couldn't get there or anywhere else, so we walked to the boardwalk area at Cowes. After maybe an hour, we came back. But PI is home to the "Penguin Parade," so the best was yet to come. This is where at night at least a thousand little penguins come from the sea to go to their young ones and non-sea homes in the rocks/sand. This spectacle is watched every night by literally thousands of people in grandstands and (for more money) by sitting on the sand or in viewing boxes. I was able to get tickets on Oceania's excursion, but was discouraged by how many people were there and how far we were from the beach. But we waited patiently for darkness to fall. Finally my husband said, "There are some penguins, look to your right." I couldn't see them, even with binoculars, which turned out to be almost essential. But when I did, it was an incredible sight. A large line of penguins came out of the water near the rocks, paused, went back in, came out again and paused again. Then they walked across the beach and into the shadows. Then more came, and more, and more, most in wide lines -- really a parade! NO photos were allowed after dusk fell, but the experience was so spectacular that it turned out to be the highlight of many great experiences in Australia. When the parade was about over, we walked back to the parking lot along a long boardwalk over the beach. We saw at least 50 penguins walking very close to us on the sand, and saw an occasional penguin peeking out of its burrow.

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Took metro at Outer Harbor/cruise dock area to center city, 40 mins.
Took metro at Outer Harbor/cruise dock area to center city, 40 mins.
Walked through the Botanic Gardens to get to the zoo
Walked through the Botanic Gardens to get to the zoo
Signs in Gardens warned of dead flying foxes. Found several on the ground.
Signs in Gardens warned of dead flying foxes. Found several on the ground.
Flying fox - think alive but not sure (photo by H)
Flying fox - think alive but not sure (photo by H)
Flying foxes (what we call bats?) close up by Howard
Flying foxes (what we call bats?) close up by Howard
At the zoo, we saw small-clawed otters
At the zoo, we saw small-clawed otters
Koala (first one seen in Australia). Sad to hear later that third of koalas in Australia died in bush fires.
Koala (first one seen in Australia). Sad to hear later that third of koalas in Australia died in bush fires.
Learned there was a difference betweenthe wallaby & kangaroo.
Learned there was a difference betweenthe wallaby & kangaroo.
The pelicans were huge
The pelicans were huge
Howard sat down next to this pigeon. Pigeon was OK with that.
Howard sat down next to this pigeon. Pigeon was OK with that.
Cassowary, a striking native bird
Cassowary, a striking native bird
Echidna
Echidna
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