So, after we had been to the caves we headed to Lakes Entrance where we stopped briefly. We walked over the lake across a bridge to the lake and experienced the most ridiculous wind. It was so windy that it was painful standing on the beach due to the sand being blown up and whipped into our legs! After that we didn’t stay very long and headed to a rest stop to sleep for the night. After that we drove to the other end of 90-mile beach to a small village called Seaspray. It was a nice beach and we had a game of beach cricket there. I was amazed by my skills when I managed to catch Ryan out! It was the first I’d ever caught anyone out…EVER! I was ridiculously pleased with myself; Ryan even awarded me a shell as a prize :D.
From Seaspray we drove on to Wilson’s Prom. I had previously been told by an old man we met at a rest stop that it’s the closest to Scotland you will get in Australia! It was very beautiful driving through the mountainous park to Tidal River the main settlement. Although there was a large proportion of the forest that had been completely burnt. You don’t see that very often in Scotland. We got an icecream at Tidal River before heading off on the 50 minute walk to Squeaky beach where the sand is so fine it squeaks when you walk on it. It was quite a nice walk through forest, over a hill to the beach. We explored the beach and the maze of rocks at one end of it. We saw one boy climb up onto a huge steep rock and then trying to figure out how he was going to get down. He must have made it though as we saw him on the other side of the rocks later. On the walk back to Tidal River we rounded a corner to see a snake lying in the middle of the path. Ryan hadn’t seen it and was heading its way before I warned him! The snake was pretty little only about 1m long and didn’t seem too interested in us as it slithered into the bush to find some food. As we carried on round the path we saw a man stopped ahead of us. As we approached we saw that there was a wild wombat! It was so lovely and even went up to the man to sniff his shoes. We must have spent about 20 minutes watching this wombat and were even able to stroke him. He seemed pretty oblivious just wandering around munching on the grass. It was amazing that we could get so close to him, he must have gotten quite tame as so many people walk along the path. I think this may even have been my best animal encounter in Australia (apart from the penguins)! We were so close to him and he just didn’t care! We only left because we knew it would be getting dark soon and if you’re not camping you’re supposed to be out of the park by sundown. As we drove back we saw even more wildlife. There was a herd of kangaroos in a field alongside the road –there were so many of them! We then saw a wallaby as well as we drove out of the park. We stopped at a rest stop just after the park exit ready for a big day tomorrow at Philip Island.
Philip Island was amazing! First of all we went to Panny’s chocolate factory where we consumed far too much chocolate. The start of the tour shows you the history of chocolate and old fashioned advertisements before you walk through to a wall-sized mosaic of Dame Edna and a chocolate Michelangelo’s David! You carry on to see a chocolate model village and games where you can win chocolate. We managed to master a game shooting chocolate balls into a slide so that you can collect them. Delicious! There were also chocbots –robots who fetch you chocolate with a choice of milk, white or dark chocolate. They were a little slow but you won every time! We spent a little while just collecting chocolate here! There was even a chocolate waterfall there and you could make your own chocolate shapes by writing in melted chocolate. In the last part of the tour you can see into the kitchens where the chocolatiers are actually making the chocolates before you! By the time we left we were both feeling rather sick and thought it was probably about time we left. We headed on to The Nobbies an information centre and viewing area for the Seals on Seal Rocks. We didn’t actually see any seals but we did see our first penguin! He was very cute and probably still a baby as he had been left there during the day. As we walked along the boardwalk he was standing at the edge of his burrow. He was so cute and little!
The evening was spent at the Penguin Parade where there are more penguins than you could ever dream of seeing! The evening started sat in stands waiting for the penguins to come in from the sea. As we were waiting we saw something swimming through the water which we think was actually a seal! The penguins started to appear slowly, tiny little speckles in the waves. They would bob around until enough of them had appeared that they might have the courage to make their way across the beach to the bank. The beach is where they feel the most vulnerable as there is nothing to obscure or protect them. It took a long time for them to make it across the beach. They would start making their way out of the water but be scared back in so many times. They seemed to get scared by the slightest thing, even just a seagull flying above them would have them running back to the safety of the water. Eventually one of the groups started to walk across, all in a line as if in a procession. From there on more and more came out of the water. People started to disperse as the penguins started to climb up the banks so we were able to go right to the front to watch them. We then went up to the boardwalk to watch all the penguins making their ways home. We saw baby penguins being fed (which is really their parents puking in their mouths) and even saw out of season mating which I first mistook for fighting! Some of the penguins were getting tired on their way home and stopped in the middle of their tracks to lie down for a snooze! They were so cute and we were so close to them! It was an amazing evening and we stayed watching the penguins until the very end when even the staff started to get ready to leave.
We stopped for the night in a beachside car park where in the morning we went for a run! I have never been a fan of jogging but it wasn’t actually so bad! We then drove into Melbourne for the day. The rain was torrential that day and we later heard that it had actually flooded although we managed to get out in time. We spent some time on the internet at first –Ryan booked his NZ flights and we started to make our plans. We then headed to a Nando’s for lunch as we were both craving it. Although felt a bit disappointed after as it was a Nando’s in a food court and just does not compare to Nando’s back home. I have decided to try and avoid it till I’m home now. We had a little look around the town which is quite nice, lots of little lanes of cute shops. I managed to buy some ridiculously cheap $1-2 books from a bookstore clearance sale but am now thinking there may have been a reason they were so cheap as they haven’t turned out to be the best books so far. From Melbourne we headed to a service station to stop for the night before heading off to drive the Great Ocean Road!