In Melbourne, Andrew, my friend and I decided to head to Phillips Island to check out some wildlife. About two hours southeast of Melbourne, we drove down Saturday morning. Past the concrete jungle, through the boring bits, past a couple of interesting things and ta da! An island.
Our first stop was the Phillips Island Wildlife Park. For a minimal $17 you can get entry into the park and a bag of feed. What for, you might ask? Well, anything that’d take it. We wandered past some slumbering koalas, and wallabies. Past some sluggish birds. We did see some happy as a clam Australian Blue Tongued Skinks (I had one as a pet when I was growing up) and while one guy seemed keen to take a food pellet from Andrew, the others all were rather disinterested. The wombats sadly were all burrowed in their holes. I suppose a hot mid-day visit wasn’t too brilliant on our part. I thought a nice nap would do just perfect personally, and I suppose the animals all had the same idea.
We meandered past the Tasmanian devils and flying foxes and dingos when we came across an open paddock. Walking through the gate, the emu’s greeted us and made it very clear that they would be chuffed to bits to be given some of the feed. But wait, what’s that?! Out in the corner of my eye in the distant corner of the pasture was a little red kangaroo. Sorry emu, you’ve lost the cuteness competition. We wandered over, and Andrew gave it a go. He stuck out his hand and the kangaroo was his. Not quite trusting this 6 foot 4 man, the little guy held Andrew’s hand steady as he munched on the pellets. Sadly, the moment didn’t last long before the emu’s came and made it known they were not going to give up this battle without a fight. The poor kangaroo didn’t feel the need to duke it out and hopped off.
My friend and I both found some more emus and kangaroos to feed. I found a little roo who had the munchies and was so engrossed with the small handful of pellets in my hand. I wasn’t sure how keen he’d be on a pat, but I went for a little pet anyways and OH MY GOODNESS was he not the softest thing I’d ever touched in my life! Dawwwwwww. It was soooooo cuddly! I quickly did the math to determine if he’d fit in my carry on suitcase…. but sadly, those dagnamit airlines and their baggage restrictions.
The emu’s were on point though, they knew they needed to pester to gain back the attention. I used all my short person training to stand firm, clench the feed in my fist and told the emu no. It didn’t leave, but it knew better than to come too close. My tall friends struggled a bit more. Not used to having to stand up to ballsy jerks, the emus bullied their way into their bags. One emu pulled a fast one on Andrew and snatched his bag from behind. No etiquette what-so-ever that little shit.
Our next stop was The Nobbies, not far from Seal Rocks. I have no idea why they promote the idea of Seal Rocks, since there isn’t a chance you’d see a seal according to the very rude woman at The Nobbies Centre. The rocks were pretty cool, and we took a nice long walk looking out over the Bass Strait. Lots of little wildflowers were growing on the hills and seagulls. So many seagulls. And baby seagulls. And loud seagulls. And louder seagulls. And oh-my-goodness-quiet-down-before-I-punt-you seagulls. In the evening, you can pay a fee to sit in some stands to watch the penguins come in at night. While I think it would be great to support the conservation efforts, the prices were rather high for the experience, and considering how rude the staff were that we ran into, we weren’t entirely impressed.
We decided a stop at the Chocolate shop would be a better use of our time. Sadly, we were mistaken, as despite claiming to be open til 6 when we called, the tour, which was really more of a touristy chocolate themed trail was closed just after 5 when we arrived. As consolation, we decided to stop at a venison farm which advertised to still be open and selling venison. As carnivores, we thought some nice jerky would help us over our chocolate withdrawal. Sadly, despite both open signs being easily turned to the closed side, instead we were greeted with a stout, curt woman angrily declaring they didn’t have any venison left. None at all, they sold out last week.
All in all, while fun and beautiful and oh-so-soft kangaroos, Phillips Island was a bit of a journey in false advertising. That being said, we’d still have likely gone if they said there were no seals, tours of chocolate factories or venison, but we wouldn’t have been disappointed to find out those things when we showed up. Perhaps I needed to study that guide book a little harder next go around.