I developed a theory while we were away that the state of the person who booked you in at the van park tended to mirror the state of the park itself. The one we stayed at in Lakes Entrance was a good example of this - the owner was tired, and so was the van park..
Anyway, we left the next morning and headed inland through Sale & Traralgon where we ran into rain! Good heavy rain - great for the farmers, not so good for us lol. We were going to spend a day looking around Wilson's Prom, but with the rain decided to give it a miss and headed straight for Phillip Island. The rain was starting to clear by then so we booked in to watch the Penguin Parade that night.
Phillip Island is home to a colony of Little Penguins (they used to be known as Fairy Penguins) and every night you can go and watch them come home after a hard day's fishing! They are just so cute to watch waddle up the beach. Having been there before and sat with the crowds in the main viewing platforms, we opted to pay a bit extra and go for the Penguins Plus viewing. This meant we watched from a different set of platforms - closer to the penguins (and to the hill so it was warmer lol), limited to a set number of people (150 I think) and with our own ranger in the area to talk to. It was a well worth paying the extra.
I don't have any photos of the penguins as you're not allowed to take any, but here is one from their website:
The following day we had a look around the rest of Phillip Island. We couldn't resist going to the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory where they handmake chocolates - and give out samples - mmmmm! We watched them making some of the chocolates in the viewing room, and then of course, had to buy some to take with us!
Then we headed off to a place called Amaze'n Things - a place of puzzles, mazes and optical illusions. It was quite expensive, but we did spend a couple of hours there.
There was an optical illusions room where the floor was tilted but everything else was perpendicular to the floor, so you had water "flowing up hill", you could "lean right out" without falling and other things. Honestly I couldn't stay in there for long enough to appreciate it - it was really making me feel sick! I retreated to the safety of the other side of the room to take photos :)
They also had optical illusions like this one where it appeared that Billy's head was on a platter, and rooms full of giant games.
Outside was a giant 3D timber maze with 4 different coloured flags. You had to find your way to each flag. Luckily Pete has a great sense of direction, otherwise, I'd still be in there!
After lunch we went out to "The Nobbies" - another nature reserve on Phillip Island - you can walk out on boardwalks to a blowhole. The scenery was gorgeous but it was COLD and windy!!
The walk takes you through a seagull nesting area - the number of gulls was just incredible - as was the noise! I don't think I'd ever seen a baby seagull before - they are so cute and so unlike their parent!
We spent a cold night in the van (next time I visit Victoria a few weeks before summer starts, I'll remember to pack a heater lol) - and headed off for the outskirts of Melbourne the next morning. We'd been invited to park the van in the front yard of a guy Pete knew through work, so we took him up on the offer.
Coming up next - Mornington Peninsula, Ballarat