Saturday, April 27, 2013

Penguin Island

For our last day in the Perth/Fremantle area we once again drove south to Rockingham. This was a good plan on our part, since once we finished there we were continuing south to Margaret River, probably the second or third biggest wine region in Australia. Might as well do a little less driving wherever we can. We were going back to Rockingham to visit Penguin Island, which as the name suggests is home to a colony of Little Penguins, which are adorable. You may remember them from when we visited Kangaroo Island last year.  Penguin Island is a five minute ferry ride from shore, and could actually be walked to since the water never gets more than a couple feet deep. This is the sign that greeted us when we stepped onshore. Awesome.

The island itself is not very big, and you can walk the circumference of the island in about 30 minutes. We were there mostly for the penguin feeding show. We had a little bit of time, so we fanned out over the island looking for the best picture opportunities. They were not hard to find.

A boardwalk had been built around much of the island which Greg was a big fan of since baby strollers and sand do not go together.

Enough of that stupid scenery on to the penguins! Oh my god, they are so cute!

Greg pointing out the penguins to Immy. She wore a dress for Penguin day since it's a formal occasion. After all, they were wearing their tuxedos so it's important to be appropriately attired.

The park attendant had a great speech about the penguins, but I don't think anyone heard a word of since you know, adorable tiny penguins. We like to think in this picture the penguins are saying, "Hey, Lady! Less talking. More fish throwing."

This is pretty funny. About midway through the show, a crow flew down to the feeding area. He's apparently figured out the daily feeding schedule and knows when to drop by to score some food. After landing, making a giant commotion, and stealing a few fish he flew back off. The birds in Australia are really smart. He has also been know to steal sunglasses, and apparently has a huge collection hidden somewhere on the island.

While it's cool seeing penguins at a feeding, this is what made the whole day worth it. We stumbled across this little guy in the wild, nestled under the boardwalk. How cute is that?

For the second part of our day on the island we had booked a glass bottom boat tour that would take us to a couple of the small surrounding islands where a colony of seals lived. Immy was excited.

Also on the island is a colony of pelicans. Not as exciting as penguins, but still pretty cool. Laurel snagged this picture of one of them taking off. Those birds have giant wingspans!

The week before we left, Laurel and Olivia went to a trivia night where one of the questions was, "Which Australian state has the most islands?" They guessed Queensland (because of the Great Barrier Reef) and got it wrong. Had we gone on this trip first, we would have known the answer was Western Australia because off shore islands are just everywhere. On this particular one the seals had claimed a nice section of sandy beach for themselves. All the big guys were passed out in the sun, but this one little guy was having a good old time flopping about in the water.

Holy crap, look at that Pelican War going on in the background! Apparently, pelicans are vicious.

Here was our guide. Eating a sandwich while driving the boat with his foot. That is kind of awesome. And perfectly Aussie. He goes for a swim every morning with the seals, and has been doing this for the last 15 years. He had some epic seal-related injury stories and huge scars that would have probably stopped us from swimming with the seals, but he didn't seem concerned. He was a fascinating individual.

After we got back from our cruise we had a few last minutes to take some pictures and soak up the perfect weather before our ferry took us back to shore.

The rest of the day was about a three hour drive south to our second base camp for the trip- Margaret River. That's not very exciting though so we'll leave you with an adorable picture of Laurel, Olivia, and Immy. See you next time!

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