Friday, May 05, 2006

March of the Penguins

What a cool night! We spent a couple of days on Phillip Island with the main attraction being the Penguin Parade. You wait patiently (or in Adam's case impatiently) for the first sign of a flock of penguins coming out of the water. At first they peer around looking for predators, take a couple of steps towards the beach until one of them chicken's out, then the whole group beelines back into the water. They do this three or four times until the lead scout determines the coast is clear and they start marching towards their nests just off the beach. The whole time we're sitting on the beach (with about 500 other people) within a few feet of the critters. Apparently, they don't consider us predators as they could care less about our presence. Unfortunately, no photos or video are allowed so I had to borrow these photos from the net!

This is how close we sat while the penguins marched by!

The Great Ocean Road, just west of Melbourne in Victoria

A side trip to a Erskine waterfall.

Amazing coastline

Great Ocean Road from Teddy's lookout

Ok, I admit it, I stole this photo.

Imagine living in this house!

Melbourne for a day...

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Melbourne architecture

The Devils Made Us Do It!

We couldn't deny the kids a stop at the Tasmanian Devil reserve on the way to Hobart especially with this guy out by the road. We got there just in time for feeding.

Cute but...

they love their food!


This roo was bigger than Adam!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

An entry from Adam...

Tasmania was fun! We stayed in cozy cabins. We went to Cradle Mountain. It snows on top of Cradle Mountain. It took two hours to walk around Dove Lake.
Cradle Mountain

Then we drove four hours to get to Hobart. We went on the Tahune airwalk which is the highest and longest in the world. We met Dad’s friends (Rich Little from Chatham, ON!) for dinner and I played with Simon and Thomas who were 5 and 7 years old. Over the fence in their backyard there was a walnut tree. A branch was hanging over their yard which made it easy for us to collect the walnuts. That was so much fun! (Pictures taken at the Tahune Airwalk)

Rich Little, son Simon and Dave (Rich and Emma had us over for dinner after the Airwalk with Emma's parents. We enjoyed some Aussie fare like oysters, mussels, local wines and Wally burgers - yes Wallaby burgers! It was fun to catch up with Rich since we haven't seen each other much since our days at Western)

The next day we traveled to a place called Port Arthur which is where the criminals lived a long time ago. We saw the insides of the ruins. There was a bush fire a long time ago which burned off the roofs. We took a boat cruise around the bay to check everything out.

Port Arthur (ruins of a prison used for British, Irish and even a few Canadian prisoners back in the 1800s)

Bad boy in shackles
The next day we drove to Coles Bay and stayed at another cozy cabin. We went on another big hike up a mountain to get to Wineglass Bay. When we finally got to the beach, a friendly Kangaroo was waiting for me! I petted him for a long time. We ate our lunch on the rocks by the ocean and watched a crazy man go for a swim! The water was so cold there was NO WAY I would go in.

Coles Bay

Adam's new mate!

Wineglass bay

Hiking up the mountain to near Wineglass Bay

On the last day we drove up to Devonport and took the Spirit of Tasmania ship to Melbourne.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Tasmania, here we come!

We boarded the Spirit of Tasmania on Easter Sunday afternoon full of excitement for our first big holiday. The ship was quite large with bars, restaurants, theatres, live music, and a video game room. Our cabin was cozy but sufficient and the kids loved it. The sun was shining as we headed out to sea past the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. People were waving at us as we were in awe of the beauty of Sydney harbourfront. Then as we passed the heads of the protected harbour reality hit… giant waves!!! Within 30 minutes of leaving Sydney, we all felt seasick. Adam was the first to give in and ralphed on our cabin floor – although he made a quick recovery. Heidi got the worst of it while Charlee and Dave were able to keep it down. We weren’t sure if it was the seasickness or the stench of puke from other travelers that made us queasy. After a grueling 25 hour ride we arrived in Devonport, Tasmania.

Left - Devonport, TAS / Right - Dove Lake at Cradle Mountain

The Finish Line!