Sunday, August 12, 2012

Apartment Searching and Phillip Island

Phew! Yesterday was a busy, busy day.

Here in Australia, if you want to rent an apartment you have to go inspect the apartment with the agent first, and then fill out your application and submit it to the rental agency. Well, Saturdays are big days to have open inspections. We had planned in advance to visit 8 apartments, and timed out the day so we could get to them all. We ended up seeing over 10 apartments, because some agents were showing various apartments within the building, and other agencies we hadn’t known of beforehand were there. We literally traveled around and looked at apartments from 9 am until 1pm. Once we’d seen everything, we had to figure out which ones we liked best (from checking our notes and rating them on a scale of 5), and narrow it down. Which was hard.

After we’d finished our apartment adventures, we headed on down to Phillip Island. If you don’t know about Phillip Island, I have a few words for you: koalas and fairy penguins. Oh yes. KOALAS AND PENGUINS. If we’d had a full day, we could’ve also seen the seals. Next time!

We stopped first at the Koala Conservation. We got to walk on boardwalks in the trees to get closer to the koalas! They tend to stay really high up in the eucalyptus trees, so getting even a dozen feet off the ground got us closer. And they were fluffy! Hard to believe that they’re actually vicious animals, but I’d rather not test the theory. There’s actually rangers that hang around in case the koalas get too close to people, so that they can protect the people from koalas! We also saw a lot of wallabies on the ground, just eating the greenery. They were really cute, too. They basically look like small kangaroos.

We had to head over to the Penguin Parade fairly early. The penguins don’t usually show up until around 6pm this time of year, but we got there before 5 because it’s such a big attraction. Even as early as we were, there were still people who were there, choosing their seats. We were sitting and waiting from at least 5pm. And it was COLD. After sitting there for so long, with the wind, and the ocean spray, we were all chilled to the bone.

But when the penguins finally came around 6:15, it was all so worth it. There wasn’t much beach for them to waddle along, since the tide was high, but we still saw well enough. They just swam up on the surface of the water, to the rocky edge, and then hopped their way to the grass! The ranger said their burrows can be as far as 1km from the water! That's why they tell you to check under your car for penguins before leaving. But I don’t think we realized they would be as cute as they were. I know I didn’t think they could be as small as they were! Becca and I couldn’t stop laughing! I think we were just so awed and excited that it just came out as laughter. It was so much fun!

By the time we got back to the car, we were all people-sicles, and crazy tired. But, oh my goodness, was it ever worth it. The penguins were amazing. I highly recommend anyone going to Australia to go see some fairy penguins, whether on Phillip Island or elsewhere. It’s an amazing experience. I know we’ll be going again. Hopefully we’ll be more prepared for the weather next time, but I think next time we’ll be going in the summer!

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