Two years ago, I gave my boyfriend an “IOU” for an anniversary gift. He loves stand-up comedy and particularly loves the Oxfam Gala of the Melbourne Comedy Festival. Our anniversary is in August so I printed out fake festival tickets with the promise to buy the real deal three months later when tickets are released.
It’s a very popular show and I keep missing the release date. Two years later, I finally managed to get hold of ’em precious tickets for my very patient boyfriend.
We’re heading to Melbourne, baby! So why not make a holiday out of it? The last time I was in Melbourne, I was on a solo work trip which I extended into a weekend of eating, drinking and shopping.
This time around was so much better. Call me cheesy, but it’s so much better because this time around, I have him with me.
Catching a rather early flight to Melbourne, we caught the train to the Domestic Airport way before sunrise. If only we would do this for work….
We arrived in Melbourne couple of hours before lunch. So the first order of business was to pick-up our car rental then start heading off to Phillip Island and have some lunch.
The drive to Phillip Island from the Tullamarine airport is only about an hour and a half. Just in time for lunch by the time we arrive at The Esplanade.
Thought it’s only fitting to have seafood in an island. We tried the Madcowes Cafe at The Esplanade. The staff was very friendly and the food… plenty!
Before checking-in, we checked out The Nobbies first. Just drive past the Penguin Parade and towards the end you’ll spot The Nobbies. We, well, I was hoping to spot some Seal Rocks but nada…
It’s okay, the view was exquisite and that’s worth the drive. However, it was very windy that day and though I was wearing a turtle neck, the back was rather open and wind can definitely go through them gaps.
This wardrobe error proved to be a problem for the Penguin Parade, lucky we bought special tickets for it.
See, luckily the lookout was indoors. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it and froze to death. This spot right here, gives you the perfect view to watch the penguins walk by at an eye-level. What we didn’t realise is that, once you walk out, you’ll see the penguins up close anyway as they walk along the walkway.
I still think it was worth the extra fee because we had our own area, there’s a guide inside talking us through the whole process, you can even pat a taxidermied fairy penguin. You also have access to the other seats if you want to watch the penguins from a different view/angle.
The penguins were the only reason we went to Phillip Island and I’m very much satisfied. They were the cutest thing, I may have cried, shame some tourists explicitly do not follow the rules of no photography. It brings me joy when they get caught, really.
Phillip Island is a small town, restaurants close early unlike in the city. The penguin parade doesn’t end ’til late in the months of March/April. As usual, we were hungry and had to find food somewhere. There’s a 24 hour Maccas in Bass which is only over 10 mins drive from our hostel.
I’m one of those travellers who like good accommodation, yet refuse to pay big dollars. Which means, finding the best accommodation at the most reasonable rate is a challenge I take very seriously every time we travel.
Accommodation in Phillip Island is not cheap, for a hostel with no air conditioning, we paid $135 for one night. No need for A/C as it was a cool night. We stayed at The Island Accommodation, it was the best one I could find in terms of price, location and building quality. The staff, again, were very friendly. There’s no 24 hour reception service, which is expected but they are very accommodating of people who need to check-in late or check-out early. All you have to do is drop off your key “in the orange box”.
The next day, we relaxed… a lot at the Mornington Peninsula.