We drove to Phillip Island under the cover of darkness, in hopes to see the elusive fairy penguin. If we’d been willing to shell out the $14 we could have been there at dusk to watch the tiny birds parade in front of our ridiculous bleacher seats. This is not the chance wildlife encounter we had envisioned, hence the cover of darkness. But the tricksy people of Phillip Island were one step ahead of us and had in fact blocked all roads leading to a chance penguin encounter. Thus foiled, we went to sleep.
The next day we thought we’d try our luck with the koalas, who also make the island their home. Alas, The Koala Conservation harnessed it’s wildlife just as greedily as the penguin people. But the koala people had a renegade on their hands. This little fellow had defiantly escaped his habitat and was munching on leaves just over the fence. Rebecca spotted him and we were able to watch him watch us for a full five minutes before the cops told us we had to leave. Success!
It turns out the only free spectacle on the island was of the human variety. We were able to sit on the beach and watch the region’s best young surfers battle it out in the Victoria State Surf Championship. This was Australia at its most classic: fearless blonde kids cutting through the waves to loud rock music. We spent the rest of the evening hiking the bluffs, falling in elaborate underground tunnel systems built by evil birds and being all-around thankful for the opportunity to be in Australia.