A guest post by Fraintesa.
Last summer I had the best holiday of my life. Yes, it was in Australia, and to be precise, I had a volunteer ranger experience on Phillip Island. This small island is a 90 minutes drive from Melbourne, and you can easily get there by bus or by car, as it is connected to the mainland through a bridge in San Remo.
There are loads of things to do on the island, but 5 of them are absolute musts, here below my tips for you.
Must-do Things to do on Phillip Island
Have a close look at a blue-feathered penguin. At sunset, after a day out in the ocean, wild Little Penguins (30 cm tall on average, with blue feathers) emerge from the water and waddle across the beach to go back to their burrows. On Summerland Beach, you can watch the world-famous Penguin Parade and see the world’s smallest penguins walking next to the boardwalks and parade seats (built to avoid people trampling on burrows and penguin trails).
courtesy photo by Phillip Island Nature Parks
Feel like a real ranger Phillip Island Nature Parks is a not-for-profit organization, so volunteers are welcomed all year long (generally for a two week period). Just like I did, you can volunteer to return degraded land to useful habitat for little penguins by removing environmental weeds, planting native species, building penguin boxes, and controlling introduced predators and helping with the rescue of injured native animals.
Experience wild koalas in their natural habitat at the Koala Conservation Centre; you can learn about koalas in the Visitor’s Centre or look out for wallabies, kookaburras, and more wildlife while walking on the treetop boardwalks, right among koalas. If you’re lucky, these marsupials will slowly leave their gumtrees, and you’ll get the chance to get close to them in their natural environment.
Learn how to crack a whip and throw a boomerang Churchill Island, accessible from Phillip Island, is a historical precinct hosting a working farm. Heritage buildings that date back to the 1860s and old-time farming are still on the island. Here you can step back in time and learn farming practices such as whip-cracking, sheep-shearing, milking and boomerang throwing.
Spy on a seal with the seals’ cameras inside the Nobbies Centre, or go outside and try to spot dolphins while enjoying the stunning view of the ocean. Two kilometres offshore from the Nobbies, there’s Seal Rocks, home of over 20,000 Australian Fur Seals (book a cruise if you want to get close to them).
In case you got inspired by this post and heading to Phillip Island, see you there. I’m definitely coming back soon.
Fraintesa: a location independent social media consultant and blogger. She is a geek girl travelling worldwide; in 2011, she went to Australia and fell in love with it after volunteering at Phillis Island Nature Parks.