Published: November 18th 2007November 3rd 2007
Day 221 (01.11.07)
We were up early and on the bus to Rockingham a little further down the coast from Freo. The coast of WA where we currently are is rich in it's wildlife and today we were hoping to see some penguins on the aptly named Penguin Island. We'd found so far on our trip that, if an island/place was named after an animal e.g camel beach, shark bay, barracuda point etc., then you'd never actually see the named animal at that place. Today we were to be proved wrong!
We'd done some research and sightseeing trips seemed fairly pricey but we'd spotted that you could get a ferry over to the Island for a fraction of the cost of a tour so decided that was our best option. The extremely helpful lady in the ferry office offered to find out about our onwards coach to Bunbury later in the day and also to look after all of our luggage whilst we were on the island.
The area is not only known for it's penguins (called fairy or Little Penguins) but also for it's sealions. We were lucky enough to catch one swimming past the ferry on
the way out to the island.
When we arrived on the island we checked in to the Penguin Discovery Centre (included in the ferry ticket) and set out for a walk around the island. The noise on the island was incredible as it is host to scores of nesting birds...gulls, terns from Indonesian Borneo and obviously the lovely little penguins. We saw hundreds of gulls and terns but as penguins are tunneling birds they hide away very well and are difficult to spot. A guy told us where we'd be likely to spot a couple hiding under a rock and we were excited to be able to peer underneath and spot a couple of cuties tucked away.
As we walked around the island we also saw the colony of nesting pelicans, a huge number of which inhabit one end of the island. For such a large bird they were surprisingly graceful as they flew overhead.
At 12.30 it was penguin feeding time. The discovery centre has in its care 10 penguins which were discovered orphaned or injured on the island. They will never now be strong enough to cope alone in the wild so are looked after
and monitored in the Centre. We watched as they waddled around, swam and were fed - they really are the cutest little fellas!
After the feed we wandered along the beach towards the pelican end of the island and had fun using our new long lens to try and capture a few pictures of them. On the way down the beach we passed a cave to find to our delight a sleepy sealion having a rest.
We managed to fit in a visit to the penguins last feed of the day before catching the ferry back to the main land. A fantastic place to visit - we had loved it.
Back at the ferry office and Kaitlin the friendly office lady had sorted out all our bus details, marked up a map to show us where the coach stopped, the time, how much it cost - just about everything we could have ever hoped for really. We thanked her for all her help and said that she should give us a shout if she ever found her way to the UK before going to catch our bus.
After an extended trip to the supermarket (we had
a bit of time to waste before our bus) we caught our very comfy bus to Bunbury arriving just in time to check in to our hostel.
After a warm welcome we cooked some dinner and had a bit of a relax before falling into bed.
There are more photos below