24th October 2019–A Long Drive

Distance: 978 km
Fuel: 99 L

A lovely morning but time to go home. The original intention was to make two overnight stops on the way home at Benalla and Gundagai, then it was decided to make only one stop at Holbrook. The drive through Melbourne’s motorway network had proved uneventful, even the short stretch of normal roads to get onto the Hume Highway had been pretty easy (only took a couple of wrong turns).

We had stopped every couple of hours to stretch our legs so that when we got near Holbrook I felt quite alright to drive on to see how far we got and by the time we passed the Canberra turn offs it seemed silly not to continue on to Wollongong.

Arrived home at 8.30pm, in fact the worst bit of the journey was the night roadworks on the F6 near Northcliffe Drive. I haven’t driven that far in one day since I drove from Brisbane to Sydney in one day in the 1960s (no multilane roads then).



Distance Travelled: 3795 km
Fuel Used: 384 L
Average Fuel Price: $1.48/L
Accommodation Cost: $440

Not a bad holiday and we eventually saw everything that we set out to see. Some of the travelling was avoiding the cold weather which set in over SE Victoria hence the rather strange route.

23rd October 2019–San Remo & About

Distance: 37 km
Fuel: 31 L

Quite thick fog and very heavy dew this morning – great for getting bugs off the windscreen but cold and wet.

San Remo

Even after 10am the fog persisted as a sea mist.

San Remo

it cleared as the day got warmer.

Did some shopping and looking around San Remo before going to see the advertised Pelican Feeding at noon.

San RemoSan Remo

Not very excited about this as there are plenty of pelicans in Wollongong. Anyway there were a few hanging about waiting for a feed though in the event they didn’t seem that hungry.

San RemoSan Remo Pelican FeedingSan Remo Pelican FeedingSan Remo Pelican Feeding

Drove onto Phillip Island for one last time to see Pyramid Rock it has a good lookout at the end of a dirt road.

But first a quick stop to look at the Big Wave.

Phillip Island The Big WavePhillip Island The Big Wave

Then on to Pyramid Rock…

Phillip Island Pyramid RockPhillip Island Pyramid RockPhillip Island Pyramid RockPhillip Island Pyramid RockPhillip Island Pyramid Rock

Back at the caravan park spent the late afternoon enjoying the sunshine. Dismantled the gazebo at about 6pm before walking back to the shopping centre to look for dinner. Strolled across to a sculpture by the bridge before deciding on Thai food again.

San RemoSan Remo

The holiday is nearly over, the next couple of days are going to be taken up with driving home.

22nd October 2019–Penguins

Distance: 311 km

A cold Ballarat morning, no rushing to get away only 230(ish)Km to travel today. Staying at San Remo on the mainland rather than Phillip Island itself where the camping fees are ridiculous.

From Ballarat it was expressway right into Melbourne however that might have been a mistake because as we neared Melbourne the traffic got heavier and slowed to a crawl until past the West Gate Bridge. Might try to detour round Melbourne when we head north rather than use the expressways.

Despite these holdups arrived at San Remo just after midday and settled in on a very nice grassy site in an almost empty park.

San Remo Holiday Park

Because it was so early and a lovely sunny day investigated going to Penguin Parade today rather than waiting until tomorrow and booked a general viewing ticket on line. The penguins don’t return to land until after sunset so there was plenty of time for other things.

Washed a couple of T shirts and undies to give me enough clean clothes to get back home without further washing before setting off for Phillip Island. The bridge to the island is a few hundred metres from the caravan park but you forget how big the island actually is, after about a 20 minute drive found where Penguin Parade is located then drove on to The Nobbies. Spectacular scenery as usual even saw a whale in the distance which surprised me as I thought they would all be much further north by now.

The Nobbies Phillip IslandThe Nobbies Phillip IslandThe Nobbies Phillip IslandThe Nobbies Phillip IslandThe Nobbies Phillip IslandThe Nobbies Phillip IslandThe Nobbies Phillip IslandThe Nobbies Phillip Island

After spending quite some time there drove to Cowes for dinner. Decided on a Thai restaurant near the pier, it turned out to be an excellent Thai meal. By the time our meal was over it was just after 7pm and time to make our way back to see the penguins.

Cowes Phillip IslandCowes Phillip IslandCowes Phillip IslandCowes Phillip Island

Managed to get a girl at the ticket counter to print out the bar codes of the tickets from the receipt emails because I was not sure that I would be able to find them for scanning at the turnstiles. Smile

The Penguin Parade building was massive with food, souvenirs, information, rest areas, the lot – just before sunset made our way out to the viewing platforms. A fellow gave a talk about the penguins which was repeated in Chinese (I would guess that 90% of the visitors were Chinese tourists). I learned that of all the 18 species of penguins the Australian Fairy Penguins are the only ones that spend all day at sea and only come ashore en masse after sunset. It keeps them safe(r) from predators like raptors (Fairy Penguins are only about 33cm tall – ie snack sized), apparently the other 17 species come and go between the land and the sea as they please.

It was cold and got colder. At about 8.15pm the first penguins appeared at the waters edge and thereafter more and more came ashore. They all gathered at the waters edge before rushing across the sand to the undergrowth. To be honest at first I couldn’t see them at all but eventually made them out – should have taken my binoculars. Watched them arriving for half an hour or so before the cold decided that we would leave. Walking back along the boardwalks we saw dozens of them making their way back to their burrows.

Penguin Parade Phillip IslandPenguin Parade Phillip Island

Visitors are not allowed to take photographs but they let you download theirs, here are a couple.


Personally I thought the penguin tours in Tasmania were better, far less crowded – ten people instead of hundreds, you seemed much closer to the birds and you could take photos (without flash).  I am glad I went but it is added to my “Do Not Bother Going Again” list which includes – Scenic World, Great Ocean Road, The Stockman Hall of Fame, Waltzing Matilda Museum and now Penguin Parade.

Arrived back at the caravan park at nearly 10pm, overall another good day out.