This is a picture of the coast of Phillip Island, where we went last weekend to see penguins. It's a couple of hours drive south of Melbourne and lots of people have holiday homes there. The big draw is that at dusk several hundred tiny penguins called Fairy Penguins or Little Penguins come up from the sea in a penguin "parade" and settle down for the night. It's a well organized attraction, which is of course important for conservation. The night before we came 1933 penguins came ashore. Our experience was different, and in many ways just as exciting.
You see, Melbourne is in a drought and the day and evening we arrived the region received the first "real" rainfall since 2006. Around 50 mm or two inches, but it was driving rain. We are learning more and more about the Antarctic winds every day and Phillip Island has their share. It was so windy and rainy it was hard to walk. So, the prospect of sitting outside for two hours waiting for these little creatures to show themselves lost out to a Christmas party buffet and dance held at our hotel.
We wandered around the "Nobbies" or knobs of land during the day, and enjoyed a great dinner with new friends, lots of dancing and discussion with others going to South America. We went back the next day and saw a few little guys, but only in sleeping position. There are only about a foot long. We had a great time in spite of the very rough weather, which made our weekend quite memorable. We will probably have another chance to see the penguins.