2011 March 5 & 6 – Days 59 & 60 – Cowes, Phillip Island, Australia

Our first day at Cowes was spent getting the lay of the area and walking down the esplande and along the ocean shore to the end of the pier on the far side of town.  We did some grocery shopping, got our haircut, phoned home to talk with our daughter, and sorted photos; of which I am sure you have concluded – accurately – there are always many.Another beautiful Australian sandy beach.  The windy, chilly morning turned into a lovely sunny afternoon.  We enjoyed having a slow, lazy day.  Much as we love to travel around, it is nice to stay put once in awhile on our journeys.The second day we took a drive after attending church at St. John’s United; which was just up the end of the block from our cabin.

We drove south on the island road and stopped at Red Rock Beach and Lookout over the popular Cat Bay surfing beach. We could see the Nobbies Nature Center in the distance.

When we got down to the rocks I felt too lazy to walk the long way around the hill back up to the carpark and there was a trail that went straight up through the grass to the top.  We decided to take the steeper, but shorter, route and headed up hill.  About half-way up the trail disappeared and we had to tromp through tall grass the rest of the way.  It occured to me after a few steps that Australia is home to a lot of very venomous snakes and clambering through thick clumpy grass might not be a good idea.  Thankfully we both arrived at the car unscathed.

From Red Rock Point we drove to Point Grant at the western tip of Phillip Island and the Nobbies Nature Center.  There is an extensive network of boardwalks all around the point. After we read the above sign were were very thankful we had not encounter one of their ‘shy snakes’ when walking up the hill at Red Rock.

We even spotted several baby Fairy Penguins hiding in holes or under the boardwalk waiting for mom or dad to return from the ocean with dinner.  The adults are only about 6-7 inches tall and weigh two or three pounds so you can imagine how small the fluffy babies were. About a kilometer offshore is Seal Rock, home to Australia’s largest colony of fur seals.

As we left the Nobbies we stopped at the Visitor’s Center and purchased a three-part ticket that allowed us entry to the Penguin Parade, the Koala Conservation, and the Churchill Island Heritage Farm, all three of which we planned to visit during our week.

Then it was back to the cabin, dinner, photos, email, and bed.  The next day we drove to Melbourne, 141 km (87 miles) away.

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