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2016/01/29 Visiting Melbourne Area, Geelong, Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island
π 2016-01-29 01:01 in Australia, Trips

We took a nice flight to Melbourne via Auckland, nice flight as always and very nice lounge in Auckland:



Once we arrived in Melbourne, we got a rental car and first drove to the Royal Australia Air Force Museum, the oldest continuous air force base in the world (click the link for more pictures):


Next, we went to Serendip Sanctuary, which was no frills, but ok to spend 90mn at before it closed:





this bird is beautiful
this bird is beautiful

happy colorful birds
happy colorful birds



this pigeon looks like it's on drugs with bloodshot eyes :)
this pigeon looks like it's on drugs with bloodshot eyes :)






birds, goofing off
birds, goofing off

After sleeping in Geelong saturday night, I got up early on sunday to drive to Queenscliff and do 3 dives (follow the link) while Jennifer took a snorkling/marine mammal watching tour. After our respective tours, we drove around Queenscliff and the coast a bit;


magpie bird
magpie bird



Geelong, the town where I had my LCA 2016 linux conference, didn't have much to see, but there were still a few things like the wool museum:






jacquard programmable loom
jacquard programmable loom






After the conference was over, on saturday morning, we had a private tour to the great ocean road with Fran├žois, a nice english speaking French guide:


semi wild kangaroos in a golf course
semi wild kangaroos in a golf course






I love cockatoos
I love cockatoos



kookaburra are awesome birds too
kookaburra are awesome birds too




wild koala
wild koala






Eventually, we got to the 12 apostles, very scenic even you don't get a helicopter ride (huge line for that):









On the way back, our guide found a nice flock of birds, but they were not interested in my bird seeds :)






After driving back to Melbourne, we dropped our luggage in the hotel and went to St Kilda Pier to see the few wild penguins that come nest after sunset (sadly it was only 2 or 3 penguins that came from the water after a 90mn wait, but it was still nice to see them:




We found a few penguins nesting in the rocks, they were pretty good at jumping between rocks:



one penguin coming out of the water
one penguin coming out of the water

nesting
nesting


The next day, we went to see some museums:




We started with the Sealife Aquarium (on its own page):


Next we went to the 2 NGVs (national gallery of victoria): local and international:















some silverware my dad doesn't even have :)
some silverware my dad doesn't even have :)


We then finished the day at the Melbourne Museum, about aboriginals and more recent history of Melbourne:





there were _many_ aboriginal tribes
there were _many_ aboriginal tribes




















By 17:00, all the museums are closed, so we headed towards a nice French restaurant and then went out to see the Chinese New Year celebrations and get pictures from Eureka Skydeck 88 around sunset:






The view from skydeck 88 wasn't bad, but the reflections from the windows were pretty bad, hard to take pictures: [rigimg:1024:647*|skydeck had a "ride" over the void]





confederation square
confederation square








It was also Chinese New Year:





friends :)
friends :)






Our last day, we first took a tram to Queen Elizabeth's gardens to visit before our tour to Phillip Island:

Melbourne does a very good job with public transportation
Melbourne does a very good job with public transportation







that's the cactus we have in our yard, gets big when left unchecked :)
that's the cactus we have in our yard, gets big when left unchecked :)

this one too I guess
this one too I guess


my bird seeds came in handy :)
my bird seeds came in handy :)


On the way out of the park, we hit the Shrine of Remembrance:










At 11:00, we had a small bus wildlife tour to penguin island tour with the little penguin bus:










I even found a wild echidna roaming around
I even found a wild echidna roaming around

don't shake the koalas off the trees :)
don't shake the koalas off the trees :)

While at the Koala center, I could hear a racetrack, sure enough there was a nice racetrack nearby, I was able to get a few shots:


But there were wild Wallabies everywhere on our way to the penguin viewing:




happily eating something :)
happily eating something :)










did I mention wild wallabies? :)
did I mention wild wallabies? :)


Then, we got the noobies, where you can see penguins nesting, and rabbits:









And eventually we arrived to the penguin viewing location:



we had premium viewing tickets in this location
we had premium viewing tickets in this location


the penguins come from the ocean and walk up this path
the penguins come from the ocean and walk up this path

general viewing area
general viewing area

So they have a no pictures policy after sunset, it's because they cannot trust people to take pictures without flash (I don't blame them) and besides most cameras and all cell phones would be unable to take any worthwhile shots. As a result, since I did have a camera capable of taking shots in full darkness, and without flash, I took a few shots when I could and without others seeing me so that they wouldn't get bad ideas. The penguins arrived in waves (they travel in numbers for safety), and walk up the path, sometimes up to 2H to the respective nests.





they had a penguin arrival counter :)
they had a penguin arrival counter :)

And this was the end of our trip to Melbourne, the next morning, we flew home.


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