The Nobbies (Seal Rocks) in Phillip Island

nobbies australia

This is my favorite place on Phillip Island. The Nobbies (previously known as Seal Rocks) is located just a stone’s throw away from the Penguin Parade. It’s located on the south-western tip and admission is free!

us nobbies

If you have limited time in Phillip Island, I suggest you head here just before you go for the Penguin Parade.

nobbies

The Nobbies is a system of boardwalks that overlooks the Seal Rocks, The Nobbies and The Blowhole (which is a 1.2 km walk away). It’s home to Australia’s largest colony of fur seals, which can often be found basking right on the rocks itself.

nobbies phillip island

However, you’ll need a pair of binoculars to spot them. We didn’t see any seals or SEALs but there was a seal behind the camera. Haha! Contrary to popular belief, sixthseal.com does not mean “seal” (the animal you club) or “SEAL” (the elite group small mission unit that killed UBL). It’s a passage from Revelation that means “seal” (the wax you put on an old letter).

seal rocks

Seal Rocks (as it was known back when I first visited) is now known as The Nobbies and offers stunning vistas perfect for photography. It’s like a scene from a postcard! The rays from the sun comes glistening through to hit the large rock where fur seals sun themselves

silver gulls

It’s also a place where Silver Gulls nest. These are amazing birds that we first mistook for a kite. Silver Gulls has a distinctive way of “flying” – they remain stationary! The wind coming into The Nobbies is amazingly strong – I had to fight my phone to keep it from flying away. The gulls can just stay motionless at one place, riding the draft and not even flapping their wings, unless it’s to move to another altitude. Amazing birds!

the nobbies

It’s a nice place to walk around and just relax at. It was my favorite moment in Phillip Island and I wanted this to be the last post about our trip there. You can see how strong the wind is just from the way it messes with our hair and clothes (it constantly flipped my stiff collar).

seal rocks australia

It’s a must visit if you go to Phillip Island – don’t just go for the Little Penguins, spend some time at The Nobbies and watch the seal colonies and relax by the boardwalk. It can be slightly chilly in autumn though, so bring a windbreaker (instead of borrowing mine like Ling did). ;)

Odette & Siegfried’s Room @ Swan Lake Guest House, Phillip Island

phillip island vacation

This is the honeymoon suite we stayed in on our trip to Phillip Island. Swan Lake Guest House is more beautiful than I had imagined – with 4 hectares of land and 5 luxurious suites to choose from. Odette & Siegfried’s Room is the honeymoon suite.

swan lake guest house

The room looks out to romantic sea views and beautiful sunsets. There’s also a private balcony with extensive views of Western Port Bay and Bass Strait. You can feel the gale-force winds blowing at night but it’s very serene and chill in the daylight.

private balcony

This is the only time we used the ensuite jacuzzi in Melbourne (technically Victoria). Haha!

sea view

It’s AUD 270 per night (about RM 900) but it’s well worth the price. The service from Bernie is impeccable!

odette siegfried room

I had asked for flowers in the room for my love (I was thinking of a bouquet) and when we arrived, the kind lady proprietor (Bernie) subtly told me that it wasn’t ready and she’s heading to the market to get it done.

flowers

She was thinking fresh flowers in a vase.

phillip island swan lake

Close enough, I guess. Heh! It’s the thought that matters. She wouldn’t accept a tip either, very kind of her.

tea time

There was tea service the moment we arrived, with a wide variety of choices and chocolate biscuits.

tea

We had the entire place to ourselves since it wasn’t the peak season and the privacy and views are to die for! The main living room is immaculately decorated with a real fire place!

swan lake phillip island

Swan Lake Guest House is a mixture of a guest house and a B&B (Bed & Breakfast) – albeit a premium one with all the privacy you need. The breakfast spread was nothing short of lavish!

croissants

Our kind host brought out warm croissants and had coffee and tea brewing.

juices milk

Fresh juices and three (3) different types of milk were produced.

bread

BREAD!!! There’s a lot of local Phillip Island produced bread – country, multi-grain and multi-cereal and also this fruit packed loaf that we both liked.

cereal

There’s also a big bowl of single serve cereal boxes to choose from…

ham

…as well as ham, cheese and other cold cuts. I remember asking Ling how she knew we weren’t Muslim or had other specific dietary requirements that forbids pork. ;)

breakfast

I had my eye on something that’s *not commercial* when I planned for our stay at Phillip Island. I told Ling that I’ll take care of it coz I wanted her to have a nice stay without worrying about the cost. This place fits the bill perfectly.

ham cheese

I’ll highly recommend Swan Lake Guest House if you want to stay at Ventnor in Phillip Island. It’s very close to the Penguin Parade. The service is second to none – the owner is friendly and goes out of her way to accommodate your whims. The place is nestled in a huge farmland and you can see the sea from the private balcony.

sunrise

There’s a lot of rooms but only one is the largest (and most expensive) meant for honeymooners and that’s Odette & Siegfried’s Room. You won’t be disappointed. I think we only went to bed at around 4 am coz we stayed in the jacuzzi till late. She loved it, and so did I. <3 ling sleeping

We were both so tired when we took the V/Line coach back to Melbourne that Ling slept most of the way through. Thanks for making the stay memorable for us. :)

Penguin Parade @ Phillip Island

phillip island trip

This is undoubtedly the most famous thing Phillip Island is known for. Little Penguins come back to nest every evening on the shores of Phillip Island after a day out hunting and doing whatever penguins do. smirk

penguin parade

These are not the Emperor Penguins of the Antarctica but a different species of penguin called Fairy Penguins. They’re quite small and furry creatures – about the size of a particularly tall roti tissue (35 cm tall).

penguin parade sign

We drove down to the Penguin Parade after visiting the Nobbies. It was a particularly cold day as the sign shows – you need cold weather gear. Unfortunately, Ling didn’t bring a wind breaker so I gave her mine and went through the night with just a button up shirt with a cardigan underneath.

penguin parade weather

I half froze to death, but the layered clothing helped a bit. Haha!

penguin parade trip

She was still cold even after wearing 3 layers (including my wind breaker) and I even offered her my shirt (could do with just the cardigan), which she thankfully declined.

The things you do for love. ;)

penguin parade entrance

There’s no photography allowed these days, primarily for commercial reasons and coz of a few bad apples using flash to take pictures. However, 12 years earlier when I visited Phillip Island, photography is permitted, you just can’t use flash.

fish chips

Anyway, we had a fish and chip dinner while waiting for the penguin parade countdown to start. You’re advised to come at least 1 hour earlier. The time of the penguin parade changes according to the season – you need to check out the schedule. It’s usually sunset and since it was autumn, our session begin at around 8 pm.

penguin parade countdown

The “no photography” rule is enforced quite strictly – saw a girl being hauled off by the rangers after she attempted to video the first few penguins making landfall.

penguin burrows

There are a lot of rangers around and one kind lady told us the best spot to sit to spot penguins returning to their burrows. She was right – only that rock formation on the beach had incoming penguins!

little penguins

It was fun to watch the cute little penguins waddle up from the surf and into their nests (burrows). People started leaving soon after though and we found out why – it’s better to go and watch from the board walk coz you can get up close and personal with the penguins!

penguin parade view

You can hear their mating calls and see their social structure (one penguin was waiting for his/her mate for ages).

penguin parade phillip island

There were lots of people taking photos since the rangers couldn’t manage everyone on the board walk and I saw this Caucasian guy surreptitiously videoing the penguins near the public toilet. I decided to take one photo too – it’s using Ling’s iPhone (my digicam ran out of battery at the Nobbies) and taken by me while she went to the wash room so this is the first HuaiLing Productions photo. ;)

penguins phillip island

I present to you: A very dark and grainy photo of the Phillip Island penguins!

There was also a souvenir shop and we both wrote our own addresses on two stamped Phillip Island Penguin Parade postcards and gave it to the other to write. It was agreed that we won’t see what the other wrote until we received it in the mail. <3 penguin parade  postcards

We also bought each other souvenir tees to commemorate our Australia trip and wore it the next day!

australia tees

The best part of the trip was when we saw a penguin that was less than 1/2 meter in front of us! The penguin could definitely see and smell us but it wasn’t afraid at all. That was a very nice experience indeed – worth the entry fee in itself. :)

Driving to Phillip Island, Victoria

phillip island driving

This is where we headed on our second day in Melbourne, Victoria. We headed out of the city to see penguins!

vline cowes

It’s essential to have a car when you go to Phillip Island. The attractions are all spread out and the famed Melbourne public transport system does not extend that far. The V/Line bus will drop you at Cowes – it’s the main in Phillip Island.

koala

A lot of people think Phillip Island is all about penguins. That’s the most famous attraction but there are other things to see too.

phillip island 3 parks

Ling got an iVenture card which allows us to choose 5 different attractions for AUD 130. One if them is a 3 parks pass in Phillip Island (includes Penguin Parade).

driving phillip island

I recommend you drive down from Melbourne though – it only takes about 90 minutes by car but the V/Line coach takes 3-5 hours, depending on whether the bus is direct or stops at stations along the way. The direct route starts from Dandenong and stops at Anderson and Koo Wee Rup.

vehicle rental agreement

The car was only registered under my name as the driver though. You only need a valid credit card and driver’s licence. There also might be restrictions to where you can drive – check out the name of the excluded areas. Haha!

rented car

We rented a car for AUD 88 (about RM 300) per day. You can use your Malaysian driving licence over there. I drove most of the time and got Ling to drive too so she could say that she has driven in Melbourne (albeit at a car park in quiet Nobbies).

kangaroo

She wanted to see kangaroos so we drove to Wildlife Park. It’s a open range in Phillip Island and has wallabies and kangaroos which runs hops around you!

feed kangaroo

The wallaby and kangaroo population is very friendly. They’re used to humans around them and expect to be fed. The latter can be slightly aggressive when they see you and come hopping over to get fed while wallabies need a bit of coaxing.

feeding wallaby

I reckon wallabies are shy by nature – I tried to get close to a wild wallaby in 2002 when I was studying in Melbourne but was unsuccessful. I got to feed a wallaby two years ago in 2011 though, but that was in a park as well.

emu

There’s also a scary looking emu there. Huge bird. Slightly intimidating. :x

I took a video of me feeding it the cassowary.

koala conservation center

The Koala Conservation Center in Phillip Island isn’t anything to shout about. There are koalas in trees but most of them are sleeping. I think Ling expected to see more koalas but it’s actually quite hard to see large populations nowadays and you can’t pet them unless it’s in a zoo.

cone

She was also apprehensive coz we passed a sign that said: Beware of Hidden Snakes!

sleeping koala

It’s probably the lowland copperhead (which is common in Phillip Island) instead of the eastern brown snake (3rd most venomous snake in the world – gotta look out for it in Melbourne). The latter is a highly aggressive snake while the lowland copperhead is pretty much harmless (most snakes avoid confrontation with humans) even though it’s also venomous.

phillip island roads

It doesn’t help that the trees are brown in color too and could easily hide an invisible snake. smirk

driving

We spent a while at the koala park in Phillip Island, strolled through the new koala treetop walk, took a couple of photos and headed down to the Nobbies. I love that place so much, I’ll write about it in the next post, coz my camera battery ran out of juice and I had to use Ling’s phone to take photos.

bed breakfast

This is the view out of our honeymoon suite at a guest house there. Phillip Island is more than just the Penguin Parade. There’s a lot of things to do there, we stayed at a nice place and had a lot of fun. Most people just come for day trips so the population is predominantly island folks but if you stay, the hospitality is amazing!

phillip island couple

Just remember that you need a car to get around for food and attractions coz everything is far away and there are only a couple of taxis operating…on the entire island! :)

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