Updated on January 30, 2015
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We loved this hostel. We splurged a bit and got the Double bed with the ensuite. Throughout our time in Australia we stayed in different sized hostels. 10 person room, 6 person room, and private rooms. All good experiences, but there wasn’t a particular size we would always recommend. It’s all got to do with the price and time we’re going to spend there.
We ended up paying about $50 a person for the room. That’s an expensive hostel, but relative to the rest of Australia, not bad. Hostels in the country are just really expensive, especially compared to Central and South America.
When we got to the hostel and checked in, we came back downstairs to the recreation desk. This was a very social hostel, and they always had activities going on. At the desk we learned of a tour available which took you to local nature parks. It would pick us up early the next morning outside the hostel in a van and take us to MARU Koala & Animal Park to see koalas, Tasmanian Devils, and wallabies. We would then stop for food and head to Phillip Island Nature Park for the Penguin Parade! This was what sold us on the trip. It was a little pricey (~$140) but we knew it was something we needed to do. It would be an all day adventure.
The next morning it was time for our adventure! First stop – the animal park where we had an awesome time! We got to see koalas actual eating and moving around, which was apparently a big deal because they sleep up to 22 hours or so a day! Tasmanian devils, wallabies, all the good stuff. I’ll stop typing and just let you enjoy the pictures.
Before going over to the wallabies, we made the best decision of the trip and paid a dollar each to get some food to feed the wallabies with. A bunch of people on our tour were unsure about it and didn’t realize you could literally walk up to them and have them eat out of your hand. Needless to say, best investment ever.
Stop 1 down, on to the final destination of the adventure, Phillip Island and the penguins!
When I first read this offer for the trip, I was very confused. Penguins? In Australia? I don’t get it. But, alas, it’s true. Phillip Island is home to one of the largest penguin colonies in Australia. Every evening, when these penguins return back to the beach from the ocean, they have an event called the Penguin Parade. Although it’s hard to see (it’s dark out by this time), it was a great time watching hundreds of penguins waddling across the sand as quickly as possible to get to their Burroughs and safety!
They have a strict “no photos” policy during the penguin parade. Fortunately, we saw a penguin or two before it got dark who must have come ashore early!
Another weird side-note, public restrooms in Australia are strange…
To end the day, we hopped back in the van (after getting the penguin out from under it), and stopped at a pizza place on the way back to the hostel. Phillip Island is about an hour and a half from Melbourne, so it wasn’t a bad ride.
All in all, this trip was worth every penny of the $140 we paid, as seeing these awesome animals was the major highlight of the trip!
Next up: The risk of Traveling Standby: My disastrous trip home!