[Worldtrippers home] [World Cruise home]

March 7, 2020
Phillip Island, Australia: Koalas (at last!)

Russell writes…

Phillip Island is a small (16 miles by 6 miles) island off the south coast of Australia. It is only 53 miles away from Geelong, our previous port. As far as we can tell, our ship left Geelong yesterday at 11:00 pm, sailed around in circles all night, then arrived at Phillip Island this morning at 8:00 am.

Gail was looking forward to today’s excursion of “Koala Conservation Centre Bushwalk,” which included a 7 km hike. She was extremely disappointed to find out that the hike was cancelled due to complaints of “too much walking” from a previous cruise. We didn’t find this out until we were already on the excursion. Oh well, at least our revised itinerary would include lunch. Um… not so fast. It turns out the guide was mistaken. We would have to pay for our own lunch.

Fortunately, what we did see was great. Our first stop was the Koala Conservation Centre, where we had a one-hour guided nature walk. Many fire-injured Koalas have been taken here for care. We didn’t get to see any of them, as they are not accessible to the public. We did get to see about a half-dozen of the local Koalas. They literally look like lumps of fur stashed up in the trees; they are pretty drugged up from all of that eucalyptus. Every now and then, we did get to see one stir.

The Koala Conservation Centre

The galah is a relative of the cockatoo

And here’s a cockatoo, playing “hide and seek” with us

Several wallabies were keeping a close eye on us

Koalas! (or lumps of fur in trees)

Here’s that last one waking up with a yawn. Isn’t she cute?

Some more alert Koala faces

To make amends for the cancelled bushwalk, the guides took us partway through the Oswin Roberts Reserve. Here, we walked on raised platforms through a wetland and bird sanctuary.

The Oswin Roberts Reserve

That’s our cruise ship anchored offshore

Phillip Island is well known for a sunset “parade” of fairy penguins that pop out of the water, march up the beach and pop down into their burrows. We had seen this many years ago, and we toyed with the idea of undertaking a second excursion this evening. After the morning’s adventure, though, we were pretty tired. Instead, we stayed aboard ship for the rest of the day.

This enabled us to hear a 5:00 pm shipwide announcement from Andy, our cruise director. In a recent update, we shared a new itinerary that has been posted on Regent’s website. Andy wanted to stress that nothing has been finalized yet. Here’s what he did share:

Note that this does track roughly with the revised itinerary on Regent’s website.

For us, everything is still good. When we travelled the world in 2001, 9/11 struck. We lost some of our destinations, including Egypt and Turkey. But what we gained – including several months in the south of France – more than made up for it. Two decades later, here we are travelling the world again, and coronavirus has struck. But we are on an adventure, and the key word is “adventure”!

[Worldtrippers home] [World Cruise home]