Excellence city tour in the morning. The afternoon trip was also excellent, the Penguin parade is one of the most beautiful experiences we have had. It was great to have wifi on the bus
This is a once in a lifetime experience and is fantastic. We paid for the private penguin parade and it was clearly far better than the standard or penguin plus packages (although they would have been very enjoyable too). The private parade gives you a guide ranger who tells you all about the penguins and can answer any questions you throw at them and you also get front row seats and binoculars to use. Well worth the extra money!
We did the Great Ocean Road tour on September 18. It is a long day but you are rewarded with amazing scenery along the way. We didn't have the best weather but the trip was fantastic. The stops are fairly short and you will be kept on a fairly tight schedule. The 12 Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge are not to be missed. We did Phillips Island on September 19 and paid for the Penguin Private tour. At Moonlit Sanctuary, pay a little extra to get food for the kangaroos and to cuddle the koalas. I would have preferred skipping the Churchill Farm portion in exchange for more time at the Nobbies and the Penguin Parade. I grew up on a farm so it was not that exciting for me. Since we were doing the private penguin tour, we had to eat dinner at the Nobbies, which left us no time to look around. Also, we were very rushed at the Penguins and did not have time to look in the gift shop. As part of the Penguin Private, we were taken over to the Penguin Plus area. I would say that this is where you get more bang for your buck. Most of the penguins come up this way and there were way more seen here than where we sat front row on the beach. It is another long day. We had the best tour guide/driver, Steve so if you manage to have him, you are in luck! We did all three of the attractions in one day, the Aquarium, Eureka Skydeck and the Old Melbourne Gaol. The Aquarium was just renovated and they have done a great job. The Skydeck is very cool and the view is worth the trip. The Old Melbourne Gaol is very interesting and the Watchhouse Experience was fun. We packed a lot into 3 days but it was worth every penny.
An awesome tour with a great tour guide. The tour was full of interesting and diverse visits and the penguin parade was fantastic.
Opted for the hotel pick up, which was right on time. Interesting narrative on the ride to the penguins and and very enjoyable and relaxing tour!
The whole day was great right from the pickup from our hotel until we were dropped off at the end of the trip back at our hotel. The places we went to before the penguin parade we liked, my wife liked the chocolate factory the best after the penguins and I liked the winery the best after the penguins. We took the full penguin package and it was worth it, the guide was very good. Our tour was with Go West and the driver was very good. Would go and another tour again with this company.
The tour started with a visit to Maru koala and animal park it was quite small but gave us the chance to see up close the Koalas and Kangaroos as you could walk amongst them and see up close the baby joeys in their mothers pouch! Then it was off to Philip Island, our driver and guide was fantastic and gave us lots of informative information .We paid for the Penguin plus so we were sat in a smaller area and a great position to see the penguins emerge from the sea as it was a high tide there was not much beach exposed so as their heads appeared over the waves they made their way home, after a while we moved to the walk ways as recommended by our guide where it was fantastic to see them waddle up at the side of us. It was quite cool so you need to wear a few layers! We also got a lovely souvenir guide book and a free hot drink for being it that area. On the way back we stopped in Cowes for a meal before the drive home which the driver thoughtfully played us a DVD to kill the 1 hour 45 journey. A great day out!
The Penguins Parade is a "Must" tour if you visit Melbourne. The littel blue penguins are so cute and you won't see anything like this anywhere else. Dinner afterwards in Cowes was good but kind of rush for dinning in a restaurant.
The start at Maru Koala and Animal Park was great. I paid extra for the Koala encounter with photo - he was so soft and furry! From there, I tried to feed the wallabies and kangaroos but they were pretty full from all the other tourists. I paid for the Ultimate Penguin option and had to be dropped off by 5pm to be ready for my Ranger tour guide so I missed the Nobbies. We got binoculars, a headset, and a seat for sitting on the beach -- we were the closest ones to the beach with no one in front of us. From there, we went over where the Penguin+ folks watched the penguins come off the beach through another path. Our Ranger tour guide was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Dinner afterwards in Cowes was good too -- I had the Kangaroo fillet at the Italian restaurant. Kangaroo has a strong taste as does venison and lamb and I enjoyed it. I did a variation of this tour back in 2004/2005 and took it again as where else can you see the penguins come home from eating fish all day heading to their burrows to rest.
Katie was great tour guide. Lots of local tid bits. The day was terrific and the upgrade for the penguins was worth the extra $ to have them walk by me within touching distance.
Fantastic day. The penguins are so cute that it's hard to remember that this is a flight for their lives. The centre is very informative and it was worth the upgrade to the more personal experience with a Ranger. The Koala centre was great too but nothing could beat the penguins. Our driver, Shirley, was outstanding.
One of the highlights of our 2-week trip to Australia!
This is not-to-be-missed experience. The animal park was a great experience and we had plenty of time to pet the Kangaroos. You can not pet the Koalas here, and we learned that in most places in Australia you are not allowed to carry them or pet them (apparently in the parks around Cairns you can). To be able to have photographs taken with a Koala you must pay a small adiitional fee for the photo that they take and sell you, but they allow you then to take as many photos as you want with your camera.
For Phillips Island we chose the VIP package with viewing from the Ranger's platform and it was worth it. It was an unforgettable experience to watch the penguins coming out of the ocean.
The only negative about this tour is that they don't allow any type of photography at the Penguin Sanctuary.
It was a wonderful day trip to Phillip Island. On the way visited Maru Wildlife where could go close to Kangaroos. Penguin Parade really worth watching. Only sad part was that photography was prohibited. Coach driver was friendly and commentary was jovial. All in all an enjoyable day tour.
The trips were fantastic; our guide Kyle for Great Ocean Road was brilliant, v knowledgeable and funny and loved the soundtrack he supplied for the day too. We were lucky enough to have Lisa on the bus with us that day too – so sweet and she helped make it fun! Lots of other lone travellers on this tour so a great one for those travelling alone. The Great Ocean Road is every bit as spectacular as you would imagine and I can't wait to get back and explore in more detail.
Highlights of the Phillip Island day were definitely feeding kangaroos and wallabies, they are so cute. We also got to do a tree top walk at a Koala Conservation area so a great photo opportunity to get fairly close to the sleepy bears! Phillip Island was amazing and well worth paying the extra money to get front seats for the penguins. You also get a very knowledgeable ranger who entertains you with interesting penguin facts while you wait for them to show up. The penguins are just adorable – so cute and all huddle together and wait for each other. Do wrap up warm though. Also had another great tour guide driving the bus, Bronwyn – passionate about conservation and wildlife and really added to the whole experience.
Melbourne Attraction pass was good value but the Aquarium was undergoing renovation so felt very small.
I would definitely recommend these tours to everyone I know.
Tour guide lovely and from the island. Her love of island contagious. She was engaging. Penguins were the best. And the Koalas... the chocolate factory and winery so so...also need to find better places to eat...
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