For some reason the V-Line trains and buses were free for a period of time until February 7, 2016. Not quite sure why, but I am not about to complain. Being thrifty backpackers that we are, we took full advantage of the free buses out to Phillip Island. Having read the Australia Backpackers group, and posting on the board, no one seemed very sure on how to get there using public transport. So the adventure began….
Our plan was to meet at 10 am, both Mia and I were ready and Callum meeting us shortly after around 10:30 am. The only knowledge we had of Phillip Island was that you can somehow get there by public transport, it takes 2 hours and there are seals & penguins.
Reaching Southern Cross station, we proceeded to the V-Line information desk. We find out that we have to take the Inverloch Melbourne coach services and must switch buses two times at Koo Wee Rup and Anderson. The first stop we barely waited as the second bus pulled in behind us, but the second stop was a bit longer of a wait. Looking at the time table, we noticed that the buses stop running after a certain point, so we needed to be cogniscent of our time. Finally, after 2 hours we reach Phillip Island’s Cowes stop. We were dropped off right at the free shuttle bus stop, which didn’t leave for a bit so we had time to decide on what we wanted to do since it was already quite late and we weren’t sure we would be able to do both the seals and the penguins.
Walking along the beach we made our decision, that we would go to the seals and then try walking to the penguins then get the shuttle to a certain stop were the buses began. Grabbing some snacks from ALDI, we jumped onto the free shuttle bus. The bus roughly took 20 minutes to get to the seal stop, with the bus driver providing some information. We also found out that the penguins don’t come out until later at night, so we probably wouldn’t see them.
At the The Nobbies stop, we didn’t see any seals, as they typically chill on Round island, where a boat tour drives past that. Instead we saw baby penguins in their box like homes, some interesting birds and a great view. After unsuccessfully seeing seals we decided to try our bet at seeing some penguins, so we began walking down a road. As we walk Callum spots a wallaby, within the bushes and we see some more baby penguins hidden within the bushes. After a while, it’s becoming evident that we aren’t going to make it in time to get the shuttle if we don’t pick up the pace.
Deciding to try out our luck, I stick out my thumb in an effort to hitch-hike and it worked! An older gentleman on his way to golf pulled over his truck, and we jumped in. He began telling us that this area once had cottage and homes built on it back when he lived there and they have knocked them all down. He was extremely nice and even dropped us back off at where we began. With some extra time to kill, we laid down at the beach.
There was enough passengers for the 5:51 pm bus back to Southern Cross, so the bus became an express bus and we made it back at around 7:30 pm.
I have no fear of losing my life – if I have to save a koala or a crocodile or a kangaroo or a snake, mate, I will save it. – Steve Irwin
Total Cost = $4 AUD
- Banana & Chips from ALDI $4 AUD