Los Angeles, California
October 21, 2009
Though this was my second visit to Australia, I was willing to admit that I knew little about this impressive continent. Because my husband was occupied for the day in a business meeting, I was free to explore on my own and eager to get to know western Australia. I hadn’t known that Western Australia is vast, making it Australia’s largest state, with a land area of more than 2.5 million square kilometers. The weather of the west coast of Australia is more temperate than that of the east coast, with little to no humidity, making it far more comfortable year round.
I loved the way Western Australia makes important information available to visitors at their well-constructed and extremely helpful website (linked above), and I found this site to be a valuable planning resource for my trip. It was through this site that I learned of the many touring options I had. I was directed to Rockingham Wild Encounters’ website to choose my excursion, and I went with Dolphins, Penguins & Sea Lions. The nice thing about this tour is that you see the dolphins in their natural habitat; swimming in the waters they love best, not cooped up in a large tank to perform on command. This was just as important to the tour operators as it was to me. Their tour guides are quite knowledgeable and will instruct and educate you along the way.
The second part of this delightful day was being ferried out to Penguin Island. There, visitors are greeted by what seems like thousands of gulls that inhabit this island sanctuary. Watch out, as they are very protective of their young chicks.
The island is also home to approximately 600 pairs of miniature penguins, the smallest in the world. The tour I took included watching them at feeding time and learning about them from their caregivers at the . We were given ample time to stroll along the island’s boardwalk and gain perspectives from different angles and perches on the island. You’ll also spot many pelicans that call this island home.
After a mid-day lunch, we were taken by ferry to Seal Island to view the Australian Sea Lions. These hefty, yet beautiful mammals are part of the Pinniped family and though tourists are not allowed on the island itself, the boat traverses the shore from many varying angles so you can get just the right perspective with your camera. With my zoom feature I was able to successfully photograph the resting males while they basked on the beach.
It was a beautiful and adventurous day that I’ll never forget. It isn’t often in our harried daily life that we get this close to nature and this tour gives one a chance to slow down and enjoy the beauty around us, if we just take the time to really appreciate it.
From journal Second Visit to Australia