Posted August 11th, 2012, 03:28 AM
Last edited by celle; August 11th, 2012 at 03:28 AM
I agree with previous posters that you will not have time ti head down to Phillip Island for the penguin parade. I also agree that Healesville is well worth a visit, though there are no up close encounters with wildlife other than the ibis wandering around.
Your best best would be at the Featherdale Wilflife Park in Sydney. I went on a full-day tour that also included a trip to the Blue Mountains. The tour picked us up before 7am at our hotel and we stopped in a valley and had breakfast with wild kangaroos. That was a land-based tour not a ship's shore excursion and I am sorry I have forgotten which tour did the tour. If you are looking for excursions, I would recommend checking out the ones that go to Featherdale, as there are many up-close-and-personal opportunities there.
And as for seeing Australian wildlife in the wild, I have lived here for a year and a half and have yet to seen any live wild-life other than magpies and sparrows! I have, however, seen more road-kill victim wombats than I care to count. The native animals are just not out and about in urban areas.
This is to second the suggestion to visit Featherdale. You can wander amongst the kangaroos there and they are used to being fed. It's not a large place and it is good for just wandering.
About 5 years ago, my sis-in-law, who lives in one of Sydney's western suburbs, found an echidna in her garden. No idea where it wandered in from, because there is no bush area near her house. She phoned Featherdale and someone from there came and took the echidna back to Featherdale. Apparently, it's still alive and well.
(Echidnas - sometimes known as spiny anteaters - along with platypus, are the only egg-laying mammals. The female lays her egg and then puts it in a pouch on her abdomen. The egg hatches in the female's pouch, where the young then suckles. Echidnas look a bit like long-nosed hedgehogs, only bigger.)
Really, only magpies and sparrows? No rainbow lorikeets, galahs, or sulphur-crested cockatoos? They all come into urban areas.
Troop ship, Alexandria to Southampton 1945, 7 days. River Nile paddle steamer, Sudan to Tanganyika & return, 1946, 1947.
MV Akaroa, Southampton to Auckland 1968, 48 days. Yangtse River Cruise 2005, 4 days. Nile cruise Luxor to Aswan 2008 - 4 days.
Holland America - 58 cruising days, 100 status days.
Celebrity - 70 days.
Royal Caribbean - 72 days.
"I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky. And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by." (John Masefield: "Sea Fever.")