The Philip Island Wildlife Park might be my favourite destination of all day trips around Melbourne. First time there we went there it was because the owner of the B&B we stayed at suggested it. Hadn’t we gotten that tip we probably never would have gone there, as the place doesn’t look very impressive from the outside. Once you turn into the parking, you’re still not very impressed, and I remember wondering the first time there and thinking what kind of place we were really going to. Don’t get fooled by the understated entrance though – I can promise you that it’ll be totally worth it.
Head on into the entrance and pay your entrance fee. The fee comes with entrance (well, duh!) as well as a feeding bag. Make sure you buy yourself a second feeding back, okay? I promise you, you’ll not regret it.
The Park has loads of different australian animals, over 100 of them all in all. There are loads of different birds, cutesy fat wombats, pelicans, sleeping animals like bats and koalas, growling tassie devils and a whole lot more. And sure, all of these animals are surely interesting enough, but they’re not the reason why I keep on coming back to this place.
Because what’s much more interesting than anything else is the countless kangaroos and wallabies that wander freely all over the 60 acre property. Remember that feeding bag you got with your entrance fee? This is where it comes in, as you’re free to feed and pet them all. I know! It’s all so cute that I can barely fathom it.
It’s a fair drive to Philip Island from Melbourne, so make sure you head on over there early enough. You’ll need at least a couple of hours in the park to take it all in (i.e. feed all the kangaroos + wallabies). Whenever I’m there I just skip all the other animals (I’m so sorry, I feel a bit bad, but I have to prioritise) and take a left once I’m through the entrance. After a few hundred meters or so, past the bats and dingoes, there’s a big lawn. If you take a left here and pass by the Tasmanian devils and go through the little gate that’s at the bottom end, you’ll encounter the softest kangaroos you’ve ever had the pleasure to hang out with. I’m serious. Feed them a bit and pet that back. It’s like clouds but in a fur version. Make sure you bring along a person that’s not afraid of big birds, as there’s emus lurking in this part of the park.
Go back to the lawn and head downhill and into the swamp. Don’t worry, you won’t get wet as there’s a nice path to talk on. The area is literally swamped with kangaroos and wallabies. There’ll always be a few hungry ones that’ll come jumping when they see or hear you have food. Watch out as there’s sometimes some hungry swans and geese that are not as cuddly but just as hungry.
If you haven’t had enough cuteness for a day, you can always head over to the Penguin Parade afterwards. Sure, you’re not allowed to feed or cuddle them (or even take pictures) but it’s totally worth it. It can get quite cold at the beach, so make sure you layer up so you don’t freeze, even in the summer months. I learned this the hard way.
- 1309_Philip-Island-Wildlife-Park-15 Kangaroo feeding at Philip Island Wildlife Park
Philip Island Wildlife Park
2115 Phillip Island Road,
Cowes, VIC 3922.
(03) 59 522 038