Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Daytrip from Melbourne


Did you know that more than 80 percent of Australia’s plants, mammals, reptiles and frogs are found NOWHERE else in the world? 

I didn’t either until I moved to Australia and started learning more about this amazing island/country. According to Australia.com, the country has more than 378 mammal species, 828 bird species, 4,000 kinds of fish, 300 types of lizards, 140 snake species and about 50 types of marine mammals.

On our recent glamping trip to Phillip Island, we stopped at Moonlight Sanctuary, about an hour southeast of Melbourne to see some Aussie animals up-close. Besides our wallaby encounters in Tasmania, my husband hadn’t seen any other animals yet. Contrary to our American beliefs, kangaroos aren’t just hopping around everywhere, especially in the city!

This sanctuary serves as a conservation park on Mornington Peninsula where you can explore 10 hectacres of bushland, meet endangered species and hand-feed kangaroos and wallabies. I was excited because I love the adorable wallabies! I also was curious to see what new creatures we might see. Turns out, plenty of them!

Upon entering, we met a pretty pink cockatoo known as Major Mitchell. This fellow was quite chatty and reminded me of some girlfriends I know who can talk nonstop. I whistled and said hello repeatedly and he continued to mimic me verbatim!
Other birds we encountered (in order) were a black-winged stilt, superb green parrots, emus, Bush Stone-curlews, Cape Barren geese and too many species that I hadn’t even heard of!
The black-winged stilt is quite common on mainland Australia and prefers freshwater and saltwater marshes.
Superb green parrots call southeast Australia home and are considered a vulnerable status. An estimated 5,000 breeding pairs are left in the wild.
Emus also are native to Australia and can be found in savanna woodlands and forested areas.
Bush Stone-curlews have the most amazing eyelashes and apparently a shrill call “like a screaming woman.” This nocturnal, native species is considered rare in most regions and endangered in Victoria and New South Wales.
We saw many Cape Barren geese on Phillip Island, which they call home as well as other coastal parts in southeastern and southern Australia. They have a unique yellow-green bill and pinkish legs.
After being captivated by the colorful birds, we found the displays of roly-poly wombats, cuddly koalas, sunning lizards, the "terrifying" Tasmanian Devil and wild dingoes. 
The sanctuary holds animal talks at certain times so we got to see the dingoes up-close and learn more about this wild dog. Dingoes are common throughout mainland Australia and are descended from southeast Asia’s Grey Wolf. These sibling pups were quite cute and enjoyed a tasty snack of kangaroo meat while we watched them!
Of course, my favorite activity was being able to hand-feed the small wallabies and large kangaroos which roam the sanctuary. We bought two bags of animal feed at 2aud each with our tickets. My advice is to head to this section first to avoid the crowds of families.
Me and the lil wallaby
Hubby finally got to see and feed a kangaroo!
A mamma wallaby and her joey tucked inside her pouch!
Wallabies are a marsupial like kangaroos but are much, much smaller. The wallabies are a bit timid, so I planted myself literally on the ground and held out my hand so they would come to me.

Total cuteness!

There are several sanctuaries located in Victoria where you can see awesome Aussie animals like the ones we saw. Don’t miss out on your chance to hand-feed a cute wallaby too when you visit Australia!

Would you like to see a wallaby up-close?

My Traveling Joys

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2 comments:

Carrie @ Season It Already! said...

One of my favorite parts of Australia was the unique wildlife. Mornington Peninsula was lovely. Feeding kangaroos was a highlight of my entire trip!!! So glad you enjoyed.

Joy said...

@Carrie, It's been one of our favorites too, plus the beautiful landscapes aren't bad either! ;)

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