As far as wildlife experiences go, Australia is known for having unusual wildlife, and Australian animals are unlike any found elsewhere in the world!
From kangaroos and koalas, to the platypus and Tasmanian devil, Australia has a huge range of wonderful wildlife and exotic species which provoke a sense of wonder and awe throughout the rest of the world.
But most tourists to Australia head straight for the big cities – and you’re unlikely to find a Kangaroo jumping down Bourke Street, or Penguins at Bondi Beach. So for those who want the chance to experience Australian wildlife, day trips are the best way to see them up close!
Phillip Island Wildlife Tour: Day Trip From Melbourne Booked via TripVerse
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Our Favorite Travel Planning App
For the past few years, one of our favorite travel apps has been TripVerse – we reviewed the app when it was released back in 2015, and ever since it’s held a central spot on the home screen of my phone.
It’s a travel planning app which allows you to create a personal, pocketable itinerary you can read offline – an easy way to compile your itinerary when you’re planning a trip, whether that be a short weekend city break, or an epic 4 month road trips. And it’s free.
Though with a growing community they’ve now integrated an activity booking service into the app. This means that when planning your trip, you can easily find things to do in your destination.
Whether you’re heading to Melbourne or looking for activities in Amsterdam, you can now add day trips and tours to your itinerary, booked directly from your phone (or desktop if you prefer to use their website).
The booking feature is on web and iOS only. Android coming soon. Download free on iTunes.
Since the activity booking service is a new feature of the app, I’ve reviewed the process below.
The Booking Process
TripVerse claims that with their new activity booking service you can find and book authentic things to do within minutes. They don’t lie.
Once you log in and create a new trip, you have the option to add an activity. It presents you with everything to do in your destination, under headings for sights, arts, outdoors, food and drink, shopping and nightlife.
These are all suggestions which you can easily add into your itinerary, but the newest feature is a tab for tours.
Booking My Tour
Using the tour tab for Melbourne, I found that there was a day tour out to Phillip Island called “Penguins, Kangaroos & Koalas Tour”. Perfect!
When you click on a tour, you’re given information like timing, price, what to expect, what’s included etc, and you can book it right there on the app / website. After you book it’s instantly added to your itinerary.
The booking process was straightforward – you hit reserve, choose a date, and fill in your payment information. Keep in mind that the cost is listed in USD.
It’s a secure payment portal which accepts credit card or PayPal, and once your booking is confirmed you’re sent an email with the tour voucher. I instantly received an email which advised that my booking was confirmed and I would have a voucher in 48 hours.
The great thing too, is that the tours they list are through only the most reputable providers. After I received my voucher I called the tour agency directly to confirm I was all set – they said yes.
The Tour Itself
With a complimentary pick up from my Melbourne hotel, I boarded the bus and enjoyed the view as we made our way. The first stop was Maru Koala & Animal Park for up close and personal encounters with koalas, kangaroos, Tasmanian Devils and much more!
We had an hour to walk through the park at our own leisure, hand feed Kangaroos, cuddle with koalas, and experience other native Australian wildlife like Tasmanian devils and emus.
And then for the main attraction – Phillip Island. While the main attraction here is the famous Penguin Parade, Phillip Island also features a stunning coastline with great surf conditions and a range of wildlife including the largest colony of fur seals in Australia.
It’s also the location of Victoria’s Motorcycle Grand Prix track, and our driver was more than happy to pull over allowing us to watch a couple of practice laps in session.
The Phillip Island Penguin Parade
So you think the koalas are cute – just wait until you see the Little Penguins. After visiting the information centre, we made our way down to Summerland Beach to witness penguin magic.
We take our place on the grand stands, and as the sun set, the wild Little Penguins emerged from the sea and waddled across the sand to their dune burrows. These Little Penguins are the smallest of the penguin species and Phillip Island is home to the largest colony in the world.
It’s easy to understand why this wonderful spectacle is one of Australia’s most popular wildlife attractions. To protect these Little Penguins, all revenue generated from the parade is invested into environment and education projects.
Unfortunately no photography or filming is permitted at the Penguin Parade after dark. Penguins have sensitive eyes and a bright, sudden flash or unusual light can frighten or disorientate a penguin.
To ensure penguins keep coming back to this special area they ask that you don’t use your cameras, camcorders or camera phones. Though they have an online gallery where you can download photos of the Penguins to share with friends and family (below).
At the end of the day, the bus dropped me back in front of my hotel, and I flew home the following morning (super cheap flights from Melbourne to Tasmania!).
This was an incredible day trip which I wouldn’t have known about if it wasn’t for TripVerse. The booking process was straight forward and easy, and the whole experience from choosing a tour to getting picked up was super smooth. So what are you waiting for?! Start planning your next trip today!
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