Our second full day in Australia was filled with adventure, wildlife, and fun of course! We kicked off our afternoon with a city tour of Melbourne. Our bus driver John was kind enough to tell us a few fun facts about Melbourne and a little bit of Australian history. For example, Australia was the first country to allow women to stand for office. Did you know that?
Melbourne is easily the largest, most beautiful city that I have ever had the privilege of visiting. From its skyscrapers it's more intricately designed buildings, structures (such as the beautiful cathedral pictured below), Melbourne is absolutely breathtaking.
When you think of Australia, what is the first animal that comes to mind? Koalas of course! Today we had the opportunity to visit the Kola Conservation Center and navigate through trails surrounded by koalas high in the treetops. Conserving energy is very important to a koalas health- for this reason, the little guys spend most days snoozing in the tops of the tallest Eucalyptus trees. I can assure you that you have NEVER seen anything cuter than a sleeping Koala. Just look how adorable!
Our final destination of the day was to visit an animal that unlike the koala, probably doesn't come to mind when you think of Australian wildlife. We traveled to Phillip Island to watch the world famous penguin parade. Adult penguins travel out to sea each day to collect food for their chicks and only return at sunset when predators are no longer patrolling the beach. If you're lucky, when the sun goes down you will see flocks of Little Blue Penguins (the world's smallest penguin) making their way out of the water to the shore where they begin the trek to their nests. We walked down to the beach and took our seats front and center- and then the waiting began. We waited, and waited, and waited some more, when FINALLY we saw the first little black head emerged from the water. Shortly after, more penguins started coming. They surfaced in groups of four to seven, and before we knew it the shoreline was covered with these tiny, majestic creatures. We followed and watched the penguins as they marched up the beach and joined their babies in the nest. There are truly no words to describe the serenity of feeling the sand under your feet and witnessing such a beautiful work of nature. Unfortunately, due to the penguin's sensitive eyes, we were not permitted to take photos. With that said, if you want to experience this once in a lifetime experience, you'll just have study abroad Australia yourself! I can't wait to see what the remainder of our trip has in store!