Melbourne & Phillip Island
Today plans comprised of 2 main attractions with very different focuses, the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Phillip Island.
After being out touring the Great Ocean Road for 14 hours yesterday I decided today was a good day to sleep in. After sleeping until well past 11. I woke up and caught a train to the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The question in your mind might be “why would an American would have interest in cricket,” or maybe you asked yourself “why does he want to see crickets on the ground;” neither are good questions. Lets start with the basics for those who don’t know. Firstly, cricket is the 2nd most popular sport in the world. Secondly, the Melbourne Cricket Ground is one of the most famous sporting venues in the world. And finally, Australia and New Zealand are currently hosting the Cricket World Cup with 14 countries competing to be world champions. So yeah, visiting the Melbourne Cricket Ground is a pretty big deal.
After touring the arena for about an hour and a half, I ventured underneath the complex to the National Sports Museum. The NSM hosts one of the largest collections of sporting memorabilia in the world. I only had 15 minutes to spend there but it was still very fascinating.
In the mid-afternoon I boarded The Little Penguin Bus to take me to Phillip Island. The Philip Island Nature Park is home to many of Australia’s native animals including wallabies and exotic birds but the real superstars of the island are the penguins. Every evening at sunset, hundreds of tiny penguins emerge from the ocean and make their way up the beach to their burrows. The penguins walk to within a few feet of custom build viewing platforms with no fear. The night I was there 456 penguins emerged from the ocean on their way home. It was truly incredible. Unfortunately, the nature park strongly prohibits photography as camera flashes could scare away the penguins forever. So no photos, but here is a video from a local TV program.