Sunday, 2 October 2011

Time at mums in Melbourne.

Melbourne was freezing!!!

On the first morning we decided to brave the cold and go outside to the playground for breakfast at the IBLP conference centre Lilydale. We didn't have a table to sit at. It was so cold and fresh. But nice to be out in the fresh air. The kids ate and then had a play on the equipment. Before we headed inside to keep warm.

We decided to head to Lilydale Lake for a play before heading to Nannies :) The kids needed to run off some energy!!! And we were surprised by what we found - it was a wonderful place for families to play, walk, have a party or a catch up. It was wonderful and very well equipped.

The kids enjoyed a play on the massive playground before we took off for a walk around the lake. On our walk Damon discovered a sandy beach next to the lake with Cootes, Purple swamp Hens, Wood Ducks and Ibis. He was feeling very happy, snapping away at these birds.

We continued on our walk around the lake only getting half way because Avril would freak out each time we approached a dog on its' leash. She has a fear of cats and dogs!! So we turned around and returned to the playground.

Sunday was mums' induction into her new parish. It was great seeing her inducted and meeting the new parishioners. And lovely catching up with some old friends that we hadn't seen for years. It really seemed like a nice parish and a lovely area that she has moved into to. We pray that God blesses her ministry there.

Then monday arrived promising adventure as we travelled to Philips Island. It was a very easy trip out there and we had a day of activity planned. As we homeschool I had called ahead and organised a school entry with the 3 day pass costing in total $44 for the family with me free.

The 3 day pass entitled us entry into Koala Sanctuary Centre, Churchill Island Heritage Farm and the Penguin Parade (plus a trip out to Nobbies Centre). We also added an Eco tour - behind the scenes at the penguin parade. And a quick stop off at the Philip Island Chocolate Factory for a chocolate break :)

We stopped at the Information centre before we started our adventure and she adviced that Churchill farm activities don't start until 1pm so we should head to the Koalas first. So we did.

The Koala Conservation Centre was great. It was full of interactive information about the Koalas, that used different senses - a smell of eucalyptus, a feel of fur and a sound of their mating calls. It was good.

We then headed off on our Koala hunt. We headed down to the Koala walk and spotted many koalas, whilst reading interesting information about the koalas. Josef remembered Raymond Island and was excitedly pointing out his discoveries.

We then headed off on a boardwalk, discovering more koalas, a possum and many birds.

Then it was time for the bush walk. We didn't spot any koalas on this walk but we did spot some swamp wallabies, bull ants, termite mounds and Chestnut teals with their ducklings. It was a nice walk, beautiful :)

Our next stop off was the chocolate factory. I would love to have gone through this but there wasn't enough time in the day!! So we stopped to sample some of the chcolate and we were not disappointed :) They had an amazing display there made out of chocolate - penguins standing on white chocolate sand! The kids and I were really impressed.

Chocolate break over and we were off to Churchill Island.

Churchill Isalnd Heritage Farm had many activities organised for 1pm onwards. We started with a horse and carriage ride which was short but sweet. The kids enjoyed our short journey in the cart. We next visited the farm animals and took a walk before heading back to milk the cow, well watch her being milked (my kids chickened out! lol).

We then discovered their kitchen garden. It was full of delightful discoveries. We were quite excited to find a water pump attached to an iron sculpture of leaves. The kids delighted in pumping water and watching it trickle down the leaves.

We next explored the heritage homes, looking at furnitures and clothes from another era. This particularly interested the girls as Damon was off photographing nature. We particularly liked the sun dial as we had never read one before, but this one read exactly the time. The kids were excited using the sun to tell the time.

We then headed to the blacksmith to watch him make a horse shoe. We had to tackle the crowd as we were last arriving but the kids squeezed through and were able to watch.

Unfortunately it was time to leave, I would have loved to take one of their walks through the lavender and boomerang throwing but next time. It was getting late and we had to head to Nobbies to see the seals.

This was a very quick stop. We headed into Nobbies centre and we used their equipment to see the seal colony on the next island. I let the kids take photos of the seals, so we missed the large , up close colonies but thankfully they sold photos! :) We were panicing about the 5 minutes we had running out fast! It was timed equipment.

I forgot about the blow hole at Nobbies so we didn't take a walk!! So next time. There is so much to do at this Island that I think next time we should stay for the weekend.

We were all really excited to be heading to the Eco Tour, which I would highly recommend. Photos are not allowed at the parade but on the eco tour if there ae some penguins nesting in their boxes you are permitted to take photos :) Damon was delighted. It was great hearing all about the penguins and hearing tips on where to sit to see the most penguins. We also were lucky enough to see some nesting plus a swamp wallaby.

The ranger took our tour into the observation tower where they had a discovery box full of small animal skeletons, fish egg sacks and other interesting sea items. The kids enjoyed touching these. They also had some stuffed penguins that the kids could touch.

After the tour I headed up to buy some chips for tea and bought a blanket to keep us warm. I had lost my tickets and only had the invoice and was afraid if I left to get our coats then we would not be allowed back in! So we bought a nice pink blanket to keep us warm.

It was a long wait! Avril made the mistake of feeding one sea gull, as they all became aggressive and were trying to fly over and take our chips!! Avril was not happy! The kids then spent time playing in the sand and burying each other.

Then the penguins arrived!! They were so cute. I expected to see more but I wasn't disappointed, I came to see a penguin and I did that. It was fun getting up close as we took off up to the boardwalk to follow them to their nesting burrows. And Adele spotted a possum. It was an exciting night.

As the kids slept I drove back to Lilydale. We were all really tired but had a great adventure.

The rest of the time was spent with mum, resting and prespring for our drive home on wednesday.

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