Yesterday was my first full day in Melbourne. Katrine and Annemie had to get some t-shirts done near Belgrave, so we drove there first, before catching the train to central Melbourne at 3 PM. We had two things on our itinerary for the day; Queen Victoria Night Market, which was a lot of fun with live music and stalls with all kinds of Australian stuff, and going to see the fairy penguins at St. Kilda Beach, which was just too awesome to not be shared here on the blog!
St. Kilda Beach is a beautiful sandy beach located 6 kilometres from the centre of Melbourne. We took tram number 16 from Flinders Street, which got us there in no time. The beach is about 700 metres long and is best known for the St. Kilda Pier. Here, hundreds of people gather every evening shortler after sunset to watch fairy penguins return to their home in the rocks beneath the pier. This was something that we were recommended to see, but it isn’t guaranteed that you’ll get to see any penguins, so entry is free.
The fairy penguin is the smallest species of penguins in the world. In average, a fairy penguin grows to 33 cm in height and 43 cm. in length. They are only found in southern Australia and New Zealand, which made it an even more special thing to see. I love seeing native wildlife of every country that I go to!
Luckily, we got to see quite a few of the fairy penguins! Annemie and I spotted the first two under some rocks before even getting to the viewing spot. They were absolutely adorable! I wanted to cuddle them, but that wasn’t allowed. Instead, I took millions of pictures of them – without flash of course, as that hurts their eyes.
When we joined Katrine at the viewing spot, we first enjoyed some beautiful sunset colours over the city of Melbourne and with what must be one of the best views in the entire city, we watched as some of the fairy penguins returned home.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have the best spot, as the fairy penguins chose to show themselves further up, but I eventually moved and saw them up close once again. We also heard them talk in the rocks, although it sounded more like a heavy argument! It was amazing to watch them swim in under the water, coming up from the water and waddling towards the rocks, being their cute little selves.
We had a great time watching the fairy penguins and trying to get some good pictures of them, but when it got completely dark, we decided to walk back to the beach. The view over Melbourne from the pier was simply amazing – at all times of the day, but especially during the night. Melbourne is a very picturesque city that I can’t wait to explore more of the next two days!