It’s the most wonderful time of year…it’s PENGUIN SEASON! Just last week, I noticed my new friend at work (she doesn’t know we are friends yet) had a phrase about penguins on her Skype account. Despite having the always awkward-new-girl-status at my new job, I could not bare to hold in my excitement. Without hesitation, I hollered “OMG did you know I am obsessed with penguins?!” In that very moment, her response changed my life forever.
“Oh. have you heard of Penguin Island”, she calmly inquired. PENGUIN ISLAND?!!! I gasped, mouth wide open in awe. I immediately needed to learn more, my mind was racing with questions – “Where the fuck is this magical place? How have I not heard of it? Can humans populate there? What in God’s name do I have to do to get there?”.
I must admit, I felt uncomfortable and mildly ashamed that I didn’t know this place exists. I have been in love with penguins since circa 1990 after the release of “Pebble and the Penguin”, arguably one of Jim Belushi’s best films.
Home to nearly 1200 of the smallest species of penguins in the world, Penguin Island is conveniently located only 45 minutes south of Perth. Since I have always wanted to go to Australia, I could not resist adding this mysteriously wonderful location to my ever-evolving bucket list. Once called Fairy Penguins (which apparently was deemed derogatory to the species), Little Penguins have up to nine different calls for communicating amongst each other. OMFG CUTE!!!
Unlike the monogamous, loyal penguins in Pebble and the Penguin, Little Penguins are a less faithful, slutty breed. They do not mate for life and in fact, researchers from Phillip Island Nature Parks have recorded an annual divorce rate for little penguins of between 18 and 50%. Depressing isn’t it?
From a bit of research, it appears Rockingham Wild Encounters is the best option to take a tour of Penguin Island. To be honest, I don’t like tours and would rather be able to frolic alone, but understandably so that is not allowed. Based in Rockingham, this tour company also offers glass-bottom boat tours, cruises to see sea lions, snorkeling with dolphins and more.
I was put on this planet for one reason, to play hockey meet a penguin. Movie quote anyone? I know what you are thinking – and yes – Ping Ping has had a bath in the last year.
For now I’ll keep day dreaming of moving to Australia and becoming a writer. Oh sweet dreams. Have any of you been to Penguin Island? Have any of you met a penguin before?