Phillips Island and Kangaroo Island

Old Feb 2nd, 2011, 02:47 PM
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Phillips Island and Kangaroo Island

Am going to Australia in 2 weeks and would like feedback on either of these places. I am going with a travel group and they are offering optional tours to these places and they ae farily expensive. Am wondering if they are worth visiting. Also understand Australia is failry expensive and welcome any hints/advice.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2011, 09:00 PM
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Hi, p_gill.

Where else are you going in Australia? The other places you visit could determine whether or not you need to visit these places. What would you be doing if you didn't go on these tours?
We enjoyed a day trip to Kangaroo Island some years ago, and to Phillip Island 20 years ago, so I really don't have uptodate experience from which to advise.
Enjoy your trip - Australia is an awesome place to visit and explore.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2011, 02:33 PM
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Beware of Philips island. We just got back in Jan. from Australia and spent a week in Melbourne and one week for the new year's celebration in Sydney. Melbourne is overrated. People there will constantly tell you how much better it is than sydney. Personally, I liked sydney so much better. While it was a great experience for my family to see the penguins come out at night and run up the beach by the thousands to their burrows, it is quite a tourist nightmare. It is packed with people. We made a mistake, renting a car and driving there ourselves. There is a lot of traffic getting in on this one narrow road so by the time you get there you are stressed. and then remember you have to get out which will be at least after 11pm, so you will be tired and have to slowly crawl off the island. I would recommend taking a bus tour. But I would highly recommend doing what we did which is get the private tour tickets. They are much more expensive but well worth it because you get front row seats in front of the thousands of people pushing and shoving just to get a good view and then you can visit certain private sections to see the penguins at their burrows up close. The personal guide was also very good. Please be prepared to wear warm clothing. We were there in the end of december and we froze. It gets really windy.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2011, 03:13 PM
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The one person I know who has been to Phillips Island is my sister who said that it's expensive, over-rated and, like mmandavis mentioned, a real tourist nightmare. Based on her description of the event, I never had any desire to go.

On the other hand, I have been to Kangaroo Island twice and really enjoyed it. Our first trip was just a one-day organized tour but it was an excellent overview of the island and we saw and did a lot in that one day. Our next visit, a number of years later, was a 3-day visit on our own where we did self-touring. It was great to spend a bit more time on the island.

But, as dotty's questions point out, it's hard to make a recommendation about KI for you without knowing what else you are doing on your tour and what your interests are.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2011, 08:11 PM
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If you are researching , please note that it's Phillip Island (not Phillip's)- and I agree it's generally over rated. Only go if you really want to see the penguins.

Disagree totally that Melbourne's over rated. It's a city you need to have read up on beforehand, and the official government tourism link is a very good place to start:

visitmelbourne.com.au
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 02:51 AM
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Phillip Island = Commercial tourism in all its glory. It is a very pretty island with great beaches and of course the penguins.

Kangaroo Island = ecotourism and much fewer crowds. The geology is great and the Remarkables are exactly that. On Kangaroo Island you will get to walk amoung sea lions on the beach within a few metres. If you have time to do the ravine de casoars walk you will see penguins. Kangaroo Island also has some good caves as well.

Kangaroo Island has more variety and things to offer that are different.
Phillip Island is pretty but not different to any other beach/coast area.

If you can get to Tasmania - Low Head, Penguin and Bicheno all have small group tours of penguins where you will get within arms reach of them.

As with the others where else are you going? Where have you been in other countries that would be similar?
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 05:07 PM
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Thanks everyone for your input.
It is an organized 17 day tour that includes Melbourne, Adelaide. Alice Springs, Uluru, Great Barrier Reef, Cape Tribulation, and of course Sydney. They are offering an optional Kangaroo Island trip for $300+ and after paying quite a bit for the whole trip am wondering if it is worth it. Phillip Island is not included and I was advised to sign up with a tour company and 'viator' was recommended. This was mentioned as the highlight of the trip and the march of the penguins quite amazing. Have been warned warned of the crowds, advised to pay the extra to get seating in the front, and informed will get back to Melbourne very late at night.
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Old Feb 5th, 2011, 01:09 AM
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I assume the two trips are not on at the same time so do both.

Think when will you be back again? What could you give up to make up the $300 dollars? cheaper meals? fewer souvenirs/shopping? living cheaper for a few months when you get home?

Do Both.
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Old Feb 5th, 2011, 12:30 PM
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I agree. Having been to and enjoyed both, I would recommend doing both trips if financially possible. Otherwise, certainly take a trip to Kangaroo Island where at least you can see penguins, as well as other wildlife.
If you don't think you can afford Phillip Island while in Melbourne how about a day trip to Healesville Sanctuary, also in Melbourne? We took our children (then 14 and 16) there in 1990, and they still talk about the sanctuary in glowing terms!
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Old Feb 5th, 2011, 01:52 PM
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Here is another alternative for penguins. I've not done it nor heard of anyone who has. http://www.penguinwaters.com.au/

There is another colony of penguins close to the city but I cannot remember where.
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Old Feb 8th, 2011, 09:38 PM
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AlanJG there is a colony of penguins at St Kilda -you can see them at night on the rocks.
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Old Feb 10th, 2011, 08:41 PM
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We did a trip to see the penguins at Philip Island. We loved it, it didn't take us to 11pm to leave, and we got there early so got great seats. We had no problems at all with traffic. This was in November.
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