Where to Explore in the Mornington Peninsula: Beaches and Animal Cuddles

Wednesday, 17 June 2015
Uuuuurrrrggggg...I had been doing SO well trying to avoid the nasty cold/flu/sinus bug that has been travelling around Melbourne like crazy. All my clients and colleagues had seemed to succumb to this beast while I sat on the sidelines guzzling zinc, vitamin D, and vitamin C like I was freaking Pac-man munching down on those dots. Alas, I finally became a victim of this virus. 

One of the biggest positives about this virus (minus the downtime to actually rest and MAYBE get some writing done) is that I've managed to avoid getting stuck with a massive migraine! If you've never had a migraine, count yourself lucky. Usually, when I'm sick, I get hit with one. It's just the way the cookie crumbles. 

Before getting sick, I was able to go on one little adventure that turned into a rather exciting day! Initially, I merely wanted to go to Rye Back Beach to try and find the Dragon's Head. Now, this is not a well-known site in Melbourne so I knew it wouldn't be the easiest of ventures. We did find the Dragon eventually! The only problem....the tide was up too high to get a good shot of it. Oh well...What we ended up stumbling upon entirely made up for it!

First, we decided to skip the easy path with stairs leading to the beach and take the trail less travelled...
After our bushwalk
Caution: unstable cliffside 
After making it through to unchartered territory (let's be real, people have gone this way before. I'm not Lewis & Clark), we were greeted with an awesome view of the ocean and coastline...
Trying not to fall over the side
We were even able to get a view of the Dragon's Head from up on top of the cliffside! I've managed to capture a relatively decent picture of the Dragon's Head from another trip to this beach. Be sure to check out my Instagram to see the difference! 
Zoomed in, "high quality" iPhone photo here...
We thought we'd give seeing the Dragon's Head from the beach another go but unfortunately, the weather quickly turned on us, and the tide was way too high to make it out to snap a good picture...

Clearly, we pissed off King Triton...
Fear not! Whilst on our dragon hunt, we got the brilliant idea to go to the koala sanctuary on Phillip Island to hold and cuddle some Koalas. I realise that Phillip Island is NOT that close to Rye. 

Related Post: The Great Sights of Melbourne

By some miracle, about 20 minutes into our drive, we stumbled upon Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park. Hooray for cuddly animals with a shorter drive time! *Sad footnote: it is ILLEGAL to hold a koala in the state of Victoria! If you're hoping to do so, try South Australia or Queensland.*
Scary Mr Emu is NOT impressed by this law
The sanctuary is very affordable and adding on the koala cuddle time was cheaper than a ticket to the Melbourne Zoo. We went during a holiday weekend, and there weren't very many people there. One of the staff members also said that they were "super busy" that day...there were all of 40 people there. So if you like animals but a smaller crowd, this is the place for you! Our first stop of the day was to see the dingos...

Can I take one home, please?
We had to be at the koala encounter at 2:30, so to take up some time, we saw the rest of the animals and then went to feed the wallabies and kangaroos. Keep in mind, the sanctuary is quite small. If you're taking the kiddos there or if you're going with your friends, try to make your animal encounters around the same time. Spreading them hours apart will leave you questioning why you did so. 

Mandatory Kangaroo Selfie
"Nom nom nom."
We finally got to "cuddle" the koala. My bucket list was halfway crossed off since I did not get to hold the koala. But they're so freaking cute and soft to pet, I'll forgive the state of Victoria for its unnecessarily dumb restrictive law.

My new friend Bluegum!
We finished off the day by going back to the wallaby's and kangaroo's to get rid of the rest of our feed. The great thing about the Moonlit Sanctuary is that it's tucked away down the Mornington Peninsula. Unlike the Melbourne Zoo or Healesville, it's normally super quite. This gives you optimal animal interactions. 

Related Post: 5 Overrated Sights in Melbourne

I must say it turned out to be quite a fun, relaxing, lovely day! Lying in bed, writing about these adventures, trying to recover from the mutant bug only makes me want to get out and explore some more! 

And until next time...
He's definitely not going to fit in my purse
Stay curious!


  1. Awesome! Thank you! And what awesome animal story also. What is the law on koalas? We are oblivious to that in the US. Glad you beat the devil migraine!

    1. In the state of Victoria, you are not legally allowed to hold the koalas. You can pet them though. Other states such as South Australia and Queensland do allow you to hold them!

  2. Get better soon so you can go on more awesome adventures!!!