I told my tap class I was heading to Kennett River for a mini-break with the kids and one of my students mentioned there are lots of koalas in that area. I don't remember ever having seen a koala in the wild, and it has become one of my ambitions, along with seeing whales out to sea. Anyway, after farewelling Fixit (who had to stay home to fix up the new old motorbike) and setting off in the unaccustomed comfort and luxury of my Dad's car (kindly lent to us to smooth over Fixit's temporary loss of transport), and driving through Deans Marsh and Winchelsea (accompanied by a talking book of Coraline read by Dawn French, fantastic), and over the mountains (where Cherub was nearly carsick) to Lorne, followed by 30 minutes of driving torture along the steep, winding, spectacular Great Ocean Road (the worst part of the drive as far as I was concerned, I hate driving near cliff edges) we pulled up on the long steep gravelly driveway of the holiday house my step-mother had organised, and, as we stepped out of the car my uncle and father pointed to the tree above us and said See the koala?
He was the front-yard koala and he stayed there, visible from the family room window, all weekend.
Then as the boys ran around exploring and testing out the backyard play equipment...
...the call came up: Another koala, this one actually moving, climbing a tree. I have to tell you that there is something very cute about a koala's little round furry bum as it climbs up high.
Look at it! Isn't it adorable?
The next day I came across this little bundle, so relaxed in his proximity to human lifeforms that he'd climbed up a little sapling tree for a feed and was therefore almost at eye level.
Climber came over to try and feed him but the Lala wasn't interested in the proffered gum leaves and puffed himself up and flattened his ears if we got too close.
The next morning, two of the koalas were still visible and I took this video footage of the backyard koala.
Then we were graced by a visit from a magnificent kookaburra...
... who let me get much closer than I thought he would, but declined our offering of food.
And later that day, we heard excited shouting from the folk on the balcony: there were some whales passing by. Oh my goodness, all my wildlife ambitions realised in one weekend!
Well. When I say there were whales, what we actually saw were spouts of water being blown up every few minutes, and it really was a long way out to sea so capturing the action was a bit hit and miss. However if you look at a great big version of my picture here you can just see 2 spouts. If you can't be bothered doing that, just squint really hard near the arrow in the pic below and look for 2 white smudges. There! Whales!
We were also blessed with a very nice rainbow...
..and of course a fun play on the beach, though owing to the fact that I don't own a wetsuit, the boys were limited to jumping waves from the shallows, playing with the sandbank area where the Kennett River met the ocean..
...and jumping round some rockpools.
I don't think they really minded!
We headed back home after lunch on Saturday, and the boys and I agreed that we would highly recommend talking books as terrific travelling companions for long drives. We finished Coraline not long after passing through Lorne, so then we put on Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception. I don't like long-distance driving but talking books kept my mind really clear as I drove, kept the kids interested (and, more importantly, quiet!) and made the journey shorter. We would also highly recommend a visit to Kennett River for anyone hoping to see Australian wildlife!
The Cherub, demonstrating an alternative method of descending a staircase. Both kids did their own packing from a list I gave them; somehow Cherub missed the line that said shorts/pants.
For ANZAC Day this is so beautiful and tender
6 hours ago