Left Devonport for Bicheno - Platty's and Echidas but no Penguines! :(
Jan 12, 2009
|Today we have made a little change to our itinery, we was going to drive to the West of the Island and check that out but we have decided to go back the way we came and stop at a place we missed called Bicheno that is famous for their Penguin tours which we were a bit gutted we missed in the first place so sounds like a plan right!
On the way there was a Platypus place and seeing as we have never seen one in the flesh we decided to check it out....we could have gone in to Seahorse World too which was next door but aparently they freak Ozzie out so we gave that one a miss!
The place was HUGE....which was why we were pretty surprised when the tour guide informed us that they have 5 Platypus and 3 Echidnas (which are the only relation to a Platypus FACT!)
Aaaaanyways, after a 15 minute DVD we started on our tour! they were in glass tanks so you couldn't really get too close to them, which is good really as we found out that the Male Platypus has poison in his spurs by his back feet which there is no anti venom for and can kill a man!
After this we went in to the Echinda room which was a bit more interactive as they were just waddling around the place! they are so cute, I am glad we got to see them up close as the one we saw the other day by the side of the road scuttled off a few seconds after he popped his head out of the grass for a photo!
So after the tour was over we carried on with our journey to Bicheno on the East coast where we were stayed at a really lovely friendly hostel called Bicheno Backpackers. The town itself was tiny with a few shops and a pub but the hostel really cosy feel to it.
We got our penguin tour tickets from reception (they were $18 dollars each) and basically you walk across the road to the meeting point at 9.45pm where you get taken to the beach and watch all the penguins which I was very excited about!
As we had a few hours to kill we had a bit of dinner (chilli and rice today!!) and played a few games of Dominos, then we got all wrapped up warm and left at 9.30 to walk over to the shop where you had to meet.
There was no one there which we though was a bit strange and the shop was shut....so we sat on the bench and waited, finally 5 minutes later the bus came back full with people returning from the 8.45 trip and for a second we though we may be the only people on the 9.45 trip...again which we thought was strange! but anyway we went to the bus and asked the driver if this was the 9.45 trip to which he informed us the time is 10.20, it left 40 minutes ago...........basically the clock in the hostel was wrong but seeing as I lost my watch a few days ago and my phone was out of battery we just assumed the clock was right! We can understand it being a few minutes out but what sort of clock is 40 minutes wrong! So basically we missed the trip :(
We went back to the hostel and there was only 1 man left up watching the telly, he told us that if we just walked down to the beach you can see the penguins walking across the road to the beach.....so off we went.....but it was pitch black (except for the pretty cool moonlight) and all we could hear was rustling in the bushes and noises which we guess were the penguins!
Never mind eh! there are lots of other places you can do it. Aparently New Zealand has loads of penguins!!
So we got back and went to bed!