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Seas the Day
#1 Posted : Saturday, February 03, 2018 7:45:15 PM

Posts: 4

My husband and I are on the March 19th departure for the Grand Australia and New Zealand trip. We land at 8AM and I understand the ride to the Langham Hotel in Melbourne is about an hour. We were wondering if getting our luggage, going through customs and riding back to the hotel would get us there by noon? We were thinking we would do a tour to Phillip Island to see the penguins and book a tour that leaves at 2PM. Anyone else on the March 19th departure??
Rmm6
#2 Posted : Saturday, February 03, 2018 9:05:40 PM

Posts: 44

The travel time to the hotel struck me as odd, so I checked Google and it said 19 minutes by car. I wouldn’t swear by it, but an hour sounds a little long.
AshvEd
#3 Posted : Sunday, February 04, 2018 8:31:57 AM

Posts: 440

It seems reasonable from a time standpoint to book a 2PM tour. We did this the day after we arrived and we were still trying to get over our jet lag. The Tauck GA&NZ trip is fantastic.
Seas the Day
#4 Posted : Sunday, February 04, 2018 7:16:15 PM

Posts: 4

Thank you for your response, I neglected to say we land at 8 AM on the 18th and our tour begins on the 19th at 5:30 PM. We are hoping to sleep well on the plane.( hope)?..
OP Traveler
#5 Posted : Monday, February 05, 2018 2:30:33 PM



Posts: 2

We were on the March 2017 trip and arrived in Melbourne the night before the tour began, so I can't address whether you can make it there, check in, etc., and still make the 2:00 tour. But the trip to Phillip Island to see the little penguins come ashore was definitely a highlight. We especially like seeing the wildlife on our trips so this was of interest to us and we really enjoyed this venue. We elected not to do the 2:00 tour which included a couple of stops for other attractions (although I am sure it was very good). We decided on a later tour which just went directly to the island and which also picked up from other hotels. The departure on our tour was around 5:00 during rush hour (the penguins don't come ashore until nightfall so we had plenty of time), but if you do that one be prepared for a fairly long bus ride to the island (it was much easier coming back). With the jet lag it can be a bit of a tiring day but we were so glad we did it. We got the "deluxe" tickets with reserved viewing. If you decide not to risk the 2:00 in case the plane is late, etc., you might think about the later one.
AshvEd
#6 Posted : Monday, February 05, 2018 2:47:41 PM

Posts: 440

By all means get reserved seating "on the sand" as it adds to the penguin experience. After seeing them come ashore for 10-15 minutes, go to the elevated walkways and watch them travel (penguin waddle) to their homes in the dunes.
mazalea
#7 Posted : Wednesday, March 07, 2018 5:56:43 PM



Posts: 89

OP Traveler wrote:
We were on the March 2017 trip and arrived in Melbourne the night before the tour began, so I can't address whether you can make it there, check in, etc., and still make the 2:00 tour. But the trip to Phillip Island to see the little penguins come ashore was definitely a highlight. We especially like seeing the wildlife on our trips so this was of interest to us and we really enjoyed this venue. We elected not to do the 2:00 tour which included a couple of stops for other attractions (although I am sure it was very good). We decided on a later tour which just went directly to the island and which also picked up from other hotels. The departure on our tour was around 5:00 during rush hour (the penguins don't come ashore until nightfall so we had plenty of time), but if you do that one be prepared for a fairly long bus ride to the island (it was much easier coming back). With the jet lag it can be a bit of a tiring day but we were so glad we did it. We got the "deluxe" tickets with reserved viewing. If you decide not to risk the 2:00 in case the plane is late, etc., you might think about the later one.



Can't agree more -- the Little Penguin van was the way to go. It is about 2 hours from Melbourne, and you'll be there before dusk. DEFINITELY book the extra experience with the Park Rangers - you will learn a lot ore and have better viewing. This excursion was a highlight of our tour ~ and that is saying a lot!
vbeachjan
#8 Posted : Saturday, March 31, 2018 9:30:48 AM

Posts: 18

It's probably too late for you, but for other travelers, the Penguin Tour did not get us back to the Langham until way after the time the welcome dinner is planned. We arrived three days ahead so that we could do it without time conflict. The welcome dinner is a nice evening and opportunity to get to know fellow tour guests.

I agree with other posters that it's worth it to be in the small group "on the sand" with the ranger. For the record, you are NOT actually sitting on the sand! There is a small set of bleachers that is closer to the beach, so maybe not ideal for someone that has major mobility problems, but you don't have to sit on the ground. You will be given ear pieces so that you can hear everything the ranger says. Delightful evening!
Ann H Shopoff
#9 Posted : Sunday, December 23, 2018 11:49:27 PM

Posts: 5

OP Traveler wrote:
We were on the March 2017 trip and arrived in Melbourne the night before the tour began, so I can't address whether you can make it there, check in, etc., and still make the 2:00 tour. But the trip to Phillip Island to see the little penguins come ashore was definitely a highlight. We especially like seeing the wildlife on our trips so this was of interest to us and we really enjoyed this venue. We elected not to do the 2:00 tour which included a couple of stops for other attractions (although I am sure it was very good). We decided on a later tour which just went directly to the island and which also picked up from other hotels. The departure on our tour was around 5:00 during rush hour (the penguins don't come ashore until nightfall so we had plenty of time), but if you do that one be prepared for a fairly long bus ride to the island (it was much easier coming back). With the jet lag it can be a bit of a tiring day but we were so glad we did it. We got the "deluxe" tickets with reserved viewing. If you decide not to risk the 2:00 in case the plane is late, etc., you might think about the later one.


I would like to know what company offered a later departure for the tour. I really would like to just go and see the penguins, but don't want to spend 8 hours riding around on a bus after having flown from the US and arriving early the same morning.
British
#10 Posted : Monday, December 24, 2018 5:45:42 AM

Posts: 3,018

There is so much to see in Melbourne that is not included on the tour, we never considered doing the penguin thing. We love wildlife but have seen penguins in so many locations on the planet, Galapagos, New Zealand, South Africa, etc that we see no need to go all that way to see penguins trotting to the sea. This is a long tour, from our experience, you really have to pace yourself to fully enjoy it. Jet lag does need time to get over for most people. Overdoing it before the tour, we have seen people run out of steam halfway through tours and then miss a day of activities that are included on the tour. I think we may have arrived two days early to Melbourne, l really can't remember, and there was still things we wish we had time to see in Melbourne. My advice would be that anyone who wants to see the penguins arrive a couple of days early so they have more time to do it.