Monday, 29 May 2017

The Jim Thompson House, Bangkok

James H.W. Thompson, an American entrepreneur was the founder of the world renowned Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company. He was awarded for his contribution to the development of the Thai Silk industry. He bought this land by Klong (canal) Maha Nag and just across from the weaving village of Ban Krua. The Jim Thompson house and outbuildings were re-constructed from six separate old houses that were brought from various parts of the country to the present location.

Reviews from tripadvisor 2017: Demo on spinning the silk and a tour of the house quite interesting. Very authentic experience of visiting a Thai home and learning historical importance of silk trading. Commercialized but enjoyable. Just a few min walk from the train station. The lush courtyard surroundings and pools generated a tranquil atmosphere and the restaurant also is worth visiting. Tasty meal, fast, polite service. So far the gift shop is one of the only places that has inspired me to purchase some of their quality goods.
Jim Thompson Thai House and Museum

Interior of the Jim Thompson Thai House
The garden

Restaurant by the canal

Silk weaving demo


The Jim Thompson House, Bangkok
Add: 6 Soi Kasemsan 2, Rama 1 Road, Bangkok | Tel: (662) 216-7368
Opening Hours: 9 am to 6 pm everyday with the last Guided Tour (compulsory) at 6 pm
Admission : Adult 150 baht; Students (under 22 years old) 100 baht
Lunch: 11 AM - 5 PM 
Dinner: 6 PM - 10 PM

By BTS Skytrain: National Stadium Station (Jim Thompson House is just opposite)- Take exit 1, turn right into Soi Kasemsan 2 and continue walking all the way to the very end. The museum will be on your left.

Floor plan and map from BTS Station

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Attractions in Bangkok, Thailand (with Kids)

Direct flight from KL to Bangkok takes about 2hours and 10minutes. There are two International Airports in Bangkok; Suvarnabhumi (BKK) and Don Mueang (DMK) which is an airport for low cost carriers. 

Taxi fare from Don Mueang International Airport to Sukhumvit costs around 350/400baht. Sukhumvit is a popular tourist street which spans 18km long, it even leads to Cambodia. There are shopping malls, plenty of food choices, and interesting nightlife in Sukhumvit. Weather is tropical hot, the coldest in Jan/Dec at 21-31°C.

This giant aquarium is a great thing to do in Bangkok with kids. Located in the Siam Paragon Shopping Centre (same building as KidZania). Explore SEA LIFE Map. Watch first-hand the feeding of sharks, otters and penguins and get the opportunity to feed freshwater fish from the Feeding Pier in the Rainforest. Walk over a glass and marvel at the sharks at Shark Walk. The gigantic 8-metre-high aquarium at Tropical Ocean gives you a panoramic view of astoundingly beautiful coral and fish species.

TripAdvisor comments 2017: A great place to spend time with your kids, especially if you would like to escape the heat outside. They do shows every half hour so make sure u take the pamphlet from reception and decide which show u would like to attend as its quite big inside and navigating to the right spot will be tough. We saw the Mermaid and penguins shows which were very good. Can get crowded around the shows. Underwater and glass walk over water. It's a bit pricey. favorite was the multi-colored jellyfish tanks and shark area. Boat rides with glass bottom (extra cost).

Shows: Otter feeding (Tropical Rainforest): 11am and 3pm | Jackass Penguin Feeding (Rocky Shore): 11.30am and 3.30pm | Fresh Water Fish Feeding (Tropical Rainforest): 12 and 4pm | Diver's Communication (Tropical Ocean): 12, 2 and 3pm | Gentoo Penguin Feeding (Penguin Ice Adventure): 12.30 and 4.30pm | Shark Feeding Show: 1 and 4pm | Eagle Ray Feeding (Ocean Tunnel): 1.30 and 4.30 pm.
Other Experiences (with additional fee)

Ocean Tunnel (photo from Klook)
Shark Walk
Fresh Water Fish Feeding (Tropical Rainforest): 12 and 4pm
Diver's Communication (Tropical Ocean): 12, 2 and 3pm
Gentoo Penguin Feeding (Penguin Ice Adventure): 12.30 and 4.30pm
Shark Feeding Show: 1 and 4pm

Add: (Basement Floor) Siam Paragon Shopping Centre, 991 Rama 1 Rd, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Opening Hours: 10:00 am. - 9:00 pm. daily (you need at least 90min to explore the attractions).
Take Exit 5 from the BTS Siam Station, which provides direct access to Siam Paragon.
Ticket (foreigner): Free (children under 3) | Adult (฿): original: 990 | purchase online 10% discount: 890 | weekdays: 745 | after 5pm: 645
Book from ฿550

2. Children's Discovery Museum
Some of the Zones in the two buildings:
Rainbow Building
Big Backyard, ground floor (1-2): Play creative games.
Creative Library (7-12, ground floor): Read books and play creative games.
Rainbow Town (3-6, first floor): Mini-sized vehicles. Play the role of people in various jobs.
Outdoor Activity Zone: Water Play (so bring extra clothes), Jungle Adventure and Nature Playground.

Thor Tawan Building (3 floors)
Ground Floor:- Dino Detective Zone: Learn about dinosaurs and their mysterious extinction with displays. Dig fossils in the sand.
Creative Science room: Learn about sound, classical mechanics, energy, movement, wind. Create your own giant bubble from inside. Tunnel of mirrors to create illusions.
Junior Thai Kitchen: Learn how to cook with the help of museum staff.
First floor:- Our Friends: Learn about the cultures, languages and try on traditional costumes of different countries through an augmented reality technique.
Incredible Me Zone: Learn about the anatomy of the human and animal body.
Second floor:-  Kid’s Playhouse, Wonder Buildings and Build Our City zones.

Reviews from TripAdvisor 2017: The younger two had a blast! Some exhibits not working but there was still so much to see and do. Staff in every section -strict about enforcing rules and supervise so it is safe. Really stupid that the cool stuff is only for 7 years and older. Outdoor playground is shaded, waterplay (at specific time of the day) and the sandbox have no shade at all. Well maintained. It doesn't really offer anything that you couldn't create at home. Rainbow room has several sections such as Vet corner, space station etc with plenty of props for kids to dress up and let their imagination run wild. Weekday large group of students made it impossible to dig dino bones.

BTS Skytrain Mo Chit Station or Chatuchak park MRT Station
Add: Soi 4, Kamphaeng Phet Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok | Tel: +66 (0)2 246 6144
Entrance: Free
Opening Hours: Daily 10am - 4pm (except Monday)
Water Play: 10am-11.30am | 1.30pm-2.30pm | 3pm-4pm

Moving dino heads displays, Build our City Zone, Rainbow Town (Role play of different jobs).
Dino Detective Zone. Try to dig for dino bones in the sand.
Children's Discovery Museum, outdoor playground, Water Play, covered by a big bubble (Creative Science Room) and map
Photos from tripadvisor, google,,

3. Safari World
Safari World is 40km from Bangkok. Everyone loves the giraffes feeding, coach/ car tour to see the animals like tiger, lions, giraffes upclose, dolphin show. There are 2 parks:
  • Safari Park: It is a drive-thru park where you can experience close encounter with animals, stretching 8km, 45min, with Lion and tiger Feeding Show
  • Marine Park: Jungle Cruise, White Tiger Show, Hollywood Cowboy Stunt Show, Dolphin Show, Bird Show, Orangutan Boxing Show, Polar Bears, you get to feed the giraffes
Tour from Bangkok (hotels2thailand): Safari + Marine Park + buffet lunch + round trip at around 957 baht per pax.
Klook price: 550 baht (Safari Park). 650 (Marine Park). 800 baht (Safari + Marine)

REVIEWS: | May 2015
We hired a metered taxi to bring us from the hotel to Safari World. The ride including the driving tour inside the park, cost us 425 Baht. Well, that is only the price we had to pay on the meter. If you cannot get a metered taxi, the usual full-day hire would be 1500 baht. Your driver will wait for you to be done with the Safari and Marine Park before sending you back. Do note that there are admission tickets to visit the parks as well. The animals were free to roam about and we had close proximity to them from our windows! Even the tigers weren't caged up but warning signs were erected to remind you to keep your windows closed. Until today, 3 weeks after the trip, Ewan vividly recounts his experience at the Safari.

4. Art in Paradise Bangkok (Trickeye 3D Museum)
The paintings on the wall and floor are meant to trick your eyes or give the illusion that they are 3D. Really impressive artwork, and overwhelming to see so many intricate scenes in several large rooms. Markers with arrows placed on the floor to indicate the best angle, and you’ll find photos taken by previous visitors to help you understand which pose works best. Don't go alone. Get the silliest, most realistic photos and have fun together. It will grow on you.

Opening Hours: 10am - 10pm (Ticket Booth closes at 9pm)
Add: Esplanade Shopping Mall, 4th floor, Ratchadapisek Road, Din Daeng, Bangkok, 10400
Entrance: 300 baht for adults, 200 for children
Book from Klook: 160baht.

TripAdvisor reviews 2017: Awesome experience for the young and old with great opportunities for photos with the amazing artwork, so don't come alone. Very inexpensive way to spend a few hours and loads of fun. The mall was far from where we stayed but had a huge market behind it and was worth the trip. You have to take your shoes off before you enter.

5. Samphran Elephant Ground & Zoo
Location: Samphran District, Nakhon Pathom province. It is about 45min drive (30km) from Bangkok.

(with dramatic sounds and narration) Elephants perform dances, play soccer, and fight battles like the “Yutha Hathi.” Yutha Hathi is a great historical royal battle scene which the elephants are utilized during the fight. The master crocodile catcher performs breath-taking stunts with the crocodiles in the crocodile show. Visitors can also check out the tropical garden and waterfalls on the elephant’s back (additional fee). Take photos with a twin tiger 'Lift & Oil', or sample Continental cuisine and halal at the Erawan Buffet Restaurant.


TripAdvisor Reviews 2017: Magic show good and simple. Elephants show their tricks, About 20-30 min show, was boring in the beginning (lengthy narrations), second part more interesting. Crocodile show: The performers grab the crocodiles' tails and jerk them around. Audience give baht bills which the performers throw into a crocodile's mouth, then retrieve the money. Felt bad for the way elephants and crocodiles are treated. Entry fees 600 THB per person, too expensive 6x more compared to locals. 

Open daily from 8.30am - 5.30pm.
Entrance fee: 600 baht/ person
Elephant rides: 600 baht/ person
Day trip from Bangkok: 950 baht/ person which include entrance fee, transport (hotel pickup/ drop-off), English speaking guide.

SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World Map:


Tuesday, 9 May 2017

List of Attractions in the World and Flight Hours from KL

These are Direct flight hours in general, unless stated below and they vary from airline to airline - from Kuala Lumpur International Airports (KLIA1 or 2) to other cities in the world. Mostly according to hours of traveling on MAS and Air Asia.

Tokyo Sea Life Park

Singapore - 1h.
Cloud Forest Waterfall, The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger's) wax figure, yummy Soya Sauce Chicken Noodle at Hawker Chan

  • Cable Car -360-Degree Views of Sentosa Island and the Singapore Harbour. (free entrance to Cable Car Museum and Sentosa). RM64 ($20) from govoyagin: both Sentosa and Mount Faber Line (two-way), access to Sentosa and Cable Car Museum (Sentosa Station). 
  • Sentosa - go to Sentosa by Boardwalk ($1),  Sentosa Express Monorail ($4) or Cable Car. Beaches, Universal Studios Singapore (USS), Madame Tussauds, Adventure Cove Water park, S.E.A Aquarium, Skyline Luge (non-motorised, three-wheel carrier that goes down a steep hill), Merlion, casino, Crane Dance (water effects and LED light-free), Fort Siloso & Skywalk. Tiger Sky Tower.
  • Gardens by the Bay: (23°C - 25°C) Flower Dome Conservatory -glass greenhouse with display of flowers and plants from the Mediterranean  regions. The Cloud Forest Conservatory - plant life from tropical highlands with 35-metre-tall mountain, and the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. Take the lift to the top of the mountaintop and then take a stroll along a walkway for an aerial view of the cloud forest and lush vegetation. Supertree Grove - tree-like structures vertical gardens are designed with large canopies that provide shade in the day and display of light and sound at night.  Klook discount price: RM69/ S$22. OCBC Skyway: $8.     
  • Images of Singapore LIVE, Boat Ride and Madame Tussauds Singapore - Mix of live actors and special effects in short skit and role-playing, journey to uncover Singapore's story from a fishing village to 21st century powerhouse. Followed by a 3 min boat ride to enter Madame Tussauds - Museum with display of life-size wax sculptures of celebrities, politicians, sports icons, etc. Klook price: S$21 (RM66)
Holidays in Bali - Jimbaran, food and Kintamani
  • Bali, (DPS, Denpasar) Indonesia - 3h. Hot weather! Kuta Beach- popular tourist spot, beach resorts, shopping, 4km from airport (IDR70k). Jimbaran seafood dining on the beach - great atmosphere, sunset, many restaurants, check reviews before going. Kintamani - mountains of Bali, low:20C, 80km (2.5h) from Kuta. Sukawati Art Market, Ubud - shopping (local arts, crafts). Tanah Lot Temple - on a rock formation. Food: babi guling, crispy duck (bebek), sate lilit, fresh fruit juice is nice and cheap.
  • Padang, Sumatra (PDG, Padang Minangkabau) - 1h. Lake Maninjau (86km 2h 30m from Padang Minangkabau International Airport) -volcanic crater lake 38km west of Bukittinggi. 461m above sea level, cool and pleasant. Mentawai Islands (4 main islands) - blue water, very beautiful, beach activities, surfing, trek the rainforest, explore aboriginal culture on Siberut Island, travel from Dermaga Muara (40m from airport) by Mentawai Fast Boat Service takes 3 hours.
  • Jakarta (CGK, Soekarno-Hatta International Airport) - 2h
  • Palembang 1h 45m
Thailand. Food: tom yam (sour spicy soup), mango sticky rice, green curry, pad thai (fried noodle).
  • Bangkok, Thailand - 2h 10m. Mostly hot days, Dec/Jan:21C-31C. International Airports-Suvarnabhumi (BKK) and Don Mueang (DMK-low cost). DMK to Sukhumvit - 350baht. Sukhumvit -18km long street, shopping malls, food, nightlife. Chatuchak Weekend Market - biggest outdoor market on earth. Khlong (canal) Tour - long tail boat ride to see houses on stilts (Chao Phraya River). Grand Palace - big site, halls, Wat Phra Kaeo temple in the palace. Asiatique The Riverfront - expensive night market, free big boat shuttle (long queue), 4 large shopping complexes, ferris wheel. Wat Pho Reclining Buddha - huge buddha. Songkran Festival - 13-15Apr, water fight. Taling Chan Floating Market - buy food from the boats. Khao San Road - backpacker strip, market stalls, cheap massages. Lumpini Park - playground, boats, greenery. MBK Center - shopping center, great food court. Bangkok with kids - SEA LIFE Ocean World, Children's Discovery Museum, Safari World (drive-through Zoo), Art in Paradise (TrickEye), Samphran Elephant Ground & Zoo. The Jim Thompson House - Silk demo and museum.
  • Chiang Mai - 2h 45m. Cooler in Nov-Feb (12-30C). Night Safari- tour via an open-sided tram or on foot. feeding, petting, laser light show, dancing fountain, cabaret, tiger, night predators show, Children World. Maesa Elephant Camp - entry & elephant shows (bathing, painting, feeding, commands) (200B), elephant rides.
  • Hat Yai - 1h 15m
  • Phuket, Thailand - 1h 20m
  • Boracay Island - Option 1: KLIA2 (AirAsia) to Kalibo Airport (4h), bus ride (90m) to Caticlan Jetty Port, boat ride (15m) to Cagban Port, Boracay Island. Option 2: KL to Manila (4h), local flight to Caticlan-Godofredo P. Ramos Airport (1h), 5m ride to Caticlan Port, 15m boat ride. Top 10 best beaches in the world. 
  • Manila - 4h
  • Hanoi (HAN) - 3h 10m
  • Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) - 2h
  • Siem Reap  (REP) - 2h
  • Phnom Penh (PNH) - 1h 55m
  • Tokyo, Japan (NRT, Narita or HND, Haneda) - 6h 40m
  • Osaka, Japan - 6h 20m
South Korea - Food: Samgye-tang(ginseng chicken soup), kimchi(spicy pickled cabbage), Tteokbokki(rice cake in orange-color sauce), bibimbap(rice+vege+egg+meat), Bulgogi(sweet meat), Bingsu(shaved ice dessert)

Seoul - Dongdaemun Design Plaza LED Rose Garden, Ginseng chicken soup with side dishes (the staple Kimchi) and a glass of Cass beer, Gyeongbokgung
Seoul - 6h 20m. Incheon International Airport (ICN) to Myeongdong (KRW65,000,45m, 60km by taxi). Gyeongbokgung Palace- huge, grand, beautiful. Bukchon Hanok Village-traditional houses, pathway. Myeong-dong - night market, popular tourist spot, shopping district, accommodations. Seoul Tower (Namsam Tower) - 240m top of mountain, cable car. Insadong District- arts, crafts, museums, cafes. Ewha Women’s University - shopping (targets students, so items can be cheaper), first women uni. World Cup Park- Haneul Sky Park-climb zig zag (291 steps) stairs up the hill, golden tall Eulalia in October. Jeju Island (1h flight fr Seoul) - volcanic landscape, lava tubes, Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak (crater view, 30m to walk up the steps), canola flowers in spring. Nami Island - 63km (1h) from Seoul, tree lined roads, Drama Winter Sonata was shot there, 5m ferry ride to the island.
  • Busan - 6h 15m
  • Beijing (PEK, Beijing Capital) - 6h 20m. Airport to Wangfujing Street (100RMB by taxi, 30km). Wangfujing Street-central point, shopping, Night market(north entrance). Forbidden City (Imperial Palace)- edge of Tiananmen Square, intriguing details of a massive palace, now a museum. Tiananmen Square- Gate of Heavenly Peace (portrait of Chairman Mao), National Museum, The Great Hall of the People, Chairman Mao's Mausoleum (Mao Zedong's embalmed corpse for public viewing). Great Wall of China- hike up this super long fortifications (about RMB400 taxi ride from Wangfujing), Badaling (RMB35/40) and Mutianyu (RMB45), two most visited Great Wall sections. Badaling is grander, better preserved, easier to reach by public transport but overcrowded on holidays. 
  • Shanghai (PVG, Pudong) - 5h 20m 
  • Shenzhen (SZX, Bao'an) - 4h
  • Adelaide (ADL) - 7h 10m 
  • Gold Coast, Queensland (OOL, Coolangatta) -  8h. Coolangatta airport to Surfers' Paradise (20km,taxi:AUD60). Surfers Paradise - major hub, nightlife, beach, music, culture, sporting events, Beachfront markets (Wed, Fri, Sun night). Theme parks: Dreamworld (biggest Lego Store, Tiger Island, Dreamworks, ABC Kids World, Corroboree, thrill rides), Warner Bros. Movie World (adventure rides and movie attractions, Star's Parade), Sea World (dolphin, sea lion, jetski stunt extreme, Ninja Turtles shows, animals feeding), Holoverse (hologram technology to send you to artificial worlds), Wet'n'Wild (water park). Lamington National park (67km from Surfers Paradise)-Explore Rainforest on O'Reilly's Tree Top Walkway (suspension bridges 15m above ground).
  • Perth, Western Australia (PER) - 5h 30m
  • Sydney, New South Wales (SYD) - 8h 15m. Sydney Opera House - Australia's most iconic building, performance spaces, ship sails design. Royal Botanic Gardens- next to Opera House, Mrs Macquarie's Point a popular lookout position. Sydney Harbour- Climb Harbour Bridge, cruise, Opera House view. Darling Harbour- shopping, restaurants, street performance, Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney Sea Life Aquarium, Wild Life Sydney Zoo. Tangora Zoo-12m ferry from Cicular Quay (city), Sky Safari (cable car) to the entrance. Bondi Beach- 7km fr CBD, surfing, Bondi Icebergs (Bondi Baths is a public saltwater pool, landmark of Bondi), Bondi-Bronte coastal walk 3km,1h (cliffs, amazing beaches and views, parks, photo points). Blue Mountains-blue haze blankets the mountain, eucalyptus forest, waterfalls, 3 Sisters rock formation, 2h train ride from Sydney.
  • Melbourne, Victoria (MEL) - 7h 50m. Melbourne Airport to CBD (AUD60,30m) Queen Victoria Market - shopping, good bargain, fresh fruits, vege, sovenirs. Southbank Promenade- riverside view, stroll promenade, stylish restaurants, river cruise. Yarra Valley- wine tasting, countryside gourmet. Great Ocean Road-coastal drive, breathtaking view, rock formation (12 Apostles). Philip Island Nature Parks: 14km from Melbourne. Phillip Island-Penguin Parade(watch penguins return ashore to their homes in their natural habitat); the Koala Conservation Centre (see koalas in their natural habitat from boardwalks); Churchill Island Heritage Farm; Wild Oceans EcoBoat Tours; and the Antarctic Journey at the Nobbies Centre (boardwalks, beautiful sea view, Seal Rocks: large seal colony).
New Zealand
  • Auckland (AKL) - 9h 55m
  • London, UK (LHR, Heathrow) - 14h
  • Paris, France (CDG) - KL to Dubai (6h 45m). Dubai to Paris (7h 10m) 
  • Rome, Italy (FCO) -  KL to London (13h 45m). London to Rome (2h 30m)
  • Milan, Italy (MXP) -  KL to London (13h 45m). London to Milan (2h)
  • Santorini, Greece (JTR) - KL to Dubai (7h 20m). Dubai to Athens (5h 35m). Athens to Santorini (50m)
  • Berlin, Germany (TXL) - KL to London (13h 45m). London to Berlin (1h 50m)
  • Stockholm, Sweden (ARN) - KL to London (13h 45m). London to Stockholm (2h 30m)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) - KL to Tokyo (6h 40m). Tokyo to LA (9h 55m)
  • New York (JFK) - KL to London (14h 25m). London to New York (7h 55m)

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Phillip Island Nature Parks

Located only 90 minutes from Melbourne, The Phillip Island Nature Parks Australia manages five major attractions: the Penguin Parade; the Koala Conservation Centre; Churchill Island Heritage Farm; Wild Oceans EcoBoat Tours; and the Antarctic Journey at the Nobbies Centre as well as other recreational areas, including beaches, wetlands and woodlands. They are a not-for-profit organisation. Revenue generated through the ecotourism activities is invested into vital conservation, research and education programs.

Phillip Island Nature Parks
From the bridge to get to the Penguin Parade (20 minutes), Churchill Island (10 minutes). Free car parking on site.

Price List and Buy tickets here: (for the attractions in Phillip Island Nature Parks)
You can also get bundle passes to other parks at a discount; Antartic Journey, Koala Conservation Centre, Churchill Island Heritage Farm, EcoBoat Adventure 
Phone:  + 61 3 5951 2800
Fax:  + 61 3 5956 8394

Penguin Parade

Each night at sunset you’ll be amazed by the world’s smallest penguins returning ashore to their homes in the sand dunes, their natural habitat after a day’s fishing. The (General Viewing) viewing stands offer great outlooks across the beach. Raised boardwalks follow the paths taken by the penguins from the beach to their burrows. You’ll see penguins waddling, interacting and generally revealing their individual personalities.

Penguin Parade duration is 50 minutes from the time the first penguin crosses the beach. There different type of viewing: General Viewing, Penguins Plus, Underground, Ranger-guided tours. No photography or filming is permitted, penguins have sensitive eyes and a bright, sudden light can disorientate a penguin.

Raised boardwalks (General Viewing)

General Viewing from the beach front viewing stands
Penguins at eye level from Underground Viewing, located beneath Penguins Plus. Penguins Plus/Underground in the foreground, General Viewing in the background.

There is a LIVE Burrow Cam to see what's happening in their home on their website.
Purchase tickets (price in 2017 for General Viewing):
Adult (16+): $25.70
Child (4-15): $12.80
Family (2A+2C): $64.20

Penguin Parade Add: 1019 Ventnor Rd, Summerlands 3922
Penguin Parade is open one hour before the penguins arrival at sunset every night of the year. It is recommended for you to reach one hour before the penguins arrival.
Check Penguin arrival calendar.
The Penguin Parade Visitor Centre is open from 10am daily (2pm on Christmas Day). There are interactive displays.

Koala Conservation Centre

Add: 1810 Phillip Island Road, Phillip Island, Victoria 3923

Ticket Prices:
Adult (16 years+) - $12.80
Child (4-15 years) - $6.40
Family (2 adults and 2 children) - $32.00

The Koala Conservation Centre is open:
- 10am to 5pm daily (April to end of daylight savings)
- 10am to 5:30pm daily (daylight savings)
- 10am to 6pm (Boxing Day to end of summer school holidays)
- Opens 2pm on Christmas Day.

Face to face with the koala

Up-close koalas viewing in their natural habitat from the tree top boardwalk

The Koala Conservation Centre offers a range of family friendly activities to explore the native bush and see Australian wildlife. Stroll through this eucalypt woodland and come ‘face-to-face’ with koalas in their natural habitat. Wander the two tree top boardwalks for superb up-close koala viewing.
  •           Tree Top Koala Boardwalk: 800m loop – 20 minutes – easy
  •           Tree Top Woodland Boardwalk: 600m loop – 20 minutes – easy
Explore the six hectares of Australian bushland on the easily accessible trails. Lookout for wallabies, echidnas and colourful native birds. You can also uncover the amazing lives of koalas with the interactive displays in the new visitor centre and learn more about what community groups are doing to help local wildlife.

Churchill Island Heritage Farm

Add: 246 Samuel Amess Drive, Churchill Island, Newhaven 3925
Ticket Prices:
Adult (16 years+) - $12.80
Child (4-15 years) - $6.40
Family (2 adults and 2 children) - $32.00

Open 10am to 5pm daily. Opens 2pm on Christmas Day.
Daily farming activities:
1.00-1.45pm         Wagon rides (school and public holidays only)
2.10pm                 Cow milking
2.30pm                 Sheep shearing
2.45pm                 Whip cracking
3.05pm                 Working dogs
3.20pm                 Sheep shearing
• Meet the Clydesdale horses, Highland cattle, sheep and baby animals.

Churchill Island Heritage Farm offers a range of daily farming activities and walks around the island close to internationally recognised wetlands. It is a smaller island located just off the main island, accessible via a bridge. Explore the island on the numerous walking and cycling trails:
  • Churchill Island loop: 4.5kms – 2 hours – moderate
  • North Point loop: 2kms – 1hour – easy
  • Wadjil’garook Wetland: 1km inside the entrance. Follow the paths to learn about Indigenous culture and wetland birds. 
Sheep shearing demo, The room of a nineteenth century homestead, whip cracking and blacksmith demonstration

Wild Ocean EcoBoat Tours
Add: 11/13 The Esplanade, Cowes 3922

EcoBoat Adventure Tours operate daily throughout the year. Cape Explorer tour is seasonal from 6 May to 30 September (Every Saturday plus daily during School Holidays) at 3.15pm.
Please check the departure schedule for seasonal location and time details (subject to tide and weather conditions)
Minimum age: 4 years

EcoBoat Adventure: Enjoy an up close encounter with one of Australia’s largest colonies of fur seals in their natural environment on a high speed 90 minute boat ride along Phillip Island’s coastline. It will pull in to a protected inlet to see the seals. Underwater cameras aboard the boat reward guests with a unique glimpse into the playful antics occurring beneath the waves. Also you get to see the Nobbies sea-cave or and stop at the Cat Bay National Surfing Reserve, before your experienced captain puts the EcoBoat through its paces with a bit of wave-running.
Adult (16+): $85.00

EcoBoat Adventure - big colony of seals sun bathing at Seal Rocks

Cape Explorer Tour: Explore the island’s spectacular eastern coastline on this fast and fun 1 hour tour. Departing from the fishing village of Rhyll, the EcoBoat makes its way past Churchill Island and its Marine National Park. Travel underneath the bridge through ‘The Narrows’, with San Remo on one side and Newhaven on the other. Marvel at the aqua blue of the waters and then view the impressive 110 metre high ancient granite cliffs of Cape Woolamai rise up before you. Keep your eyes open for the abundant marine life regularly seen in these waters.
Adult (16+): $55.00
Cape Explorer Tour

Nobbies Centre (Home of the Antarctic Journey)

Add: 1320 Ventnor Road, Summerlands Victoria, 3922

Opening Times:
Summer: 10am – approx. 8pm
Autumn: 10am – approx. 5pm
Winter: 10am – approx. 4pm
Spring: 10am – approx. 6pm
The Nobbies area is closed one hour before sunset each day to protect the native wildlife.
Admission: There is free entry to the boardwalks, cafe and gift shop, as well as the interpretive display on penguin conservation on Phillip Island at the entrance to the Antarctic Journey paid attraction.

This area offers spectacular coastal and rock formations viewing from the boardwalks and lookout points set amongst natural sea bird gardens (flowering displays in spring, might spot some little penguins). 1.5km offshore from The Nobbies are Seal Rocks, home to Australia’s largest Australian Fur Seal colony. See the awesome blowhole, a spectacular sea cave that thunders during big southern swells.

The blowhole

Boardwalk at the Nobbies

Antarctic Journey:
The Antarctic Journey at the Nobbies closes approximately 2 hours before sunset each day, and the Nobbies Centre itself closes approximately 1 hour before sunset each day to protect the native wildlife.  Opening hours.
Ticket Price and booking:
  •     Adult (16 years+) - $18.00
  •     Child (4-15 years) - $9.00
  •     Family (2 adults and 2 children) - $45.00
Take a virtual journey into the wonderful world of the Southern Ocean and Antarctica and engage with the many interactive and immersive experiences in this exhibition. ‘The Lab’ is jam packed with fun-filled hands on activities designed to entertain and educate. At Level 1 you can learn about the connection between the wildlife and geology of Phillip Island, the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic.

Descending the steps into Level 2, you will be transported to the ice continent with the sounds of frosty winds filling the room, sounds are coming from the Antarctic 'Chill Zone' where you ‘Feel the freeze’ and check out your thermal image and comparing it to an Emperor penguin. Check out the Virtual Cafe or try and sink a bowling ball!

The final level (Level 3), you will be put right in the heart of the action. All thanks to the cutting-edge ‘augmented reality’ technology, you will be able to stand on an ice floe and feel like you can reach out to pat a penguin, stroke a seal or marvel at a whale which all appear on the screen with you. You will be surrounded by huge screens displaying life-sized filmed scenes of Antarctica. Don't miss it.
Antarctic 'Chill Zone' where you ‘Feel the freeze’ and check out your thermal image, comparing it to an Emperor penguin. Photo from

Level 3 Augmented reality technology

Phillip Island Map:

Traveling from Melbourne
  • Car – Travelling to Phillip Island from Melbourne via car takes less than two hours. Take the M1 to the Cranbourne exit and turn onto the M420. Follow that until the A420, through Grantville and Bass, then turn onto B420 (Phillip Island Road) to San Remo and across the bridge to the island.
  • Bus – V-line operates a bus to Phillip Island’s main town, Cowes, from Southern Cross Station in Melbourne city.
  • Train & Ferry – Take the V-Line train to Stony Point, and connect from there to the passenger ferry to Cowes.
Public transport is limited on Phillip Island. It is recommended that you have your own vehicle or join a tour. By taxi: Contact Phillip Island Taxis on 03 5952 2200 to arrange transfers. E-bike can be hired at

From Melbourne to Phillip Island:

Jul 2014
Immediately after the Koala Conservation Centre entry is a room with interactive displays. While the robotic koala display was fascinating, seeing koalas in the flesh was much more exciting. Boardwalk trails allow visitors to view koalas in their own carefully managed, but more or less natural habitat. Most of the koalas were curled up on high branches, but some were lower down so we could get a better look at them.

Lunch at the Churchill Island Café was excellent. You can get extremely close to the animals at the Churchill Island Heritage Farm. Geese, roosters and a peacock roam the area, and they do not seem to be shy of people at all. Larger animals livestock stay firmly on their pens. Sheep shearing was a popular demonstration- it seemed each and every guest at the farm crammed into the shed to watch. Children were invited to sit at the front, but unfortunately the sea of adults standing and craning their necks made it difficult to see much. I suggest arriving at the shed a little earlier than the demonstration is scheduled to begin in order to get a decent spot. Following the sheep demonstration was a whip cracking demonstration. While most activities on the farm were for children, whip cracking was more for the adults, as grown-up onlookers were invited to try to crack the whip.

The Nobbies Centre is worth a visit before sunset. The boardwalks were the highlight of our trip. On one side are breathtaking ocean views, on the other, you can see penguins huddled inside their artificial burrows on the hillside. It seems to be a popular sight for tourists, but it is not too crowded as the boardwalks are so extensive. It is free to visit the Nobbies Centre, but bring some cash if you would like to operate the binoculars on the boardwalks to get a better view of the shore and its marine life.

Just a few minutes away from the Nobbie Centre was The Penguin Parade which was incredibly popular, with scores of tourists turning out to see the penguins. Once the penguins ascended from the beach, they scurried to their burrows which could be seen from the network of boardwalks. There was more than enough space to accommodate the sizeable turnout so it was not crowded at all.
You will have to take my word for it that we were mere metres from the adorable penguins. The penguins seemed to be endless. Most scurried past the boardwalks to unseen burrows, but occasionally a penguin would pause for a few minutes. I highly recommend the experience. There is also a Penguin Parade café, serving dinner before the parade.
Feb 2017
Phillip Island, located on the southern tip of Victoria in Australia has become known as the gateway to the Antarctic. When you walk into Level One of this Antarctic Journey you will immediately begin to learn about the connection between the wildlife and geology of Phillip Island, the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic.
Descending the steps into Level Two, is The Lab where you will be transported to the ice continent with the sounds of frosty winds filling the room. Luckily no winter jackets are required, the windy sounds are just coming from the Antarctic 'Chill Zone'. A place where you can compare your own thermal image with an Emperor Penguin. Spoiler alert: Us humans are not well suited to cold conditions. The yellow and red areas indicate where I was losing body heat after spending only 15 seconds in the 'Chill Zone'.
Level Three of the Antarctic Journey at Phillip Island is one that will have you completely immersed in a multimedia experience. You will be surrounded by huge screens displaying life-sized filmed scenes of Antarctica. The beauty, the serenity and the harsh reality of life on the ice.
The highlight of this Antarctic Journey is the augmented reality area. Here we discovered how fun it was to pat penguins and throw our son into the icy waters with orca whales!

Hire the Eco/ Electric Bike at