I've just spent the past three weeks touring around Victoria with my folks. It was my dad's first time in Australia after years of refusal, so I was quite keen to show him that it is a nice place after all and not just somewhere that steals your children.
I was aided in my quest by the native flora and fauna who decided to come out to play at the right time. Buds flowered, cockatoos squawked and - after ten years of trying - I finally saw a penguin in the wild (see below). The picture isn't great but when you've traipsed fruitlessly around the Australian coastline and done two trips to New Zealand without seeing so much as some fresh penguin poo next to some flipper shaped footprints then you can understand my joy.
However I did start to entertain the possibility that my dad is secretly Ace Ventura three days later whilst driving around Cape Otway where we turned a corner to be treated to the sight of not one but an entire treeful of wild koalas. They were even sitting in the handy low down photo-friendly branches. Now even I've seen a few stoned koalas in Dubbo Zoo but I have to admit there is something quite special about seeing an entire brood happily going about their business in their own backyard.
Anyway, a big thanks to the Australian animal population for putting on a great show for my parents; they very much appreciated it. They'll be back in two or three years so if you can let the kangaroos and platypus know for next time that would be great.