A Travellerspoint blog

Rottnest Island

In amongst our time living in the Hillary's we had been enjoying the beaches and chilling out and so we felt we needed to have a day out and explore. The nearest main attraction that is listed a must-do around Perth was Rottnest Island which has been marked as a idyllic holiday location for locals and tourist's alike. Known to the locals as "Rotto" the island was apparently named 'Rotte nest' which means rat nest due to large amount of 'rats' that have nested on the island. These weren't rats at all but Quokkas, more on these to come. It is called Wadjemup by the Noongar people, meaning "place across the water".

The attraction is that no cars are allowed on the island except for maintenance vehicles and so families tend to hire out villas and enjoy the coastal views whilst the kids are allowed to roam free on the bikes. Similarly day trippers like ourselves can boat over and enjoy a ride around stopping off at coral bays to snorkel and soak up the sun. It is also a perfect place for the locals who own boats to sail out and moor in the bays to snorkel, dive or just fire up a BBQ and get the drinks on.

We booked our ferry a few days before going from Hillarys boat harbour and decided to get the earliest one at 7:30am having been advised by Kim on the best plan of action for a day out at Rotto. It was a perfect situation as we were only 10 minutes away from the harbour and the boat trip from Hillarys is shorter than if we were to go from Fremantle. Arriving on the island we weren't alone and already it seemed that the island dwellers were up and about getting ready for the day. We hadn't picked up our bikes from the mainland before getting on the boat and so we visited the tourist information to get our baring's and then visited the bike hire shop.


Before the store opened we encountered one of the resident wildlife milling around. The Quokka was one of the first Australian mammals seen by Europeans when first visiting the continent. The Dutch mariner Samuel Volckertzoon wrote of sighting "a wild cat" on Rottnest Island in 1658 but nowadays it has been labelled as a Kangeroo Rat. They have no fear of humans and it is common for it to approach you and so everyone was quickly getting out the cameras to have a butchers.


Once the bike shop was open we hired our bikes and snorkel gear and headed off making the decision to cycle the whole island and visit the far western end which was about 8.5km from where we were and so it was going to be a fairly long cycle.


Before we left one of the Quokkas came up to Sarah and said hello.


As we started we began to see the draw to staying on the island as the views are stunning.


Even Santa was holidaying on the island!


As we approached our first bay, Henrietta I missed a very large bobtail lizard by a fraction according to Sarah, I didn't see but thank god I didn't run it over. When we stopped peddling the downside was that the bush flies were on you and wouldn't go away. I have no shame in saying….I hate bush flies!!, they are just relentless always aiming for your eyes and mouth! AAAAAAHAHHHHH! . Fair to say it annoyed me incredibly and so I was keen to get back on the bike. It didn't help stop them but you got a break from it as you cycled up and down the hills.

It was quite surprising that the island was very hilly, and so we managed to get a good work out as we traversed the island. It was a beautiful day and we just kept riding and stopping at a bay when we felt like it taking in the views, such a good way to start the day.


As we reached the last two or three kilometres before the most western point of the island we stopped off for a break at a memorial for Roland (Roly) Smith who pioneered safe passages into the northern and western bays and help make Rottnest a more accessible island.


Moving on it wasn't long before we got to the end of the island and being the only two people around we took in the sea breeze and had a stroll out on the purpose built deck which is normally used to sight whales who migrate around the bay. We were unfortunately out of season for the whales however we did spot one of the native Osprey birds. I managed to follow it as it landed on the other side of the bay and with help from our super camera zoom took a snap. It wasn't till later in the day when we could see the picture on a bigger screen that I realised I actually took a snap of two ospreys together!


The wildflowers were out in full as well.


We left the island edge and continued on with the intention of making it to Little Parakeet as it had been recommended by Mel as it is one of her favourites but by the time we got close to it we were getting pretty fed up of cycling and so we diverted off to Armstrong Bay to go snorkelling and catch some rays.


It was a cool spot with only a handful of people.

Feeling like we had had a good amount of time chilling we moved on and found the Parakeet bay and its little partner and to be fair they were pretty good but by that time we were hungry and fancied a drink and so we moved on to the bar.

We got back to the main port and village around 2.30pm and so we had a good couple of hours before we had to get our boat. We opted out of the cultural walk and in true Aussie fashion we hit the hotel bar! It was so cool to just hang out by the islands edge and soak up the atmosphere with a glass of wine and good company, You really got a feel for how the other half lives in Perth and also just how isolated the city looks from across the waters.


Stay tuned for more tales


Posted by doyledan 07:16 Archived in Australia

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.