Rottnest ‘rat island’ is beautiful, it has stunning scenery and great beaches to go with it. Despite its beauty this is not the reason that we visited. Instead we made the 40 minute boat journey out to see one of the strangest and cutest animals that live solely on this island.
Meet the quokkas:
These cute fur balls are residents on Rottnest, in fact the island was named after them when a Dutch sailor mistook the quokkas for rats and named the island rat nest.
We took the early morning ferry across, the ferry was the most expensive part of the day and will certainly put some people off. I am not sure about the cost of accommodation on the island but it might even be worth spending a couple of nights over there. We were short on time, cause even when you’re away this long you end up having to squeeze things in.
It was pretty cloudy in the morning but they soon blew away and the sun came out as we arrived. Hopping on our bikes, we took the clockwise route. There were a few hills but nothing our thighs of steel couldn’t handle. The beaches on the island were stunning, they have golden sand and turquoise sea. The spring breeze put us off taking a swim but there is apparently some great snorkeling out there. This article will tell you where to head.
Our lunch spot:
After a quick lunch stop at this pretty beach, we set off up to Oliver Hill. It used to be home to a massive gun during WW2 and also has some tunnels that you can explore. We went mainly cause its my surname, which seemed like a good enough reason for a detour.
We wanted to make sure that we made it back for our ferry and we still needed to head out to Cape Vlamingh (great name) right at Western edge of the island. We were getting slightly despondent about ever seeing a quokka, it had been close to 3 hours and none had appeared no matter how many times I shouted quokka in a high pitched voice. Thinking back on this, I may have been putting them off. As we left Oliver Hill and were conquering some smaller, but equally horrible for the legs, hills we noticed some people stopping. As we approached we thought they were just as tired as us but instead they had spotted a wee family of inquisitive quokkas. Dismounting as quickly as possible it was time for quokka paparazzi.
It was hard to pull ourselves away from the quokkas, but as a larger group of cyclists approached we thought we should leave our new friends alone. The girls who we had first met when we stopped told us that there were a few snakes on the island and to watch out for them, this was enough to make us cycle even quicker.
When we reached Cape Vlamingh we got to watch some dolphins playing in the surf, which was pretty awesome.
Dolphin jumping out of a wave:
After watching the dolphins disappear further out to sea, we set off back around to the ferry terminal. This route passed by some of the inhabited parts of the island, this was also home to many quokkas. I am not sure that they are the smartest in the animal kingdom, especially if they choose to live so close to humans! They are however one of the cutest and we took every encounter as a good reason to stop and take as many photographs as our cameras would allow.
We arrived back at the ferry in time to catch our breath and relax in the afternoon sun. Rottnest is a great day trip out from Perth or Fremantle. In the summer it would be lovely to get a chance to go swimming in some of the bays. Perth is where we have to fly in to visit my family who live on the West Coast and we always spend a day or two there, I think visiting Rottnest is high on the list of things I will do when I go back.