Australia is such a fantastic place. I love it, but I especially love Western Australia. The beaches, the people and most importantly, the wild roaming animals. There is an awful lot to do in Western Australia, but I would highly recommend going to Rottnest Island on your travels.
Rottnest Island is well and truly a MUST to visit if you are over Perth way. Rottnest Island is situated to the west of the port city Fremantle, Western Australia. It is home to around 300 people and more importantly, home to between 8000-12000 quokkas. What is a quokka? I thought that too. A quokka is a small marsupial which is native to Rottnest Island. They can only be found on Rottnest Island and are deemed to be the happiest animals in the world. This is because of the famous ‘quokka selfie’ which can be taken, if you are lucky enough to capture it!
We caught the Rottnest Express ferry from Fremantle to the island. We were there fairly early in the morning so we caught the first crossing. It was a choppy one but luckily, it didn’t last too long. My brother lives in Perth and like I’ve mentioned in blogs prior, he’s ultra-fit and into his sports – so he was telling us that there is a Rottnest Channel Swim. This is an annual event which has people cross the ocean from Cottesloe Beach to Rottnest. Just from being sat on the boat, I could really appreciate how difficult that swim must be! We arrived on Rottnest Island after about 25 mins on the ferry, so it was a quick-ish crossing. Any longer and I bet Mum would have been sick.
Rottnest Express allow hiring of bikes so, we hired bikes for all three of us. This was hilarious as my Mum had not ridden a bike in years! It took her about 20 mins to figure out how to coordinate with the bike. Steven was very good at helping her, I just sat back and laughed. It was too funny (sorry Mum).
We set off on our bike ride of the island but we kept having to stop every 5 minutes because I would see a cute little quokka hidden in the shrubs, and I wanted to get the best shot! I didn’t realise that we would see so many of them on the rest of the ride, so I was very snap happy in the first 1 hour of being on the island. I didn’t know that better opportunities would arise later in the day.
In the end, we made to the first beach on our tour and it was no disappointment. It was absolutely stunning. You could see the silhouette of Perth’s skyline in the distance through the morning mist. We had birds flying and tweeting above, you could here the waves rolling upon the sand and you could feel the sand between your toes. If I could pitch up a tent here and stay there forever, I would.
As we rode around the island, the views were just unreal. I did not realise how beautiful our planet is. Around the island, there are a number of shipwrecks. A few of these are a hotspot for snorkelling. There was one called ‘the Shark wreck’ which was close to the beach at Henrietta Rocks. This one is about a 50m swim to get to, but is classed as the ‘easiest’ of shipwrecks to snorkel around with lots of different fish to see.
The clouds started to appear which made us worried as we were on bikes and there weren’t exactly many buildings to shelter under! We went in August, which is Western Australia’s winter, so we had prepared (ish) for rain. We did hope that it would hold off until we went home!
We rode around the island some more and found ourselves at a ‘Sanctuary Zone, Parker Point’. This bay allows you to go snorkelling and swimming, but not fish. This area is conserving the Rock Lobster. The Rock Lobster take extremely long to grow, and take 5 years to grow to maturity. Some of the ‘jumbo’ lobster’s can be up to 30 years old. I didn’t even know they could live that long!
There was also an Osprey’s nest on a huge rock out to see. I could not believe my eyes! There was a parent Osprey with its baby! It was protecting its baby by keeping guard, and every now and then the baby’s head would pop up. The nest was remote as it was out at sea, keeping it safe.
Around we went a little bit more, passing beaches with brilliant names… The City of York, Little Armstrong Bay, Parakeet Bay and Geordie Bay. They are only a few of the great names. We also biked past the Wadjemup Lighthouse. In Western Australia, the suffix ‘up’ is found in many towns or cities – /up/ means ‘place of’ in Indigenous Australian language. Before we stopped off to grab some cake, we biked past ‘Pink Lake’. This lake, in summer is bright pink due to the high levels of salt. However, when we were there it only had a tint of pink. It would be great to see in summer, might just have to take a trip back!
We finally made it all around the island. It took us a full day with plenty of stops for photo opportunities and beach visits! We ended our day by doing what I do best, eating cake and drinking coffee! Around the café and a couple of shops, it was full of quokkas! Baby ones and adult ones. It was incredible to see how friendly and tame they are and will come and sit near you. Whilst we were there, there was a baby in the pouch of its mummy! This was an amazing experience as we fed the mum leaves and she shared it with the baby!
And finally, the moment I had been wanting all day! I got a quokka selfie, can you see why they are called the happiest animal in the world?!
I would definitely recommend exploring Rottnest Island, to see the beautiful beaches, wildlife, lakes and quokkas!