Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island

When it comes to Australian itineraries, Western Australia doesn’t factor much into people’s plans. Most focus on the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, and the major cities – Sydney, Melbourne, etc. So I made sure we made a trip out here to see what others are missing. The major draw to Perth for me is the quokkas, as they are only found in this part of Australia, and specifically on Rottnest Island.

To get to Rottnest Island, you’ll need to take the 30-minute ferry from Fremantle. There are ferries operating out of downtown Perth, but that wasn’t available at the time of our booking due to rough waters. So we had to take a 30-minute commuter train from Perth to Fremantle before boarding our ferry. There are 3 ferry operators. We went with Sealink only because everyone else was lining up at their ticket booth.

I suspect quokkas single handedly support the tourism in the area.
There are 2 daily departures for the island, both in the mornings, and 2 on the return in the afternoons. Good idea to book ahead of time during peak season.
The city of Perth in the distance.

The quokkas weren’t hard to find. Just head to the Rottnest Bakery and you’ll spot several of them milling around. There are signs everywhere advising visitors not to feed (human food) and touch the wildlife, and most people abided by the rules. However, there was one relentless quokka we saw that snagged a piece of a strawberry donut from a customer.

Don’t underestimate their grip. They are strong for their size.
The quokkas are famous for their eternal smiles, thanks to their facial structures.
Another animal with an eternal smile is the hyrax in Africa.
“Check out my side profile”
“You got that?”
An unexpected shot of its teeth. What an interesting shape…
We fed them leaves, which they happily accepted.
“Give me the rest of that!”
Quokkas are the smallest of the marsupials, and are categorized under “wallabies”. They are considered “vulnerable” due to habitat loss. Luckily, without natural predators on the island, they have been relatively protected.

With 4 hours to spare, we opted to tour the island on bikes.

The only bike rental on the island.
And there’s no shortage of bikes for hire.

Without much expectations, we set off and were pleasantly surprised by what we saw.

A pinkish lake. Not as striking as you’d see on social media, but it is pinkish nonetheless.
The algae in the lake, when exposed to sunlight, produces beta-carotene, which gives the lake a reddish tinge.
Joe aiming for the lighthouse.
Rottnest light house built in 1896.
There’s the option to go snorkeling at a few of the bays on the island.
Blue and green – couldn’t have coordinated better in terms of Joe’s outfit for the day.

We paid the quokkas one last visit before embarking our ferry…

As cute as they look, they aren’t the best parents. They will sacrifice their joeys when pursued by predators.

3 thoughts on “Rottnest Island

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