Rottnest Island

Two days before we left Perth to travel up north we decided to spend the day out on Rottnest Island. Rottnest Island is a small island, about 19 square kilometres, and about 18 km off the coast of Perth. It’s inhabitants are predominantly wildlife, most famously the Quokka, and there are ferries that go to and from Perth (Freemantle) multiple times a day. When we were there they had a ‘cheap Tuesday’ offer which we definetly took advantage of, although looking at the website now, this may no longer be the case. Other than tour buses, there are no vehicles on Rottnest; however, you can rent bicycles or walk pretty much everywhere. The buses are limited and, by the looks of it, very crowded, so we opted to rent bikes and ride around the island.

The island itself is fairly flat, although there are some hills, but it’s a pretty easy ride overall. You can rent bikes directly from the ferry (book ahead), or you can rent them once you get there. We had many people tell us the quality of the bikes was much better from the ferry, so that’s what we did. It also meant we could set off as soon as we arrived, rather then waiting around to sort out renting a bike. From the Jetty, we rode directly across the island to the lighthouse, which is on the top of a hill and was probably the most strenuous bit of the day, but definitely worth the effort.

From there, we rode all the way down to the west end, stopping at various beaches and lookout points a long the way. One of the attractions of Rottnest is the Quokka, which are only found on here and one other island nearby. They are tiny, fluffy animals who are very cute and very curious. They’re everywhere around the island, and we had to stop and take the obligatory ‘quokka selfie’ that people come here to get.

The west end of the island was pretty dramatic to look at, and due to currents and the waves, you are unable to swim on that side. Also sharks. Although a swim would have been great after our cycle to get there, we settled for having a picnic with a view instead, and waited for our swim until we got to the other side of the sland.

After our lunch, we cycled back up the island to Thompson Bay, where we stopped for a swim and some snorkling. It was some of the clearest, bluest water I have ever seen, and there was so much going on around the reef. There was quite a strong current running perpendicular to the shore, so we entered the water on one end of the beach and rode the current down the beach, and then we’d walk back up and do it again! Watch the video below to see some of the stunning reef and fish, including an octopus! There was a cheeky fish who wouldnt leave the octopus alone, and you can see him puff up and turn blue at one point. Apologies for the shaky camera work; as mentioned before, the current was so strong and we had to swim against it in order to watch anything for an extended amount of time!

It started to cloud over later in the afternoon, and we packed up our snorkel bits and hopped back onto our bikes to make a slow ride back to the ferry port. It started to spit just as we made our way into the port area, and, as there’s a few little shops and a pub, we decided that a beer under cover watching the sunset was just what was needed whilst we waited for our ferry to come in.

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