Saturday, December 8, 2012

Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island is a huge tourist attraction in Perth. It's picturesque, has lots of recreational activities, and a friendly marsupial that is only native to the one island. It's 18 kms from the Australian coastline and only 19 sq kms in size.

Salmon Bay

One of the snorkel stops

Thompson's Bay

The island is a DoC park and so it has some interesting rules. For example, the only motorized vehicles allowed are service vehicles and a small bus system. Almost everyone uses a bike.

Upon arrival, renting a bike was the first thing we did. The bike shop had thousands of bikes, unfortunately they are all the same kind; heavy, creaky and uncomfortable.


The 'bike lock' they gave us could have been cut with a butter knife. But whose going to steal these rust buckets from an island all ready covered in them anyways?

The cycling was wonderful however. Both SP and I agreed that it has been too long since we had been on a bike. 28 kms of nicely paved, car free road. Occasionally we had a wonderful 30 km/hr tail wind (and sometimes we had a 30 km/hr head wind.)

Outside of the main settlement services are minimal, pit toilets but no water, food, etc. So we carried a lunch and set off to meet the primary inhabitants of the island.

Despite explorers in the distant past confusing the local wildlife for rats (Rottnest translates to rats nest in dutch) the little critters couldn't possibly do anything to deter visitors.

Quokkas are fluffy, hungry, fat, and cute marsupials who have lost any fear of humans.


They graze on the undergrowth of trees. Because they can't climb, most of the the trees they eat look like the one in the background below. Basically they just want your help getting a branch or two down.


We're not fat, we're big boned.

Truth be told, you're not supposed to feed them, they are already too acclimatized to people and some folks feed them inappropriate food. There are also 10,000+ of the critters in residence, so they seem to be doing just fine already.

Tomorrow we're vacating Perth and heading to Sydney.


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