Rottnest Island – land of the rats… or so William De Vlamingh thought when he first arrived many centuries ago. More commonly or famously known for the quokkas which are adorable little creatures and one of the predominant reasons along with its’ pristine waters and marine life that the island was very high on my list of places to visit. Last month we jumped on a brief 20 minute ferry ride from the Fremantle port and headed west out to the picturesque enclave. As we embarked on the island, the first priority of ours was securing a bicycle in order to ride around and explore the secluded beaches and wavy hills. The island itself was bigger than I had originally thought it would be. Like the Abrolhos islands, Rottnest houses an air strip. Unlike the Abrolhos islands, Rottnest had hills, ones I became all too familiar with as I struggled to pedal uphill to our planned destination.
The main streets of Rottnest had restaurants, convenient stores and accommodation for visitors to stay and enjoy natures’ luxuries for more than a day. After exploring a small section of the town, we began heading to the nearest rental and gained ourselves a bicycle. With our helmets on and backpacks secured, we were en route towards the far end of the island… about 22 kilometers to one side. Although we had obtained a map, the island itself was initially difficult to navigate. After a few missed turns and miscalculated roads travelled, we established our way to west end. I was ambitious in my ability to cycle long distances at first and began with an overwhelming amount of energy only to find after a few short minutes I had exhausted myself. We rode past the lighthouse and lakes, through bush and arrived at our destination. You also have the option to take the bus which stops along the islands’ various bus stops. I know at times I felt as if I could have hitched a ride however it was a powerfully rewarding feeling once your unsteady legs have touched the ground. We anticipated that travelling a further distance from the main streets, would promise the area to ourselves – and we were right. Making our way down to the water was invigorating. We quickly jumped in and found ourselves among the blue lagoons. The water was warm and friendly, hugging your skin as you dove down towards the sand.
On our way back into town to catch the ferry back to civilization, the beloved Quokka infamously known for its selfie characteristics were everywhere. Regardless of their size, they remained brave in the face of crowds, hopping along minding their own business trying to find some food. Quokkas are in the macropod family; similar to kangaroos and wallabies they are herbivores, feeding on vegetation such as grass and leaves. It is illegal to feed them, like interfering with other habitats and animals, you can cause a disruption to their dietary system which in turn causes them to fall unwell. Which is why I felt incredibly special to have one come up and settle itself beside me with paralleled curiosity.
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What a delightful story Sijourney! And that quokka pic is priceless – you should send to the media! It captures you, rottnest and the quokka equally well!