This time last year, Leo and I were just leaving Perth, Western Australia. My favourite part of our stay in Perth was our day trip to Rottnest Island and I want to take this time to tell you why. Travel to Rottnest is by ferry and is short, being around 30 minutes. This is good for those of us that are not natural seafarers!
Unfortunately I am the exception to the rule that you can never forget to ride a bike. It’s embarrassing actually, to keep telling people of my inability to drive a simple mode of transport that even my ten-year-old sister can master. However, I did not let this get me down!
Instead of spending hours falling over on a bicycle and probably only getting a couple of metres further than the starting point, we decided to embark on a long walk. Even the guides at the tourist information centre questioned why we would rather walk than bike, but I held my head up high and explained that we actually liked walking.
We embarked on the ‘Lakes’ section of the Rottnest trail. There were walking trails that went all the way around the island but this was the easiest one to complete in one day on the island. The trail took us past a myriad of salt lakes until we reached Wadjemup lighthouse. The original was Western Australia’s first stone lighthouse and was built in the 1850s. The lighthouse that is here today is a striking feature, standing alone in the middle of the island in all its white glory. From here, you can get some great photo snaps – its a perfect lookout over different sections of the island!
After the lighthouse, the route looped us round all the popular bays. The beaches were very empty, pristine and offered crystal clear waters. In the summer, Rottnest becomes a snorkelling hotspot for this reason. It is home to a limestone coral reef and the Leeuwin current – great for marine life. We would love to come back here for some good underwater exploring, but unfortunately it was too cold on our chosen day.
We’ve all heard of tourists posing for selfies with Quokkas – it’s taken the world by storm.
On our walk, we spotted only one or two of these cute animals and found ourselves disappointed. “Shouldn’t there be more than this?” I found myself asking Leo. What a shameful attitude. These are wild animals – I should not have expected them to be everywhere for me to see. Unfortunately this is the consequence of social media. I felt as if I should be surrounded by quokkas purely because I had seen others in that situation.
When we returned back to main part of the island, we spotted a hoard of these inquisitive animals. Tourists were offering food, coaxing them and getting very close – competing with each other to get the best animal smile. We just knelt down for a few minutes and observed these creatures. One was even cheeky enough to climb up my leg when Leo tried to take a photo of us. I guess I got what I came for!
Rottnest Island is a gem – it is perhaps one of Perth’s best attractions. The island has a very serene quality, making you feel like this is where you’re meant to be. The sandy pathways, coral-lined shores and stingrays at the harbour are simple delights. Not to mention that you’ll make a friend for life in the quokka.