I decided to do Rottsnest Island after all. I stood beside the captain on the cruise over there, so I could both see on both sides of the ship AND hear his “little bit of commentary”. If you were outside, you did not hear and if you were inside, you could only see one side of the ship. Ended up being a bonus as I could ask him different questions about some of the sites.
The captain pointed out a few of the yacht clubs, restaurants, and home between Perth and Freemantle. Perth is actually NOT on the ocean, but inland slightly on the Swan river (and one other). There was a section of homes known as “millionaire alley” as they were at one time either the most expensive homes in the world, or the most in all of Australia, I forget. There were gorgeous homes along the shoreline the entire trip. One house was recently built for $50M.
I “hired a bike” once I got to Rottsnest as the island is really too big to do by foot, unless I just plan on staying near the jetty or shopping mall. Single speeds were $20 and Multiple Speed bikes were $25. I asked and they recommended the multi-speed biked. So off I went, with a broken helmet ( Helmets are mandatory and you have to have one on by law, but it does not have to be effective…NONE of them had a hard shell coating and all were down to the styrofoam), riding around.
Decided I would head to one of the stops and have lunch. It was quite hilly. By the time I got to the look-out, I was too hot and exhausted to eat!! Actually, had probably been snacking the whole time. There were flies around me most of the time I was on the bike. They must like the sweat or something…but I am sure I musta swallowed a few.
I made myself a goal of making it to the light house. It was right in the middle of the island. What I had not considered is that it was at the HIGHEST point on the island …so near the end it was practically straight uphill.
Rottsnest Island has “hotel rooms” and “YHA” residence as well. So you can take the Ferry over there and stay for several days. The beaches are absolutely beautiful. I did not make it to the part of island were people surf, but lots of people were biking with their surf boards, so I know they do it there some place. If you were going to be in Perth for any length of time, would be a definite place to go and spend a few nights.
After leaving the lighthouse, on the way back, there were a few cyclists stopped. I slowed down to see what was going on and they were petting the local animal. I will have to get the name for you later. The people before MIGHT have been feeding them, I am not sure. These ones figured they would get fed and were really docile. They were sniffing our hands and standing there and letting us pet them. These animals are supposed to exist ONLY on Rottsnest and not in Australia. They look like a cross between a kangaroo and a rat. They stand and hop mostly on their hind legs, are a dark brown, with a face like a rodent and a long tail. They are actually quite cute.
So after leaving the light house and making it back “into town”, I finally had my packed lunch of juice and peanut butter sandwiches. Rode my bike around town and looked at some of the residences and facilities and then dropped the bike off. Three hours of biking and my legs were like rubber!
The animal is called a quokka. I’ve been told that the reason they survived on the island is that the aborigines didn’t have boats that reached that far.
Yep, that’s the quokka.
I’ve been told that they were mistaken for rats by some European explorer who named the island “Rats’ Nest”, thus the name.
By the way, if anyone’s interested in staying on the island, it’s a good idea to book very early – I think the Rottnest Island Authority are the ones to call (?) – because I’ve heard it can be very difficult to get a booking, especially in peak season.