We have been in Perth about a month now so we decided to get the ferry over to Rottnest Island. It is located about 18 kilometres from the mainland and is renowned for its population of quokkas. It cost us $100 per person for travel, ferries, snorkels and bicycle hire. We got up at 5.30am ready to be picked up outside Billabong at 6.20am. I can’t remember if at any time I have specified that Billabong is the name of our hostel, so if you were wondering there you have it. You can imagine how hard getting up was for me seeing as I haven’t been up this early since school.
We were taken to Hillary’s Boat Harbour where we were given our snorkels and bikes. We boarded the ferry and snoozed for the 45 minute journey over to the island. When we arrived we went to a Dome Café ( An Australian franchise similar to a UK Wetherspoons) for breakfast. It was pretty expensive and our food came out minutes after ordering, so we were sceptical. You can’t cook eggs in that amount of time let alone a full English. Two big black crows and a swarm of flies also joined us for breakfast which was nice. The weather was cold and windy, we were tired and grouchy, all in all it wasn’t the best start to our day.
Once we finished our lovely breakfast we set off on our bikes. After a good hour or so we soon discovered why they give you an early start. The island was huge, well, maybe not huge but it was bigger than I expected. It has an area of about 19km which is small for an island but when you’re riding around it for hours on a bike it starts to take it out of you. It is home to some amazing scenery and beautiful bays. We snorkelled in the ocean for a while and saw lots of colourful fish. If we had gone out to sea further we would have seen a lot more, however the visibility of the water was poor because of the wind so the plan is to come back one day to try it again. I blame the visibility but the truth is I’m a massive wuss and since we have come to Australia all I associate the sea with is sharks.
Later on we stumbled upon a lovely family of quokkas. We were so happy to see them and I like to think they were just as happy to see us. Stupidly however they were that adorable we gave them ALL of our water. This wasn’t the best idea we have ever had because unknown to us there was no water fountains on the side of the island we were on. The heat was scorching and we were extremely thirsty. Riding our bikes in that heat, we could have been hallucinating for all I know.
After a couple of hours of no water we found a lighthouse. I questioned if it was a mirage but alas it was real. James cycled to the top and like a true gent provided us with a bottle of water each. It was a miraculous moment, it tasted so good. After downing it we carried on our journey. The island has lots of hills and it was probably the most exercise any of us had done in weeks. We cycled for a few hours stopping at various spots a long the way; Salmon Bay, Henrietta Rocks and Eagle Bay to name a few.
There are so many different beaches and bays worth visiting on Rottnest and we did our best to see as many as we could, but day on the island was coming to a close. Feeling trim, we made a swift visit to the local pub for a well deserved pint before heading back to our ferry at 4.30pm. When we arrived back at our hostel I had a couple of glasses of red wine. It wasn’t the best idea as a day in the blistering heat with no water was beginning to catch up on me. The tomato cheeks my face was sporting was kind of a give away that I had caught the sun. My friend Hannah had burnt to a crisp too. A classic case of sun stroke, fools.
To conclude, here is just one of the adorable quokkas drinking water from James’ hand (and me sounding like an idiot). Enjoy!