Sunday, July 9, 2017

Rottness Island Trip

One of the images that popped up when I tried to google a little on Perth, Western Australia just before our trip, was the the cute photo of a Quokka jumping towards the camera lens. And I knew then, that that had to be one of the places to visit during my bonding trip with Stacci! The ferry tickets way to this offshore island cost quite a fair bit especially for the whole, but the rich can even choose the even more expensive helicopter ride! We chose Barrack St to get onto the ferry since it was nearest to where we stayed, and where we can reach via the free city bus rides and enjoyed the commentary as we cruise down the river towards Fremantle to pick up more passengers before reaching.

Our KPI for this trip was simple. Just to enjoy ourselves and find the quokkas! But we were sure glad to hop onto the “Discover Rottnest Tour” which took us all around the island in about 90mins. The guide had such intimate knowledge of the island that he was able to share lots of snippets on his growing up on the island, and even shared some interesting details of the people who works and stays on the island, like the rangers! We also learnt about the history behind the naming of Rottness (or rat nest) by the Dutch captain who misidentified the Quokkas as giant rats, as well as the bus drivers’ sharing of the reforestation efforts (by the planting of sapling) that goes on the island. Our guide also lamented on how indiscriminate feeding of human food to the Quokkas near the town center led to them losing fur, and going after tourists too.

Rottness Island gives me the feeling of it being a big island nature reserve. Stacci was fascinated by the beautiful beaches all around the island and I was so tempted to just ditch the ride and get into the clear waters! But alas, it was not meant to be. We did make a couple of stops for some photo taking and visited Wadjemup Lighthouse as well. Of course we also managed to spot some Quokkas along the way, which got the ladies screaming in delight. Oh do note that while they may appear friendly and cuddly, Quokkas may be harboring Salmonella bacteria. So be sure to wash your hands if you do get into contact with them! Bikes would be the preferred mode of transport but after our tour around in air-conditioned comfort, I must add that the cycling tracks, with the up and downs are definitely not a walk in the park! Especially so if you are there with kids, but yet insistent on reaching the remote “private” beaches.

After the coach tour, we had a walk around the small town center, exploring the free exhibits and historical building. We stopped for some desserts over at Dome Rottnest to recharge, before heading over to the main street for the free Quokka Tour, which is essentially a guided walking tour conducted by volunteers. It was during this tour that we learnt the secret about finding these cute marsupials easily. To be absolutely honest, this island is really a hit or miss. For some tourist (especially those who loves shopping or modern amenities/comforts), they would probably go, “What? That’s all?” But for nature-lovers or photographer buffs, there are simply just too many nooks and crannies o discover and a day trip to the island will not be sufficient. My personal view is that this is truly a beautiful place to be, and to recharge one-self!

I am smiling as I am typing this down now, as I recall how excited Stacci was after sighting her first Quokka! It is really moments like these that will be etched in our memories forever, and this is exactly what made parenting and our solo bonding trips so worth it! So would I still recommend a visit to the island? You bet I would! But you should really consider booking an accommodation on the island so that you can pace yourself really slow and easy, and take in all the sights that island had to offer! Thank you Rottness Express for having both on us on this fun trip!

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