Rottnest Island Stay

Josh Under WaterAs somebody who was born and bred in Perth, Western Australia, Rottnest has always been the number one family holiday destination, when I was young it was referred to as an overseas vacation.  For those of you not from Perth, Rottnest Island is 18 km off the coast heading due west from the Fremantle port and is only 11 km long.  

It got its name from its adorably cute rat-like inhabitants and it is the only place that the native marsupial Quokka’s are found.  Quokkas resemble a sort of large rat and the island “Rat’s Nest” became known as Rottnest.  It is a very popular holiday destination both to people from Perth and to travellers from around the world.  It features picturesque views from two lighthouses; whales can be seen playing from the West End cliffs. There are several quality surf spots around the island, the fishing is amazing and the meat pies from the Rottnest Bakery hold a very special spot in my childhood memories.

My First Rottnest Trip

My family’s first trip to Rottnest Island and all of the adventures that followed didn’t begin the way you would think.  It began in fact with me leaving them behind on shore as I headed over on the ferry, alone.  After what had been an interesting and stressful few months I had somehow managed to organise two days without the family. To do some soul searching, to write, to drink, to listen to music, to explore the island on my own and most important of all to learn to use our new Canon EOS 1000D camera.  My first proper DSLR camera, and a whole two days to myself to learn to use it.

Rottnest Lunch

We had taken the chance to head over in May, which as anybody in Perth will know is taking a big chance with the weather.  That time of year on Rottnest Island can be unpleasant to say the least, with high winds, lots of rain and oh so very cold at night!  I arrived to perfect weather, which stayed perfect for our entire stay.  My ferry pulled up to the jetty after a perfect trip across, all the while being chased by a boat with three men laughing and waving beer cans at us, at around 10:00 am and I went down to check in.  After being informed that it was far too early to check in, I headed down to the first restaurant/pub on the left, ordered myself a burger, a beer, and sat back enjoying the sun and began to write.  The food was excellent, the view was superb, and the weather perfect.

After finishing lunch I somehow managed to arrange all my bags on myself and headed off to try and take some photos with the new camera.  As I headed down to the beach the first thing I saw was two pelicans who appeared to be deep in conversation and I spent the next hour or so playing with my camera, my toes digging in the sand, and that feeling that only Rottnest can give you slowly filling me.  It really is a special place, no matter who you are on the mainland, on the island everybody looks the same – bathers, bare-feet, a smile on their face and that slow contented walk that you so rarely see in the city.  There is no reason to rush.  There are no cars to watch out for (although there ARE a lot of people who don’t really know how to ride a bike careening wildly around.).  Quokkas come up to greet you everywhere you go.

Rottnest Cabin Accommodation

After getting my key and setting up my cabin, I cracked a bottle of wine and relaxed for a while and then set off to go for a swim and take pictures of the sunset.  Tomorrow I had already planned my ride around the entire island, planning to stop at every single bay on the way to swim and take photos.  I hadn’t ridden 20+ kilometres in a long time but I had faith (as well I should have).  I sat next to the lighthouse with the group that had gathered to watch the sunset, I drank wine and celebrated with them as the last rays of sunlight came through the clouds.

Rottnest Sunset

As the last of the light faded away, I headed back down to the Quokka Arms pub … and being May … and the middle of the week; I had the pub to myself so I sat outside enjoying my absolutely delicious meal, a jug of beer and writing quietly.  And then I slowly made my way back to the cabin, looking forward to an early start and what I was going to see the next day, never expecting to be standing alone on a lookout at the island’s very West end and getting to watch dolphins surfing playfully in the waves.

Click here to view Rottnest Island accommodation options

About Josh

Josh is a bare-foot, dread-locked librarian, surfer, writer, blogger, up and coming youtube personality and amateur photographer. He is the father of three young boys and if he had any spare time he would probably spend it lying in a hammock listening to music.

Speak Your Mind