Rottnest Island for the Quokkas

Here we are on Rottnest Island, just off the coast of Perth, Western Australia. A daytrip for us that started with waking up before 6am, rushing to feed and water the chickens, Japanese Quail, budgies, weiros, koi, tropical fish, dogs and cat, before leaving the house at 7am to catch the Rottnest Express ferry from Fremantle to the island.

What a day! First hubby was tardy getting ready and we left the house 15 minutes later than planned. Then McDonald’s drive-thru mucked up our breakfast order and we were delayed by another 10 minutes. Then Google Maps gave us the wrong directions, and we ended up at the wrong ferry terminal and had to rush over across to the other side of Fremantle to find the right terminal. Then the roadsigns led us on a merry chase before we found the “B Shed” terminal. Then the parking ticket machines just had to be out of order, so it was a mad rush to find one that worked, pay for a ticket, run back to the car to display said ticket, run to the tail end of the rapidly disappearing queue to board the ferry…

We just made it. But had to then stand for 30 minutes on the ferry, which was chock-a-block. We sure are a family that doesn’t do things by halves!

And then at last we were on Rottnest.

It’s a lovely place to bring the family. Sun, surf, snorkelling, scuba-diving, water sports, bicycling, Segways for hire, chalets to rent, bbq areas, camping, a strip of food places and bars, even a mini cinema, the list goes on.

We hired bikes. They had weird rubber bands around the gears, instead of the usual bike chain. There were only 3 gears, 2 of which didn’t work. Mine lacked a bell, so I had to yell at pedestrians and other cyclists. The roads were hardly flat – if you weren’t able-bodied and fit, you would struggle up the hills. And there were LOTS of hills. Going downhill at breakneck speed is a lot of fun. Cycling in the scorching sun with a cloud of flies around your head is not.

But the best part of Rottness has got to be the Quokkas. Here’s what Wikipedia says about the Quokka:

The quokka was one of the first Australian mammals seen by Europeans. The Dutch mariner Samuel Volckertzoon wrote of sighting “a wild cat” on Rottnest Island in 1658. In 1696, Willem de Vlamingh mistook them for giant rats and named the island “Rotte nest”, which comes from the Dutch words rattennest meaning “rat nest”.

The word quokka is derived from a Noongar (Aboriginal) word, which was probably gwaga.

So today, here are some pics of Quokkas we saw on Rottnest. They are really cute and totally unafraid of humans. They are a protected species and the public are not allowed to touch them. (Shhh but I did tap a couple of them on their noses when they came sniffing around for food. And I poured some water into a container for them, poor thirsty souls).

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Here’s a joke. A quokka walks into a bar. No, seriously, it does.

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