10 October 2011

Perth - Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island, Western Australia very own island getaway is located just 18 km off the coast of Western Australia, near Fremantle. Its Mediterranean style climate,short distance from the city, unique flora and fauna makes it a very popular getaway and holiday destination; resort accomodations and golf course. Wikipedia write up of Rottnest Island gives a good account of the island history, its flora, fauna and tourism facilites.

Getting to Rottnest Island is easy. You can take a ferry like we did at the Barrack Street Jetty in Perth’s city centre. Other alternative are by plane, helicopter or even your very own boat, if you have one.

We arrived at the island main settlement at the Thomson Bay where all activities on the island starts from. The island may be small but it's impossible to do everything in one day. So planning is essential for a day trip to the island. We opted for the whale watching cruise and will have to come back to Perth again to do the others.

Click here for a map of the island and the Thomson Bay Settlement. You can find the usual franchise restaurant outlets; Subway, Red Rooster and Dome Cafe for a quick and easy lunch. Some retail outlets to way the time away till the next schedule bus or boat departure to your island destination. There is even a small church for some quite time and prayer.

As you can see from the map, there is much to see and do on the island and the idea of a couple of nights at the Hotel Rottnest might just be the plan for the next trip to WA.

There is a small museum, housed in an original old mill and hay store, built by Aboriginal prisoners in 1857. The museum provides a fascinating insights and comprehensive information about the island including its history, marine wrecks, European settlement, Aboriginal prisoners, communication and some of it fauna.

Because of the island natural beauty, its many unspoilt beaches, spectacular flora, fauna and abundant marine life; powered vehicles of any sort (except for the Rottnest Island Bus Services) are not permitted on the island. Even electric bikes and vehicles are prohibited. Don't quite understand that but it is one of the rules of the place.

Only vehicles that are propelled by human power are allowed around the Island. That means you get around the island by bicycle, which you can hire or you get around by your very own pedal power, walking.

Some of the wildlife on the island; Quokka, unique to the island, Pied Cormorant, New Zealand Fur Seals and we spotted a Sea Lions among the rocks. Several dozen seals have called Cathedral Rocks near Cape Vlamingh their home. There are some concerns however, that a breeding colony for fur seals on the island may attract sharks to the holiday spot.

For more images of the island sights and wildlife, click here.
The following are short 10 seconds video clips of whales surfacing for air, off the coast of Rottnest Island. They are pretty difficult to capture on video and even much harder to capture by photo.

See if you can identify the whale type in the video.

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