The Ridiculously Ravishing Rottnest Island
Really, what a ravishing island Rottnest is!
I’m very much a beach bum and I can easily say that Rottnest is truly one of a kind. It’s one of the most unique and gorgeous island that I’ve ever been to.
Located off the coast of Western Australia just 19kms from Fremantle, its somehow puzzling in a good way as to how the island is easily accessible yet still very much unspoiled by commercialization. It could easily be the frequent weekend getaway for families or couples looking for a great weekend by the beach or even a weekend of fun adventure. I mean yes, its a A-class reserve meaning its afforded the highest protection by the Australian Government but the fact that the moment you step on the island you are kind-of be transported back in time in a good divine way is just mind-blowing. It’s pristine, pure and untouched state will truly make any beach lovers melt and fall in love with the place. Not just for beach or nature lovers, there are plenty of activities here, making it a perfect place for the adrenaline junkies as well.
B-Shed Fremantle is where I went to board the Rottnest Express ferry that would bring me to the island. I made sure I reached the jetty the earliest I could so that I can get the earliest ferry in to make the most of my visit to the island. I booked my ferry tickets online a day earlier and got good discount from the original price as they have the Telethon Tuesday offer. So, its a good idea to go on a Tuesday I guess. Check out their website to book your tickets online.
It takes about 25 minutes to reach the island. It was a pleasant 25 minutes or so as the waters were calm. You can choose to sit inside or out at the observation deck. I obviously sat outside for the entire journey so that I can get the most of the gorgeous view and to click as much pictures as I could.
It was indeed awesome to be welcomed by these beautiful not-so-lil fellas!
My first stop in Rottnest was the visitor center where you can get some advice on the tour packages available and some insights on all the awesome activities that you can get your hands on. This is also where you can purchase your tickets and passes for the transports and/or activities ranging from historic train journeys, lighthouse tours, underwater explorations, glass bottom boat rides, skydiving and also segway tours. I was so tempted to get the tickets for the heli-ride tour for some alluring aerial shot of the island but held myself back as I had to first BE on the island to venture as much as possible.
Basically, bicycles are the preferred and most common transportation here. It can be hired from the visitor center or you can even bring your own by ferry from the mainland with a small fee. If cycling is not your cup of tea, there’s a hop-on hop-off coach service called the Island Explorer. You can get the pass at the visitor center. The coach runs daily and there’s 18 stops along the way from the very first pick-up point. You can choose to get down at any of the many scintillating secluded bays and hidden gems around the island.
I personally preferred the coach service as I had my bulky camera with me. Also, I wanted to see the whole island at one go before deciding which stop I should spend more time at. So I went around the entire island twice checking the 18 stops and making mental notes arranging the sequence of the stops I should spend more time at with the help of the island map. Just remind yourself though that there’s a coach service time-table or schedule that you should keep an eye on to ensure you don’t miss the coach at any given time or stop.
Here is a list of things you can do in Rottnest:
JOIN one of the many free guided walking tours of the Island.
FOLLOW your own path along the Wadjemup Bidi.
HIRE a bike and snorkel gear from Rottnest Island Pedal & Flipper
SWIM and relax by the stunning waters – you have 63 beaches and 20 bays to choose from
DISCOVER the underwater snorkel trails at Little Salmon Bay and Parker Point.
LEARN about the island’s history at the Rottnest Island Museum, Lomas Cottage, Pilot Boat House, Vincent Way and Salt Store.
ENCOUNTER a variety of wildlife including birdlife, quokkas and dolphins.
EXPLORE the world beneath the waves on the Underwater Explorer (September – May).
JOIN a 90 minute adventure cruise (November – April).
CLIMB the Wadjemup Lighthouse for the ultimate views across the whole island.
RIDE the train to view the maze of tunnels beneath the WWII gun emplacement on Oliver Hill
And here is the list of the Bike & walk trails:
Bickley Battery Heritage Trail (Military)
Oliver Hill Heritage Trail (Military)
Rottnest Ship Wrecks Heritage Trail – Land and Water
Colonial Buildings Heritage Trail
Parker Point Loop Environmental Trail
Signal Ridge Heritage Trail
*Extracted from experience.perth.com website
Along the ride in the coach, I saw a few Quokkas which the island is actually well known for. Not many other places in the world are inhabited by these cute friendly beings. Just remember not to handle them in any way and feeding them, especially with food that humans consume, is strictly discouraged as they can get sick fairly easy. You can be fined by the Australian authority for not following the signs/rules in place, so be mindful of these rules.
I was dumbfounded by a few of the beaches. Such blue clear water and beautiful soft white sand to walk on. Its really a swimmer’s and snorkeling lover’s paradise, I must say.
Some of my fave spots in the island:
I spent many hours in this ravishing island – there’s just so many things to do and places to venture here honestly. I couldn’t do the heli-ride tour as there’s no way I can miss the last ferry out from the island!
Some memorable moments I will cherish forever is definitely the amazement I felt again and again as I get to each beach spots. I remember being super excited encountering the friendly Quokkas. I will also not forget my long chat with an elderly local couple who imparted some wise words especially on life and travel. I will undoubtedly remember the moment I missed one of the coach at a stop which meant I will have to wait almost 45 minutes for the next bus. I ended up walking to the next stop in the scorching heat but what an adventure it was. Then there was the panic unpleasant moment when a little girl could not stop her cycle on the downward slope. Her parents were nowhere nearby to save her. I remember the instance where I dropped my bag and ran towards the girl and stopping her with the help of another lady who made the run as well. The poor little girl was crying and couldn’t remember where her parents were! And finally, I remember the seconds just before I heard the horn of the last ferry calling its passengers to get on-board. The final moments where I sat looking at the sea and the sky with its nearly sunset shade and getting mesmerised with Mother Nature and what she’s presenting for the humans to celebrate life with.
How gorgeous she is. Truly, truly gorgeous.
Until we ‘meet’ again, keep wanderlustings my fellow wanderlusters!