Thursday, June 16, 2011

It Is Now My Ambition to Use the Word "Quokka" in a Game of Scrabble

After getting back from Denmark (and "koala sleeping" for 14 hours straight -so tired after that Bibbulmun Track hike), I scampered off again to finally visit Rottnest with my friend Anna. Rottnest is an island off the coast of Perth, where lots of both Perthites and tourists go for a little beach vacation in the summer. Lucky for us, the "winter" weather scared off everyone else and Anna and I pretty much had the entire island to ourselves! 

Note: Anna took a lot of these photos, so to be fair I marked each one she took with a little "(A)" in the caption. That ended up being a lot of the ones I posted, since she has a great eye for pictures and I am much lazier about keeping my camera handy. >.> So thanks Anna!

We kicked off our stay on Rottnest by setting up our tent -and not knowing where the tent poles were. Pro tip: always check underneath things like big tents spread out over the ground.... ^^; A little adrenaline is a good thing, right? 
Next, we rented bikes and set off to explore the island! First stop, filling our water bottles.
There's no natural fresh water on the island, so there's only two places to fill water bottles. Also, helmets are annoying but compulsory here. :/ (A)
Second stop, lounging!
This is Little Armstrong Bay, on the north side of the island. (A)
Little Armstrong Bay from a bluff above it.

Such a beautiful beach promptly necessitated some bathing suits ;P
Winter on Rottnest. Omg I love Australia. :D
PB&J sandwiches and beer on the beach: Classy. (A)
After some wonderful lazing about in the sun and drinking and looking for pretty shells, we eventually straddled the bikes again and set off for the rest of the island. We biked all the way to Mabel's Cove before we took a long-ish break for shell-finding and rest (read: I fall asleep in the sand while Anna takes lovely pictures).
Some of the shells we found. (A)
Sea anemone! :D It's so spiky.... (A)
After Mabel's Cove, we went the rest of the way to West End, the very farthest point on the island.
From Rottnest it's just a hop, skip and jump to Africa and Antarctica! (A)
Mauritius is thataway.
By then it was starting to get a little windy and cold-ish, and with the sun dipping towards the horizon we wanted to hightail it back to our campsite to get dinner started before it got completely dark (also, I was ravenous, as usual). Unfortunately, we discovered that going back involved a lot more uphill. In a headwind. Did I mention we had full backpacks as well? >_<; Bleeeeeeh. We eventually made it back to camp (after much breathless cussing), and after a little tinkering and a trip to the store for Redheads, we managed to start cooking our wonderfully hobo dinner of canned lentils and baked beans on toast, accompanied by a huge avocado, brownie cookies and of course Little Creatures.
Once again, classy.
The quokkas really wanted to kill us and steal our food, I mean, help us cook.
Quokkas are basically the weirdest and coolest animals ever. As you can see, they look like giant rats (hence the name of the island: Rottnest means "Rat's nest" in Dutch, more or less) but they are marsupials and hop like kangaroos! The creepy thing is that they're everywhere on the island, slinking about in the bushes quietly, and they are completely and totally unafraid of humans. So they're like hordes of cat-sized rat-looking wild-but-tame furry things with eyes that shine in the dark. Also, we were told we're not supposed to feed the quokkas and that several Australians had told us not to pet them, as they have diseases or something. The exhaustion-tipsiness quickly turned this into the certainty that the quokkas were going to kill us to steal our food and infect us with QU-AIDS and quaitcheyevee. This concept was only strengthened by the fact that quokkas banged into our tent before we went to bed, scaring us silly. Seriously.
Quokkas watching us while we cooked/ate dinner. It's a miracle we made it out alive. (A)
SO FURRY. It clearly covers up the madness inside.  (A)
The next morning, we quickly discovered that we were rather too sore in certain places to bike. >_<;; Ugh. Pain. It was also incredibly take-your-breath-away-windy on the coast and chilly everywhere. This rather derailed our plans to snorkel, but we accepted this gracefully (Anna has already been and I still have time to go when it's not frigid) and did more leisurely/warm activities, like visiting the museum and taking the train to the Oliver Hill gun and tunnel tour.
The train! Which looks more like a tram, but whatever. (A)
Rottnest was important to defending the harbor in WWII, so it's got a big 9inch gun installed. I was rather sad the nice tour guide lady made weird remarks about U.S. military dominance when she found out Anna and I are American. (A)
Before it was a gun post, Rottnest was a prison. Don't steal cakes. (A)

Finally, it came time to get back on the ferry. But time for one last picture!
Yay Rottnest!


  1. gorgeous!! standing in the surfline always makes me feel like I'm on the edge of the earth, and could topple into either the wet or dry world with a gust of wind...

  2. Wow hon, what fun to experience this vicariously with you. Thank you so much for making it so easy and fun to do. I am going to try to start the passport process this week. love you <3

  3. Wow Anna must have a really spiffy camera! Hehe are you sure you're not a kangaroo love? ;p I'd probably die if I tried to jump that high lol (in the last pic)

  4. why hello there sexy ;p a very attractive beach indeed! I love all the information about the crazy wildlife! and the awesome photos of the oceans and beasties! (lol and "little creatures" ;p)great to talk to you today! Loves!