Published: February 6th 2012February 3rd 2012
This beautiful city, as we have seen, has a vast playground on its door step of endless beaches and wild bushwalks. One of its real gems though is Rottnest, a small island some 20kms of its shores. We trundled off there for a bit of snorkelling, again in temperatures of nearly 40 degrees. There are no cars on the island and it is almost essential to hire bicycles if you want to explore, which we of course did. We were aiming for a snorkel-trail but due to the intense heat we could not resist dropping off in the first bay we got to, to cool off, Henrietta’s Bay, after a small shipwreck close to shore. This turned out to be a better snorkelling spot that the tourist trail site and we saw all sorts of tropical fish, and even a dolphin! I was really thrilled that Ellen & Michelle were able to experience a little of what I had spent many years doing before they were born, surveying the wonderful undersea world, they really took to snorkelling. Adam was a real star as, unlike the girls, he is not a very proficient swimmer, but you would not have known it, he
was off like a shot! It is always funny to hear the squeals of delight from someone who has their face under water and the muffled shrieks that emanate from their snorkel. It was all really exciting!
We then tried another not so good bay and just arrived at the next when the Ranger and police suddenly appeared and ushered us away as an unexploded WWII bomb had just been found. Typical, I was looking forward to that snorkel trail – it was a shame to miss it. Anyhow, we continued on our cycle around the island keeping our eyes peeled for the elusive ‘quokka’. This is a very small marsupial that gives the island its name – the Dutch settlers originally mistook this small wallaby for rats, hence ‘Rottnest’. We were feeling weary, our water had run out and we stopped in the shade of some trees to eak out our last supplies when from nowhere a family of quokkas came scurrying out to meet us, evidently on the look at for food. They are most odd little creatures and it is easy to see why they were originally mistaken for rats. So, that was another must-do ticked
off the list! The really amusing thing for me though, was that whilst we were thrilled and excited to be seeing dolphins & quokkas, the other tourists, who mainly tend to be Japanese, were more excited to see Adam and insisted on taking photos of him! (“he’s so cute, we need photos of him” they yelled). Oh well, I suppose they see enough of dolphins, after all they do eat them....
Inland from Perth, are the Darling Range of Hills and having seen a lot of the coast we wanted to explore inland. I had wanted to see York, the first inland town in WA, but due to the intense heat it was not wise to venture inland too far. However, we did get to visit John Forrest National Park, an area of marri and karri trees, kangaroos and parrots. Here we enjoyed a peaceful bush walk and close up encounters with wild kangaroos before saying our fond farewells to Peter & Ann, Jill & Clive – till next time. We have had a fabulous time in WA and are very grateful for the kind hospitality shown to us from various family members but especially Jill & Clive who
have been wonderfully kind & generous hosts. This visit to WA has been tame compared to our last one 18 years ago when we explored the far north including the Kimberley & enjoyed the glorious prisitne Ningaloo reef, but has been really lovely - it is a vast state of incredible contrasts & extremes. Talking of extremes, off we zoom to Uluru...
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