Rottnest Island

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April 4th 2014
Published: April 4th 2014
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Today I had a small adventure, going by boat to Rottnest Island. The island was named by a Dutch explorer who mistook the nests of the native marsupial quokkas for rats' nests. It is largely a wildlife preserve now, but there is a resort area at the eastern end (closest to Perth). The western end is one of the most southwesterly points of Australia. The Indian Ocean stretches from there to Africa (or Madagascar). Currently the search for the missing Malaysian flight is going on out there somewhere. It takes about two hours to get to the island from Perth and I enjoyed the boat ride which was essentially a cruise down the Swan River, past Fremantle, to the ocean. I had hoped to get a picture of the famous black swans (after whom the river is named), but they were all too far away. The boat arrived at the island pier (see photo) and I joined the crowd heading inland. Rottnest Island has no private cars, only a few tourist buses and a fleet of bicycles. My intention was to rent a bike, but I discovered that it was actually cheaper to ride the hop-on-hop-off bus, so that is what I did. This saved me time, effort, and the risk of sunburn. The island is fairly flat scrubland with many little bays and white sand beaches. It is pretty in a windswept sort of way. The wildlife includes New Zealand fur seals (see photo) that lounge by the shore with their flippers in the air - don't ask me why. There are also pods of dolphins (see photo - trust me, those are dolphin fins in the water), but the main claim to fame is the quokkas. They are extremely cute (see photo) and nearly fearless of humans. In fact, they have become a bit of a pest because people feed them and some stores have quokka-proof doors (see photo). Most people come to Rottnest as a holiday - sunbathing, snorkeling, and various tourist-oriented activities like jet boats and water skiing. Many stay overnight in one of the resorts. Also it is a wedding venue. In fact, two separate wedding groups were on the boat that I was on. As for me, the island provided an interesting day out and I'm glad to have seen it. Now I need to plan for tomorrow when I will continue to explore the Perth area.

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4th April 2014

How about a wine lands excursion to Margaret River or just around Perth? Have fun and take notes for us next year. from Israel, Ilene and Andy

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