If you’re visiting Perth, you definitely have to go to Rottnest Island. Here you’ll find the most beautiful coastline ever, but maybe even more importantly (if you love animals just like us) the cutest animal on this planet: the quokka! We decided to take a day trip to Rottnest Island for a day of exploring. We bicycled around the whole island, enjoyed the beautiful views and met with the happiest animal on earth. Read on for a quick blog about this place, and check out the photos of this gorgeous island and it’s cute habitants.
Rottnest Island Australia: Home of the Quokkas
Approximately 7,000 years ago, Rottnest Island was separated from the mainland due to rising sea levels. There are six major habitats: coastal, salt lakes, woodlands, brackish swamps, heath and settled areas. Rottnest has 63 beaches and various snorkeling sites! Unfortunately for us, it was a little bit too cold to get into the water and snorkel. Luckily, there is enough to see on land!
William de Vlamingh, who in 1696 was the next recorded European to visit Rottnest Island, met with al the quokkas on shore which he mistakenly saw as rats. That’s why he called the island Rattennest (Dutch for Rat’s Nest), which was later changed into Rottnest Island. Although a quokka is small and has a similar tail as a rat, it certainly is not the same species.
The Happiest Animal on Earth: the Quokka
The most special animal that you can find on Rottnest is definitely the quokka. Quokkas can only be found in Australia and are predominantly living on Rottnest Island. Aside from Rottnest, you can also find small groups of quokkas on the mainland of Australia and some on Bald Island. They mostly eat grass, leaves, stems and bark of various plants.
We noticed that quokkas really resembles the wallaby. After some research we found that quokkas and wallabies, as well as the kangaroo, are from the species marsupials. A characteristic of these species are that most of the babies are carried in a pouch!
During our visit we were lucky, because we actually saw some quokka babies, better known as a joey. It was so cute to see quokkas with joey’s in their pouch! Usually the joey stays in it’s mothers pouch for six months. When it leaves the pouch, the joey still needs the mother for milk for two more months. Quokkas are old enough to have their own babies when they are 1.5 years old and can live up to approximately ten years.
When you visit Rottnest Island you feel inclined to feed the quokkas, but they can actually become sick if they eat food such as bread, chips and meat. The rangers on Rottnest Island therefore ask the visitors to refrain from feeding the quokkas.
Next to quokkas you can also find various flora, reptiles, birds and of course marine life on Rottnest Island!
Cycling, Snorkeling or Relaxing? What to do on Rottnest Island.
What to do on Rottnest Island, besides discovering beautiful coastlines and amazing Australian wildlife? There are various ways to explore the island, as you can go on a guided tour, a hop on hop off bus, or you can discover Rottnest by bike.
We went with two friends and the four of us decided to go on a bicycle. This gives you so much more freedom, as you can stop where and whenever you like. Also, in about five hours we cycled around the whole island, so it’s perfectly manageable to see a lot. There are cycle paths all around the island! If the weather is good, you can also go snorkeling and explore the marine life of Rottnest.
If you’re looking for a more relaxing day, you can even go to Karma Day Spa, where you can get all sorts of massages and different beauty treatments. Planning to spent the night? Go here for some recommendations! There are lots of accommodations, from bungalows and hotels, to dormitories and campgrounds. Furthermore, there is also a big variation of restaurants, bars and cafes. There is enough to do for a weekend get away. We actually felt kind of rushed during our day trip, so if your budget allows you to spent one night, we would highly recommend doing so.
Our experience with Rottnest Express
We found it quite expensive to go to Rottnest Island. A normal return ticket with Rottnest Express from Perth is $99 (!!). However, if you go on tuesday it’s Telethon Tuesday and it’s “only” $79 from Perth and $59 if you go from Fremantle, and you get a bicycle along with the deal.
To be honest, we were not super happy with our experience with Rottnest Express. We went from Perth, and our friends went from Fremantle, which is closer to Rottnest Island. We had to stop two times, from which one was at Fremantle, while our friends went straight to Rottnest Island. Thus, we arrived later than our ticket claimed, and the long journey made us quite tired already.
We don’t why Rottnest Express decides that it makes more sense to let the ferry that has a longer journey to stop twice and the ferry from Fremantle to go straight to the destination. Luckily we didn’t let it ruin our day, and we had such a good time while we were on the island. But when we went back with the ferry, it was fully packed with people, so we had to sit down on the ground until the first stop.
There are other possibilities to go to Rottnest Island. Always check for deals for accommodation and the ferry on the official website of Rottnest Island, and now and then you can find good deals on Groupon. Even though we didn’t enjoy the ferry-ride that much, we would still recommend going on a tuesday if you are planning for an one-day trip, and can’t find a better deal. Hopefully we were just a bit unlucky on this day. The experience on the island definitely made up for it.
Check out some more photos of Rottnest Island!
It may look as if we’re feeding the quokka’s, but we aren’t holding any food whatsoever.
What is the cutest animal you’ve ever met? Let us know in the comments!