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  • Day105

    Perth (Rottnest Island)

    September 29, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    The weather gods smiled on us on Friday as we packed up the van, said our goodbyes to Omi and headed to Hillarys Boat Harbour to catch the ferry across to Rottnest Island for the day. We took our bikes across with us and were prepared for all weather with our layers of clothes and backpacks stuffed full of beach gear! We arrived just before 11am and the weather was perfect for biking around the sometimes hilly island, sunny with a strong southwesterly breeze. We headed to Wadjemup Lighthouse along an inland road with some decent hills which got the better of Marley on his little bike! We admired the view from the lighthouse but didn't hang around for the tour (we'd just missed the start of the one running and we were on a tight schedule!) and checked out the other historical buildings used as signal stations during the War.
    Back on the bikes, we cruised around to the magnificent Salmon Bay with its clear turquoise water offering snorkelling straight off the beach. Roy couldn't resist (and said it was amazing) but it was too cold for everyone else...besides Meg who attempted a dip but was out almost as quickly as she was in! Would be a truly spectacular spot in good weather! Even on our windy day, there was a protected nook perfect for snorkelling exploration straight off the beach. Dried off and back on the bikes we headed around to Little Salmon Bay and Parkers Point - more pristine water...almost impossible to resist if the weather was warmer! As we headed back to the Settlement at Thomson's Bay we put the brakes on - quokkas spotted!! After we tried to ignore some French tourists patting the sleeping animals like they were in a petting zoo we got plenty of photos and then more quokkas hopped out of the nearby woodland in the hope of sharing lunch with some British tourists picknicking nearby. Thankfully those tourists respected the rules of the island and we all got plenty of up close photos but the quokkas didn't get fed. As wonderful as it was to see them up close, it's also very sad to see these sleepy nocturnal creatures out and about in the daytime.
    Later, when we stopped for lunch at the Rottnest Hotel, more quokkas came out, hopping around looking for food seemingly unaware of the humans snapping their photos and some of them actually fell asleep curled up against furniture in the beer garden. We enjoyed a delicious lunch at the pub overlooking the beach and Roy and the kids had average ice creams for dessert from the ice creamery around the corner. The kids happily played in the sand until we had to grab our bikes and head back for the return ferry. This place definitely is on our "next time" list and we need at least a few days here - fabulous to be able to ride bikes safely everywhere, beautiful scenery and amazing beaches.
    To top off a great day, we had two whales frolicking right near the ferry on the return trip! The captain stopped the engines so we could indulge in some free whale watching - perfect end to a great day trip!
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