TRAVEL with pat and lew

Rottnest Island

Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 22, 2007

Rottnest Island lies in the Indian Ocean, 18 km off the western coast of Australia. It derives its name from the (incorrect) assumption by early explorers that the small furry Quokkas who inhabit the island were some form of rat (rott). Actually they’re small wallabies, who hop about on their hind legs dragging their long tails behind them.

We make boat reservations, choosing to rent bikes on the island rather than taking them over on the boat. There are discounts both for seniors and Hillarys residents. We spend a pleasant half hour on the sunny Indian Ocean.

It’s the first time for us on bikes since leaving Key West over four months before. The terrain is relatively flat, and we handle the gentle hills without difficulty.

We have lunch looking at the beautiful ocean and the Perth skyscrapers off in the distance. A quokka visits us under the table.

We ride to Bathurst Point lighthouse where the views of the beach are spectacular. A little further along the coast is an even more beautiful beach. I take off my shoes and walk into the ocean … perfectly clear … cool but not cold … smooth bottom. A natural pool formed in the rocks, about 2 feet deep, is filled with bathers.

A sign on the Rottnest general store proclaims it to be the first stone building in Western Australia, built by Aboriginal convicts in the mid 1800s.

An inquisitive peacock comes up to us while we’re sitting on a bench. From a distance of less than a foot, it looks me straight in the eye, struts and stretches. It has an incredibly deep blue neck and head. 

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