Perth Journal, Day 05
For me, the highlight of the trip was Rottnest Island. An island that advertised clear skies, sandy beaches, clear waters for snorkelling, bicycling trails, and lighthouses. How quick can you get me on that Rottnest Express ferry? We planned our trip to Rottnest on a Tuesday to take advantage of the Telethon Tuesdays discount. We also hired our bikes through Rottnest Express. Instead of having to go over to the bike hire shop, we could pick up our bikes right off the dock and start exploring the island! No cars are allowed on the island and the only ways to traverse the island are via bike, feet or the bus.
We headed south-east from Thomson Bay, intending to cycle the 10km bicycle trail, with stops at Little Salmon Bay for some snorkelling and Wadjemup Lighthouse. On paper, 10km seems pretty easy but, oh boy, all those pamphlets don't tell you about the hills, slopes and the blazing hot sun! We had to take frequent breaks and push our bikes up the hills quite a bit. While I think I would enjoy the cycling more in slightly cooler weathers, it still felt good to be out in the sunshine, cycling around the island and taking in the incredible scenery.
We stopped at Little Salmon Bay where I snorkelled for a while. While beautifully clear, the waters were actually quite cold. I haven't swum in the sea for a very very long time, city kid that I am, so it took me awhile to get use to the sea and my snorkelling equipment. The first time I ducked under, I forgot that seawater is salty! Gulp! I swallowed quite a few mouthfuls of water! Slowly, I got the hang of it and I managed to snorkel out to sea, past the end of the cliff in the above photograph. The corals or sea life weren't particularly beautiful but it was amazing to be swimming so close to the fishes.
After snorkelling, and a quick lunch of sandwiches, we got on our bikes again to head towards Wadjemup Lighthouse. That's the lighthouse in the distance, from Salmon Bay. You can see, we have our work cut out from us to get there.
Meet Quokka! These little creatures roam the island and are what gave Rottnest Island its name. Unfortunately, these adorable creatures were mistaken for rats by early Dutch explorers and so the island became known as Rotte nest.