During my stay in Perth, I had the opportunity to visit Rottnest Island for a weekend.
Originally, Rottnest Island was called Wadjemup, which means, “place across the water” in the aboriginal language. In 1696 the Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh clamed to discover the island and gave it the name of Rottnest Island from the Dutch Rott-nest (rat’s nest) due to the multitude of Quokkas.
In 1838, the island became a prison until 1931 where Aboriginal people then war prisoners were locked.
Since then, Australian people use the island as a holiday destination. Rottnest is situated at 19 km offshore of Perth and easily accessible thanks to the high-speed ferry in less than 1 hour from Fremantle harbour. The island is free of car (except the police) and most of the tourists explore it by bike. Indeed, because the island is around 11 km long for 4.5 km wide it is possible to visit it in a day.
It is preferably to go there when the weather is nice because the only attractions are linked to water. Actually, the island is perfect for the amateurs of any type of water sport and the birds’ lovers. It is also the only place where you can see the Quokkas. The Quokkas are small animals similar to huge rats. They love to eat in the backpacks of tourists and are not afraid of them. They are protected and anyone who injured them will receive a fine and a possible prison sentence.
The island contains beautiful beaches in which it is possible to swim and relax. Several small lakes with different colours compose the interior. Both the interior and the coast are lovely to visit. The sunset over the sea is an experience to absolutely not miss.
Because the Island is very popular you won’t have any problem to find an accommodation or a place where to eat. During our stay we slept in tents in the camping ground and rented bikes directly on the island to visit. You can bring your bike with you on the ferry if you prefer.
I absolutely enjoyed my weekend on Rottnest Island, it is such a wonderful place where we can escape the civilisation and be amazed by the landscape of the island. If you are staying in Perth I recommend you to plan a trip there.