Biking round Rottnest
Today we woke early and headed down to the Barratt street jetty where there are lots of companies that do tours to Rottnest Island. We got there with perfect timing so we only had to wait a few minutes before the boat pulled out into the Swan river. The boat journey to Freemantle was around an hour but the captain of the boat was explaining different sights along the river and explaining who owned the mansions alongside. He also explained that the Government would not allow people to buy the land right up to the river so that the public could still have access to a long walk down the riverside. We also saw the biggest and most expensive mansion in Australia. When we got to Freemantle we jumped off the boat and got on board the bigger boat behind which would take 45 minutes to get to Rottnest Island.
When we arrived on the island it looked amazing with beautiful white beaches and turquoise water. We thought that the best way to see as much of the island as possible was to hire bicycles. We started our ride around the outer edge of the island and stopped to take pictures of the Quokka’s. There are around 10,000 quokka’s on Rottnest Island which is pretty much the only place you’ll see them in the world. There are some on mainland Australia but these live deep in bush land and are more timid then the ones on Rottnest.
There were a couple of different routes to take round the island and we headed off in the direction of the firsts of the two light houses that are located on the island. We cycled past this and through to the lakes that are located in the centre of the island. Most of this journey was up and down big hills and we did have to get off the bikes once or twice to push them up as it was around midday and the sun was rather hot. The salt lakes looked very nice and we were told they used to provide all the salt for Western Australia. The landscape was brilliant, the water did smell quite stagnant though so we only stopped to admire this view briefly.
We then cycled up a series of large hills to the second light house that is set on the west side of the island (by this time we were roasting and wondering if getting a 4×4 was a better idea). But we made it and parked our bikes in a bike rack and climbed a dune to check out the view. From here we could see the main land and where we had come from so we thought it wouldn’t be too far to get back…how wrong we were the first sign that we saw said that the harbour was another 4 kilometres away!. Luckily most of the way back was down hill and the bits that weren’t we could get up with enough speed and a little effort.
We stopped off half way to have a rest (we thought we deserved it J) and take a look at one of the many ship wrecks that dot the island. You could just see part of the hull with some of the mast jutting out of the water and there were people snorkelling and divers were obviously taking a closer look.
After our much deserved rest we were ready to take the final leg back to the harbour where we knew we would be able find a drink and somewhere to rest our bums that were now starting to feel the two hours that we had spent on the bikes.
We dropped the bikes off and headed to the outside bar that was set on the beach front. As we were ordering our drinks we noticed that there was a party who had ordered pizza that looked really tasty so we got a margarita to share. As we were sitting down and eating and having our drinks peacocks and peahens wandered between the tables not at all fazed by the tons of people at the bar. We sat and looked out on the Indian ocean as we drank, watching boats sailing to and from the island and kids playing in the sea. Joe couldn’t wait to get his feet wet and ran down the beach as soon as we had finished the pizza. (He even tried to convince Emma that it was really warm but she didn’t fall for it.) We had a little walk around in the water but it was to cold to go swimming in and we soon realised that we had about twenty minutes to get back to the boat. We could see from where we were sitting that people had already started to board so we headed back to the main jetty. When we got on both the upper and middle decks were jam-packed and Joe thought we’d got on a refuge boat. We were forced to go and sit down in the third level which was almost below the sea level. After almost 2 hours we arrived back in Perth and made the short walk back to the hostel. We had planned on cooking but after a shower and a beer neither of us could be bothered so we ended up ordering chips from the bar and sitting there for a few more hours having a drink and a chat.