Adventuring Australia: Rottnest Island, Western Australia

Okay folks, I promised you quokkas, and I will deliver. But first, let me set the stage.

The ‘stage’

So, after exploring Perth for a bit, Alex and I headed south to Fremantle. As soon as we got there, we hopped on a ferry over to Rottnest Island. Alex had heard about the nature reserve from one of his coworkers who said it was a great place to spend a day relaxing on the beach, or bike riding, or hiking, or snorkeling….or a million other great activities. Plus, he said, it was one of the few places in Australia where you could see quokkas. And what, you may ask, is a quokka?

Well, what am I??

Quokkas are another part of Australia’s totally unique wildlife. They are marsupials, resemble kangaroos and wallabys, but are pretty small – only about the size of a domestic cat. And yeah, they are pretty cute.

This quokka seems to have made a new friend

Quokka’s are nocturnal, but on our tour of the island we managed to find several out and about like this guy.

We heard that about 10,000 quokkas inhabit Rottnest Island, but they aren’t the only inhabitants. Take the Australian Raven, for example. These guys fly around making an unholy racket. And a word to the wise: mind your lunch. These guys are experts at stealing any food you happen to take your eyes off for a moment. The Silver Gull, on the other hand, is much more polite.

The Australian Raven. Loud, bold, and after your lunch!

These Silver Gulls take a rest in Thomson Bay

In addition to the quokkas and birds, they’re are human inhabitants of Rottnest Island as well. First home to the Aboriginals, it’s had many incarnations since then as a prison, a reformatory, an internment camp, a military barracks and now as an A-Class nature reserve. It really is a beautiful place, complete with lodging if you think you might want to stay a day or two. There certainly is plenty to see…

Tracks from the railroad that runs through the island

This is perseverance!

Two types of Sandfire. Quokka food!

Rottnest Island even has a small cemetery. This grave dates back to 1890.

We’ll end with the very first quokka Alex and I saw on the island. After an hour of hiking, we were starting to worry that we wouldn’t see any – but after spotting this guy, we started seeing them everywhere.

For many more pictures of Rottnest Island (including more quokkas!), head over to Flickr!

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