August 10, 2010

Western Australia : Cycling around Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island is a small island, about 20km off the coast of Fremantle, Western Australia. It used to be prison for the aboriginal people but now it's a popular weekend getaway for the locals. So, not wanting to miss out all the fun, I decided to check it out... :D

There's a choice whether to take the ferry from Perth or Fremantle, I chose the latter as it's cheaper and faster. Paid AUD90 for Rottnest Express fare, island admission fee and bike rental.

loading the bikes onto the ferry
inside the ferry
The ride from Fremantle only took around 30 minutes to reach the jetty at Thomson Bay or the Settlement as what the locals call it.

We were welcomed to a scene of white sands and turquoise blue waters as we disembarked.
Thomson Bay

There are no cars on Rottnest Island as the island is a car-free zone. So, the best way to see Rottnest is by cycling, although the terrain is slightly hilly. Cycling round the whole island will take about 3 hours. If you think you aren't that fit, other alternative is pay AUD12 for the hop-on-hop-off bus to get around the island.

Oh mind you. It is mandatory for cyclists to wear helmets in Western Australia, failing to do so can result in a fine.

We stopped at the visitor centre, located not far from the jetty, to get some information and maps of the island and also to check out the attractions and activities that we could do.  

The island is a National Park, so the only available shops are in the Settlement area. We rented snorkelling gear for AUD20 and loaded supplies of food for snacking along the journey.

It was hard balancing the bike, as we were carrying our flippers and snorkel masks on the bike handle, while carrying our bagpacks and slings across our body. Definitely not a sight to behold! T_T

Along the scenic route, we stopped at various places to camwhore enjoy the nature. ;p

The island is superb to be explored at our own pace. There are more than 60 beaches and 20 bays on the island, so we had abundant of choices to explore. We stopped where we wanted, and even did some swimming at one of the beaches.

Rottnest is one of the few areas in the world where the quokka can be found. From what I read, Dutch sailors named the island Rottnest which means "rats nest" because they mistook this quokka for a large rat. hahaha...

I thought quokka looks something like a mixed breed of a rat and a kangaroo. They sometimes hop on two legs and sometimes drag themselves forward on all fours. Very cute I tell ya!

We reached the snorkelling area, Parker Point at almost noon. 

Parker Point

It was hot, hot, hot! But the view was so fantastic I didn't even care about the sun anymore. Put on the sunscreen and here we came, beach! 

me and my CS host in Perth, Nadia

amazing crystal blue water

There are 2 lighthouses on the island, the Wadjemup and Bathurst Lighthouse but due to time contraint, we only managed to go to Bathurst.

Bathurst Lighthouse

Cycling, swimming and snorkelling were great for working up an appetite so after cleaning up, we returned the snorkeling gear, and headed to Barista Waterfront for a well deserved lunch.

AUD10 fish and chips

After that late lunch, it was time to go back as we booked our return ferry at 6pm.

We reached Fremantle in time for the sunset.


For those who loves the beach, the sun and the sea, you must come here!! It is really a beautiful place! Another place to be added into my best beaches list. :D

Now, I could understand why so many people from Perth come here to relax!  It definitely has that relaxing feeling the moment you arrive!


My name starts with M said...

ni ko baru gi recently gak ke? nway, super duper cool ok!!! and u look like Vic Beckham. hehe

rara said...

mas, ni trip yang aku pegi before wedding fizah tu..
eh eh.. macam Vic Beckham? tang mana tah.. ;p

PSP-Filiaal said...

Thank you for the story and the pictures. Very interesting. I might go there myself. But I hate being on the plane for 30 hours!
Lirios - the Netherlands

rara said...

lirios: u should go! the gorgeous view will compensate your 30 hours flight. hehe