Rottnest Island

Today I got to do one of the most popular things to do in WA: visit Rottnest Island! Home to the adorable Quokkas, the island is about a 90-minute ferry ride from Perth and about 25 minutes from Fremantle. We left the quay early and got into Thomson Bay for about 10. I picked up my bike with some scepticism and hoped that I could still remember how to ride it.

It’s true what they say: you never forget how to ride a bike, but that doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily enjoy it. I got off to a shaky start but soon remembered how to balance properly. I didn’t actually fall off, but there were a few close calls, one involving me dodging a rogue quokka that decided to spring out at me at the last moment. I thought it was better that I take a tumble than to potentially hurt the little guy.

My first stop was The Basin, which was a beautiful rocky beach with sand as white as the Whitsundays. Then it was up to Bathurst lighthouse and Mushroom Rock lookout before heading back into town to visit the other side of the island. Let me tell you something: Google maps lies. I googled a route to Bickley Battery and it was meant to take about 10 minutes and be ‘very flat’. It was neither of these things. I got lost four times because there were several unforeseen twists and forks in the road which confused me, and it was also incredibly hilly. Not just one big hill and then some down, oh no. Up and down and up and down and up again. I never made it to the Battery unfortunately; it completed disappeared. I then decided to go further down the coast to Henrietta Rocks, which was just one straight road (with hills of course) so I did indeed make it there.

As I was starting to get a bit braver after my earlier debacle, I ventured on to Salmon Bay and Little Salmon Bay. There were even more hills and the wind was picking up at this point, so it did prove quite challenging but I made it in the end. By now it was lunch time and I could tell the thunderstorm was coming in, so I peddled my way back to the town.

And then the rain came. When I had just sat down to eat my lunch it suddenly got incredibly cold and cloudy and started pouring. I took a little trip to the museum to busy myself while I waited for my ferry, but that shut at 3:30 and I still had an hour to kill before I could board the boat. I sat under the veranda of the little town square and listened to a podcast before dashing off through the rain to grab my bike and get back on the ferry.

This evening I just had some dinner and finished the book I’ve been reading – Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. I’ve managed to read the entire thing in three days and I’ve really enjoyed it. I have the feeling that I’m going to have very sore legs tomorrow…


First Impressions of Perth, WA

So, I’ve made it to Western Australia! I’ve now conquered all the mainland Aussie states and only have Tasmania left to tick off my list (and that’ll have to be done another time as I’m pretty busy the next couple of months…).

I landed in Perth yesterday afternoon and just about managed to go and get some dinner at Grill’d before needing to get to bed. I was hoping to get a nap on the flight over, but I was sat next to a crying baby the whole time which is probably karma for all the times mum and dad took me on a plane as a small child and I screamed the whole time. Despite this, Qantas did have The Incredibles 2 on the entertainment system so I was sorted. (Side note: I am definitely putting the DVD of this movie on my Christmas list mum and dad and I will be making you watch it with me!)

I spent the whole night tossing and turning because of the train tracks that are right outside my window and the constantly wailing of the level crossing or the horns of the trains as they came into the station. Wonderful. Regardless, I woke up this morning, booked my trip to Rottnest Island for tomorrow and headed out into the city. I walked down to Elizabeth Quay, round up to the Barracks Arch and then climbed the hill up to Kings Park and the Botanic Gardens.

I hung out there for a bit reading my book before heading back down into the city to search for the sleeping bag I’ll be needing for my trip starting on Saturday. It was a fruitless search as it appears all sleeping bags here cost about $200.

After that I strolled around a little longer looking at the shops before heading down to Elizabeth Quay and having gelato at Gusto which was nice. After that I sat in the gardens of the Supreme Court and read some more of my book (which I’m about half way through already) before heading back to the hostel.

Tomorrow – Rottnest Island! Let’s hope the weather is nice…