Sun, Sand, Surf and Quokkas!
Updated: Jan 21, 2020
I’m a native West Australian. Born and bred. If you know anything about living in WA you’ll know how weird it is that I made it 27 years without visiting Rottnest. Every time I say ‘Oh, I haven’t been…’ people look at me weird – how can I call myself a local, right?
Now, though, I can officially say I have lost my Rottnest v-card! Haha!
We chose Rottnest Express from Fremantle (B Shed). It cost around AU$60 for the round trip. It was an early start as we got the 7.15am ferry over. The Eagle Express is one of the smaller boats on the fleet, nice and cosy. It was a relatively smooth ride over – it takes around an hour.
The ride home was rough. We were on a larger ferry, and the swell was huge. I was unwell on the way home with heat stroke and sunburn, so I’m not sure if the giddy tummy was caused by that or the rocking boat. There was a camera on the front of the boat and they had that stream on the screens to help with the sea-sickness, which was nice.
Not gonna lie, I’m not really a beach person. Sand gets everywhere and WA waters are dangerous haha. I’m not a particularly strong swimmer but I can paddle around to save my life. So, what does the group want to do? Snorkel! Of course! So, being the herd animal I apparently am, I agree.
Snorkels can be hired on the island from ‘Pedal and Flipper Hire’ in the main settlement, not too far from the docks. Snorkels, and flippers, are $25/hire, plus a fully refundable $25 bond/set. (You can also get your bikes from here)
First up, we took a long walk over to The Basin. It was a little rough for me and I didn’t head out too far. I ended up having to walk myself backwards – after being dragged in by my friend – after being pulled out by a small rip. After that, we moved on as the conditions weren’t good for snorkelling.
We ended up at Pinky’s Beach, just over the rocks from The Basin. Much smoother! So I donned my goggles and snorkel and headed into the water with the others. It was so peaceful and calm. I’m not sure how long we were out there but I’m sure if you asked my sunburnt back and achy muscles, I’m sure it was a while!
There are over 60 beaches on Rottnest and we definitely didn’t get to see them all!
food and drink
When we got off the ferry, we headed straight to Dome for breakfast. Typical Dome offerings – I had the Nutella pancakes. After we were done swimming and walking around, we headed to the Hotel Rottnest for a drink and a snack.
The atmosphere is so chill and beach, it was a great ending to our day. Sitting around, chatting over ice-cold ciders (on tap) and yummy hot chips with truffle aioli, so good! I also sampled a cocktail – the Tequila Mockingbird – tequila, creme de menthe, lime and soda. It tasted like a candy cane, and honestly looked like poison haha!
Make sure to keep your eye out for these beautiful critters. Mostly they’ll hang around for a quick selfie – a MUST do, especially on your first trip. As a whole, their pretty sociable, we had them crawling around our feet to the hotel, but there are a few that don’t want you close – they will hiss! When they do, move away! Be kind to the quokkas and treat them with the respect their uniqueness demands!
All in all, it was a great day! I got horrifically sunburnt, despite putting on sunscreen. Great location, great company. Rottnest, I’ll definitely be back – maybe for a skydive next time!
For more info about the amazing place that is Rottnest Island, check out their website!