Rottnest Island: my first Australian exploration

In Australia, Travel Guides
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Everything start with a decision..

I was arrived in Perth a couple of days before, full of enthusiasm, curiosity, ready for my first adventure!

I was alone, all by myself, in another country, on the other side of the world, at the beginning of my year of travelling around Australia, willing to be surprised, amazed, touched, embraced by all that “novelty”!

There were some friend’s friends very welcoming with me, they introduce me to Perth and start telling me what I had to see and what I couldn’t miss.. and so, among all the suggestions, one caught my attention: Rottnest Island!

They told me it was beautiful, small, with no cars but just bikes and a bus that take you to the many beaches, with wonderful reefs, tiny unique animals, in conclusion a special place, maybe a bit expensive though.. That was it, the decision was made, I started doing my research to find the cheapest possible way to get there!

There were few options but eventually I found the right one through my hostel, the YHA, they sold me a complete package: round trip with the ferry, two nights in a hostel, bike and snorkel equipment rent, which I got, as a member, at an unbeatable price.

Everything was settled, my friends give me a flynet, drop me to the ferry terminal and my first Australian exploration begun!

First impressions

After some great shots from the ferry that cost me a shower from the waves, I set foot on Rottnest, picked up the room keys, the bike and the snorkel kit and with a map of the island I start my way to the “Kingstown barracks”, my backpackers, built in the original barracks from the WWII.

I set the bed with new linen, put on my swimsuit, have some lunch, grab a cap and my backpack and I was ready to jump on the bike and start pushing myself around the island.. WOW! The sea is stunning, amazing scenic views and incredible colours.

After just an hour I’m lost.. far from the beach, in the middle of the island.. I stop to check the map.. ok, let’s try this direction..

Fay bay

Surprise: the pink lakes

A couple more pushes, a little turn and.. my jaw drops, I can’t believe my eyes.. two pink lakes on both sides of the road.. and I love pink!!!

I knew there were pink lakes in Australia, but I didn’t know about those ones on Rottnest, it has been an awesome surprise!! Of course I stopped and took tons of photos (It’s a shame that you can’t really see the pink from the photo, I only had an i-phone 4.. but I’ll post it anyway!)The pink lake

I spent there a lot of time wandering around, but the temperature was getting very high (it touched 44.5 degrees while I was there..) so I jumped back on the bike and headed to the beach!

Pristine beaches and colourful reef

I really needed a strong self control to stay focused on the road.. the view of the sea was breathtaking! I went pass Geordie bay, is beautiful but there are too many boats, the next one, Fay bay, is smaller but wonderful and with little people around.

I left my bike and jumped in the water, so clear and refreshing after all that heat! After having enjoyed the sun, had some rest and took few photos (there were incredible crested seagulls!) I’m back on my bike and, after some other beautiful views I arrive in the centre of the village and stop at the grocery store to buy some food.

an other stunning view            crested seagulls

Quokkas!!

On my way back to the backpackers, a lot of tiny, supercute animals appear on the side of the road.. the Quokkas! They’re a kind of small marsupial that is almost completely extinct on Australian mainland and today can only be found here and in two more small islands.. they’re so funny, I couldn’t help myself but stopping a dozen times to take photos!

After stopping for a postcard-like orange sunset by the lake I arrive at the backpackers, have a quick shower and dinner and get ready to go out again!

The Quokkas!               a beautiful sunset

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The night skies tour

Back to the town centre I joined a free guided tour with the elders of the island, they took us on some dark paths pointing out for us and explaining all the stars in an incredible sky! They told us how to turn apart a star from a planet, how to recognise the constellations, and much more. We saw Mars, Orion, Taurus, Sirius, Calliope, and everything was even more special for me, coming from Italy, because it was a sky “upside-down”!!

After the tour I chat a bit with my family back home and then went straight to bed!

The lighthouse and its going up.. heeeelp!!

Today an other big day! A quick breakfast and, while I was leaving the hostel, I catch a glimpse of a cute family: mum, dad and two kids that are staying in the dorm next to mine, I think they’re nice, but then forget about them..

After few more stunning beaches and too many flies (today I was very thankful to my friends for the flynet!!) I decide to go visit the lighthouse.. what a goooooing up! I was dying.. I needed a break, but as soon as my flip flops touched the ground they get stuck in the almost melted asphalt.. the 44.5 degrees make funny jokes to the road!

So it is enough, today, for me to watch the lighthouse from far away!!

The lighthouse                   Going up

More beaches and.. ice-cream time!

I need a swim! Salmon bay, the Basin, Parker point, all incredibly beautiful spot, with crystal clear water; I don’t want to miss a single one of them!!

After all that water and sun I really need an ice-cream! I found a supermarket and get a popsicle pinapple and coconut water flavoured.. but there is someone else who want it.. my new little quokka-friend!

Little quokka friend

Dinner out and.. New friends

On that second night I decide to take myself out for dinner! so I get ready and paddle to the pub.

While I’m paying my order a guy start talking to me, I was a bit tired and annoyed, he seems to feel it so introduce himself as my “dorm neighbour”, he’s the dad of the family I saw this morning!

I recognise him and give him a big smile! He invite me to join them at their table, so I can meet Simone, the mum and Jack and Indi, the two adorable kids! We spend a lovely evening together, chatting and getting to know each other, they have both Italian origins!

We came back to the barracks together and it felt like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.. and now I can tell you the feeling was right! We met again during my year in Australia and I grow very fond of all of them.. but those are other stories!!

My two days in “Rotto” (as Australians call this little island) are over, but I loved every minutes of them, it has been a great first Exploration! 😉

For you, all people out there thinking of visiting Western Australia.. Go to Rottnest.. you’ll going to love it too I promise!!

 

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