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Australia – Rottnest Island – Perth – 10th Feb

The day before we flew out of Perth towards our South-East Asian travels we spent the day on Rotness Island. Thanks to Louise who kindly booked our boat over there and bike hire for the Island we enjoyed a fantastic day on Rottnest. First thing we were up and drove over to Cottosloe Beach where a sunrise festival was taking place representing the first day of the Perth Festival of Arts. We got there a little too late but enjoyed the early morning appreciation of the beach and many people were swimming or enjoying breakfast on the banks. There were also a few photo shoots taking place that couldn’t help catch our eyes.

When we left the beach we drove onwards to Shed (3) where the boat to Rottnest Island leaves, we found all day parking and promptly queued for the boat. It takes around 80 passengers perhaps more and it was pretty full, people were also bringing their own bikes with them which is a much better way if you want to save the pennies. It only takes around half and hour to reach Rottnest and once we arrived we were quickly instructed to where the bikes were, again getting our bikes didn’t take very long so we were all geared up and ready to go.

We cycled around the east side of the Island first passing by The Basin and a few other lovely bays, we decided to stop at one of the smaller bays and got out the snorkeling gear straight away. There wasn’t that much to see in terms of marine life, if you go deeper in then you’ll see more but we were happy to play in the shallow waters, plus you never know if a shark may rear its ugly head! The bays are beautiful, nearly all of them are small alcoves and so they are very private too, we made our way to Little Prakeet before lunch. We came across a few Quakkas which are only native to Rottnest, they are very sweet creatures belonging to the Kangaroo family and they don’t have any fear of humans so it’s easy enough to approach them although you’re not recommended to feed them.

We biked up to the highest point on the Island at Wadjemup lighthouse. Our last stop was at Parker Point and Dave and I snorkeled out quite far above the kelp and there was more to see. On our way back to Perth Louise had booked us onto the fast boat, more of a thrill experience. Not quite as rough and ready as the other fast-boat experiences we’ve seen in New Zealand and in Oz but it was a nice bit of fun and a small thrill for us! We were back at the sheds for 5pm and not long after that we were home.

We decided to eat at a Mexican restaurant for our last night in Australia called Zapatas, the atmosphere was good as was the food and the cocktails. We enjoyed our time in Perth and on the whole Australia has been really kind to us, especially our friends and family who have helped us out along the way.

From our 5 week experience in Australia and on the route we did these are the following highlights:

  • Freedom camping in camp sites listed in the official Camp book 6 (on the Great Ocean  Road we had a fantastic spot right on the beach for free!)
  • The Great Ocean Road is a must if you’re in the area, the beaches, the 12 Apostles and camping was a real delight.
  • Getting tickets to the Melbourne Open Tennis Championship, we got the opportunity of a lifetime to watch the world number 1 and 2 in the men’s singles finals, it was an amazing 6 hour epic match.
  • Visiting Wilsons Promontory National Park, we felt like this is what we had been waiting for. Fantastic beaches, mountains and forest all there to see and explore.
  • Margaret River and Rottnest Island, equally beautiful and appealing. Again the beaches hit the mark here and the colour of the sea is mouth-watering.

We hope this may help with any plans you have to visit the areas we’ve explored and written about. Our next stop is Ubud, Bail, we’re ready for culture, more beaches in paradise and Asian delights.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f2.0, 18mm f4, 90mm Tele-Elmarit f2.8, processed in Lightroom 3)

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