Today we had an early start, walking from our hotel down along the Swan River to the Perth Ferry terminal where we boarded a ferry to Rottnest Island just before 9am.
The first part of the trip was a leisurely glide down the Swan River while they pointed out the various sights to be seen on this majestic waterway. The weather was beautiful and it was a very pleasant journey. We stopped at Freemantle for 15 minutes or so to set down and pick up passengers and cargo and then continued out to sea towards Rottnest.
Fortunately it was a fairly calm day and there wasn’t much swell on the open ocean, so the trip was relatively smooth. About half an hour out to the island from Freemantle.
When we arrived on Rottnest, we proceeded immediately to the visitors centre where we bought tickets for one of their bus tours. The tour took us on a complete circuit around the island, with expert commentary along the way from a very amusing bus driver. We stopped to get a close-up look at a Quokka, again to have a look at one of the lighthouses on the island, and then a third time on the far west end of the island to wander around the shoreline for a while. We saw quite a few Osprey flying around, including several on a nest, and one flying with a fish in one claw. I got some photos – hope they turn out okay. All up, the tour lasted a couple of hours, was very educational and a lot of fun.
After the tour, we stopped to get some lunch at one of the local cafes before spending some time at their museum and then heading off on foot for a bit of our own tour of the area. We found the spot that the bus driver had recommended to see Quokkas – in the space of a couple of minutes we found several dozen of them and were able to get a good close look at them in their natural habitat.
We spent a bit more time wandering around the beaches while waiting for our return ferry. We decided to walk out along a jetty for a bit, and marvelled at the clear water. Even at the deepest point, we could still quite easily see the bottom. On our way back, we were startled by a silent shape moving through the water below us – a large ray, well over 1m from wing tip to wing tip. It swam around the jetty for a bit before gliding back out to deeper water. Because the water was so clear, we were able to get a great view of this graceful creature.
We jumped back on the ferry just after 4pm. The trip home was uneventful, but pleasant and we walked home from the ferry terminal.