We were picked up by a minibus at the Hilton Hotel in Mill Street at 7.30, driven around, including down Mounts Bay Road and back again, only to end up at the ferry wharf at Barrack Street Wharf around ten past eight. We could have just walked there from our digs and left home later. The ferry windows were spotlessly clean but just as we were about to depart, a front of showers arrived.
Past Swan Brewery and Kings Park.
New York from the Hudson or Perth from the Swan?
We walked across this bridge with Grace and P.
I just liked the palm trees.
Poverty abounds in Perth, not. This I think is the suburb of Mosman Park, where Rose Porteous lived in her house, Prix D'Amour.
The water tower dominated the scene.
As you can see, I was lazy and took some photos through the windows.
A lovely old hotel, with plenty of history, which of course I have forgotten.
We stopped at North Fremantle to pick up and drop off.
It was a windy day and I felt sorry who decided they should see the island by bicycle.
To say the crossing was rough is an understatement. The bow rose on a wave and then thumped down into a trough but the ferry also rocked from side to side. Staff appeared with sick bags, but they weren't required. Some stupid parents moved their children around on the boat as the ferry lurched, twisted and turned. It is a wonder no children were injured.
As we arrived, the skies cleared.
There were three different markers painted on the pavement to follow. We followed the one that looked like a coach, as we had been told.
We had been allocated the afternoon tour but while on the ferry, we were told we would be the only two and so would we like to join the morning tour. We would and did.
Much of Rottnest Island is surrounded by reefs, making the seas calm within the protection of the reefs.
This osprey nest is a fine construction, withstanding the extreme winds. While maybe it has to be repaired at times, it is used by subsequent generations of osprey.
Right on cue, Mr or Mrs Osprey appears.
The tour guide lass commentated that this wind turbine generated 30% of the island's power, with the rest provided by diesel generators. She then said any excess generated by the wind turbine is returned to the Western Australian power grid, presumably by osmosis.
I like most people, thought trees grew on an angle because of the wind. No, take the species to a place with no wind and they will still grow on an angle. I became cynical about tour commentaries in New York, so don't trust that information either.
What is that cute thing on the back of our bus?
The original light house was atop the small building. It was inadequate and this new lighthouse was built.
I am rather pleased with this photo.
The lighthouse keeper's cottage.
Look, our first sighting of a quokka, in its natural environment.
By golly, the seas were rough. I could have stayed and watched them for a long time, if it wasn't so horribly windy.
I took many photos of waves blasting through this rock opening and so did many others.
Accommodation on the leeward side of the island.
The lunch was at the very pleasant Rottnest Lodge and the meal was large and absolutely delicious.
Here we go. R had seen quokkas on the island about a decade ago. No doubt due to the campaign against feeding them, their numbers around the tourist spots are much reduced compared to when R last visited, but still, there are a few to see.
A Dutch explorer thought they looked looked rats from a distance, hence Rottnest. They are very cute, with soft fur and quite unafraid of humans. They have no predators on the island bar occasional stupid humans. Don't look up Quokka Soccer.
They are of course marsupials, carrying their young in a pouch. Their eyesight is poor but sense of smell is good and the quokka quickly learnt that there was nothing to its taste in our backpacks. Apparently spearmint gum is unappealing to them.
A peacock roamed.
The quokka is eating the leaf? of a Norfolk Island Pine.
While they generally move slowly, you can be taken unawares by them being in another place almost undetected. Clearly they were a problem for this supermarket.
Naturally the Catholic church is on a high point in the main settlement area of Thompsons Bay.
It was school holidays in Western Australia, so a children's movie was showing at the local picture theatre.
The Anglican church was a much more modest affair.
The history of Rottnest Island is long, from being a penal colony, an imprisonment island for Aborigines, a internment camp during WWI, crucial to the defence of the Port of Fremantle during WWII and an island for punishment and reform of naughty lads, mostly Aborigines. For most of the 20th century it was used for recreation too and it is still marketed as such today.
Our ferry has arrived to return us to the mainland. The other ferry may the one that runs to and from Hillarys Boat Harbour.
Some Asian tourists found these pelicans of great interest.
The group had left when we went out onto the jetty, but another Asian lad who was walking out asked if they were safe and said that they were so big and he was a bit scared. We didn't tell him how pelicans can massacre humans, and for the sake of our tourism industry, assured him he would be fine.
The next day I asked Grace's P about these birds and I expect my description was poor but he said they are robins. I suspect they may be female scarlet robins.
The seas were a bit calmer for our uneventful return journey. Instead of taking a hotel tour of Perth with the coach drop offs, we walked home from the Barrack Street Ferry Terminal. After a large lunch, we just ordered in pizza for the evening. Tomorrow we head for home, but not early so there will be another day, albeit a brief post.