Smithsdownunder
Our journeys around Australia

Western Australia at the start of our journey

14-Oct-2004

We have been staying at a place called Coogee Beach just south of Fremantle. Fremantle is quite a lively place with lots of old(er) buildings, loads of restaurants and very good maritime museums, it's is Perth's harbour. The weather has been a bit 'iffy for the last two or three days so we have spent yesterday looking around the town and museums. The Maritime Museum is in two locations, an ultra modern building on the quayside and an old building nearby. The older building was the most interesting as it housed the remains of an old ship that sank off the northwest coast donkey's years ago.

Today the wind had dropped so we caught the ferry across to Rottnest Island and rode around the island on bikes. The island is about 11km long by 5km wide. The only vehicles on the island are for the rangers and ferrying luggage to the accommodation so everyone rides around on bikes. It's a bit like Sark in the Channel Islands, except warmer with white sand beaches and a reef running around the island.

   
Trendy Shorts

How do you like the trendy shorts?

He had to buy them as I had removed the only other pair he has to wash them. Well we have been here 5 weeks!

Quokka

The island got its name from the early Dutch explorers who thought the island was infested with oversized rats but what they saw were Quokkas.
These friendly little creatures are marsupials so are related to the kangaroo except much smaller.

This one stood about a foot tall in his stocking feet. Just like a kangaroo, they bring up their young in a pouch. I think the one in the picture might be a little boy so no pouch.

As the whole island is a national park, there were signs to tell us not to feed the quokkas and to beware of venomous snakes. (We haven't seen any snakes yet except for a bit of one that was being carried off by a bird.) Quokka Sign
On yer bike Ali Guess who didn't read the sign!

We spotted some whales offshore and could clearly see their tails as they dived and Ali saw a couple of kingfishers as we cycled around.
This was a really lovely day. We stopped for lunch on one of the many beaches and sat and watched rays swimming around just in the shallows. The after lunch cycling was all up and down hills and first gear got used a lot, but we made it all the way round!