Day 12: Perth, pt 3


Yesterday we ventured out to Rottnest island for a day spent cycling, whale watching, and Quokka viewing.

I started my day at the hotel cafe where I ate a fast breakfast of scrambled egg on toast, garnished with pea shoots.

Our trip got off to a great start when we were driven to the train station by a 4.97 star uber driver. While maintaining a 4.97 star rating from 10,000 journeys sound impossible it was soon obvious that his impeccable safety protocols, local knowledge, easy-going conversational tone, and useful public transport suggestions were some of the things that delivered such high levels of satisfaction.

We rode the Freemantle line from Perth station all the way to O’Connor landing where we were fortunate enough to spot an exquisite example of post-war international architecture.

The Freemantle Port Authority building was completed in 1964 and stands eleven storeys high including the three storey observation tower. It has a number of innovative features such as:

  • The windows all have anodised aluminium frames, an anti-glare coating, and are reversible for cleaning.
  • Windows on the ground floor and north side of the building are fitted with fixed vertical and horizontal sun baffles.
  • White tiling for the exterior gives protection against heat and corrosion.
  • Oriented to obtain controlled natural lighting from the north and south while the east and west walls are blanked off.

The ferry ride was a bumpy thirty minute affair but we were soon on Rottnest island where we picked up our rental bikes and set out along the road to the west. It was a stunning ride with beautiful beaches, luscious lakes, and rumpled rocks.

On the far side of the island we stopped for lunch and were fortunate enough to observe a pod of whales cruising by on their great southern migration.

We spent a fair bit of time on the return journey stopping to watch the island’s most abundant mammal, the Quokka. These marsupials are found only in a few areas in western Australia and are famous for having little fear of humans. Quokkas grow up to around 50cm long and look like a small kangaroo, but can climb small trees and shrubs up to 1.5m in height.

Sadly we had to drag ourselves away from these majestic creatures to catch the last ferry home. We enjoyed a reasonably priced Japanese meal for dinner and then retired to the hotel room for a nightcap and a few games of mariocart.

Beth of the day goes to Tristan. He was the first person to add potato crisps to his sandwhich, he took the best quokka photo, and he bought a round of beers for us all on the ferry home.

Well done Tristan. You tried really hard and ya brought this one home.

📸 Tristan Deck

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