Rat’s Nest, that’s what the Dutch explorers named the island when they thought it was overrun by large rats. What they in fact saw were adorable marsupials called Quokkas.

We took a 30 min ferry to Rottnest Island on a hot sunny day. The plan was to tour the island on bicycles. 20km or so doesn’t seem like that much when you don’t realize the island is only flat on the port side.

We managed to tour the old coastal artillery fortifications which are now a hostel, then ride to a high point for an amazing view before we turned towards the settlement and the beautiful swimming bay. Of course we saw plenty of friendly quokkas along the way. Don’t they have the cutest face? Almost like they are smiling.


We returned our bikes and thought of swimming. However, I still didn’t find the water warm enough, so we stood in the water and watched children play on the aquatic bouncy castles.

After a while, we wandered to a comfy couch at the waterfront bar and watched the view with a glass of wine in hand. People came and went as the late afternoon went by. We chatted with our neighbours and just inhaled the relaxation.

After a short ferry ride back to the mainland, we showered quickly in anticipation of our dinner with Terry and Gerry, friends we had met in Vietnam in 2011, part of the group we called the Mud Buddies.

Dinner was held at CharChar where the conversation flowed and the food was delicious. I particularly enjoyed my kangaroo loin on beetroot purée. Of yum!

On our last day in Perth, we drove up to The Hills to meet Terry and Gerry at their home. Terry made sure we saw the bandicoots that live around her home. They are a bit like the quokkas, but smaller and clearly shyer. We drove down the “zigzag” to take in the amazing view of the city then toured the local neighbourhood with Terry including a small art gallery and a nice lunch.

We returned our car at the airport and Leon was released from his driving duties for the rest of the trip. Our afternoon flight took us to Adelaide where Paula and Neil were waiting to host us for 36 hours.