Top Destinations and Attractions – Rottnest Island Traveler’s Panorama Guide

Wanted to visit Rottnest Island? Looking for something what to see in this perfectly beautiful island not far from Perth? Searching what activities can be done in the island named after a cute animals thought to be rat but actually a quokka? You wanted to know more what’s in it in Rottnest? Do you know the island has lots of history worth knowing? So keep on reading.

Honestly, to enjoy the island, I suggest to spend at least 2 days, to maximize the time to go around it. I spent less than a day which was not enough and left me feel hanging for more.

Here are some questions for your reference where to go to the island during your holiday.

1. Are you an Adventure Seeker?

Rottnest Island are known to be a perfect place for adventure activities. Because it’s an island, it offers different kind of activities that can enjoy by all ages. The island was developed for recent years for recreational activities so that the guests will have its fulfilling vacation in the island. Whether you are into water sports or trekking enthusiast, Rottnest has something for you. If you into learning more, it has a history worth knowing and discovery.

What are the top activities that can be done in the island?

Thomson Bay Settlement , Oliver Hill and Wadjemup Lighthouse – Walking and Trekking

Thomson Bay – Swimming and Boating

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Geordie Bay – Swimming

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Henrieeta Rocks, Parker Point, Jeannies Pool, Little Salmon Bay and Salmon Bay – Swimming and Snorkeling

Around the island – Biking

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Rottnest Island has Biking tracks all over the island that can maximize by visitors, just be prepared for the upward tracks that are more challenging.

Riceys Beach and Stark Bay – Swimming and Surfing

Thomson Bay Settlement – Camping

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Thomson Bay and Parker Point – Boating

Cape Vlamingh, Cathedral Rocks, Thomson Bay, Catherine Bay, Salmon Bay and Parker Point-Purpoise Bay – Recreational Fishing (rod and line held fishing)

2. Are you a Scenic View Lover?

If you are not into physical activities but loves to appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds the island, I suggest to join the grand island tour where most if not all iconic viewpoint or lookout within the island will be visited. And you will definitely amaze how beautiful the island is in terms of its scenery.

Henrietta Rocks

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Parker Point

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Jeannies Lookout

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Salmon Bay Lookout

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Fish Hook Bay Lookout

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Cape Vlamingh Viewing Platform

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Cathedral Rocks Lookout

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3. Are you a History and a Culture Buff?

Don’t be fool that Rottnest Island is just for holiday or vacation, it is a perfect place to learn more about Australia’s history focused on Western Australia and Rottnest Island itself.

Oliver Hill

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Thomson Bay Settlement

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4. Are you a Shopaholic?

The island does not have shopping mall, but it has general stores where visitors can buy the general stuff it needs. And you can find something if you are looking for a memory or souvenir from the island.

Thomson Bay – General Store

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5. Are you Just Chilling Out?

Rottnest Island is a perfect place if you just wanted to have a slow holiday. If you just wanted to stay on specific part of the island and just chilling out, it will be a worthy vacation to rest. You can choose to stay in any beaches that surrounds the island or just stay in Thomson Bay Settlement area to spend your time and get relax.

For some bays and beaches to visit in Rottnest Island, check here.

Notes :
During my travel to Rottnest Island, I knew that it was a beautiful island, but it was different when I was there and seeing lots of amazing places with my own eyes. For me it was a perfect island to enjoy water. Though I never had a chance to swim in any of the beaches which I really regret as I was not prepared. I never brought anything with me to do it. And one thing that I regret, I made it as my last destination before departing Perth or lets say departing Australia. I suggest to spend if not possible of two days, but at least spend an overnight to the island to do lots of activities and appreciate more what the island has to offer. Visiting the island is one of the great holidays in my life while exploring the world.

Travel Posts :
Rottnest Island – Its Perfections and Imperfections
Rottnest Walks : Colonial Buildings of Thomson Bay
Rottnest … Island Museum
Oliver Hill – Gun and Tunnel Tour

Travel Tips :
14 Amazing Bays, Beaches & Pool to Enjoy in Rottnest
4 Most Favorite Places in Rottnest

Additional Resources :
rottnestisland.com

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5 Reasons Why Rottnest Island Is Your Next Perfect Holiday Destination?

Are you wondering if its worth to visit Rottnest Island as your next holiday vacation? My visit in the island was considered a once in a lifetime, because the world is so big, and it’s really hard to say if I will get a chance for a second time. My tour in Rottnest was one of the awesome holidays that I had even though I spent less than a day in the island.

Being able to explore almost the whole island, was my reference to say that if you are into island adventure all in one, Rottnest is indeed a perfect holiday destination. Whether you are adventure seeker or stay-cation enthusiast, there is definitely something for you. Whether you are solo traveler like me or you are with family, the island has lots of things to offer for yourself, your friends, for your love one or for your family.

Without further ado, below are the reasons why you must consider Rottnest Island as your next holiday destination.

1. Lovely Bays, Beaches & Pool

Rottnest Island is “One of the Most Luxurious Snorkelling Spots in the World” according to Expedia’s Listopedia. Rottnest has 63 beaches and what I saw were just some part of it. Some bays and beaches to mention are : Thomson Bay, Henrietta Rocks & The Shark Wreck, Parker Point and Purpoise Bay, Jeannies Pool, Little Salmon Bay, Salmon Bay, Fish Hook Bay, Cape Vlamingh, Cathedral Rocks, Rocky Bay, Stark Bay, Ricey Beach, Catherine Bay Beach and Geordie Bay.

2. Historical and Mighty Hills

Rottnest has significant participation in defending a part of Australia through Oliver Hill with colourful history. The hill features the military defense of the island by protecting and defending port of Perth and Fremantle. The 9.2 inch battery remains can still be seen and enjoyed through tunnel tour. Not far from Oliver Hill, the Wadjemup Hill and Lighthouse can be seen. The lighthouse itself protects the boats that approaches the island.

3. Scenic Lakes

During the island exploration, Rottnest does not have only beaches and bays, it has scenic lakes to enjoy through bus tour, biking or even walking and trekking. The lakes to enjoy are : Lake Vincent, Herschel Lake and Government House Lake.

4. Green Technology – Rottnest Wind Turbine

As part of environmental protection of the island, Rottnest built a wind turbine to both fulfill the electricity needs of the island as holiday destination and to reduce diesel / greenhouse emission.

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5. Hearty Historical Place – Thomson Bay Settlement

The island has a heartfelt and deep history that needs to be learned by visitors of the island to appreciate what it has been through and why it is a holiday destination nowadays. Thomson Bay Settlement area witnessed this part of history.

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Notes :
1. Plan to visit Rottnest Island ? Please check latest information here.
2. Location : Rottnest Island, WA 6161, Australia
3. Directions to Rottnest Island :
Transportation :
a. Join Day Tours from Perth or
b. Go to Barrack Street Jetty Elizabeth Quay terminal and take Rottnest Express
ferry
c. Go to Hillarys Ferry Terminal and take Rottnest Fast Ferries boat
d. Go to Northport Rous Head Harbour or  B Shed Victoria Quay in Fremantle and
take Rottnest Express ferry or
e. Go to B Shed Victoria Quay in Fremantle and take Sealink Rottnest Island ferry
Official Website : Rottnest Island

 

14 Amazing Bays, Beaches & Pool to Enjoy in Rottnest

As Rottnest surrounded by water for being an island, therefore it is understandable that it has plenty of bays, beaches and even pool that fascinates every water adventure enthusiast. It has total of 63 beaches and what I had seen so far were just few of it. Whether you are a rookie swimmer, seasoned snorkeler or expert diver, or just wanted to go fishing or watching sunset with sea, the island offers a lot of water spots to enjoy with different activities. The list below is partial list that I was able to see from the ground and just waiting to be explored. And do not take for granted Rottnest as it is “One of the Most Luxurious Snorkelling Spots in the World” according to Expedia’s Listopedia.

1. Thomson Bay

The bay named after Robert Thomson who farmed salt from the island in 1841. Arriving in Thomson Bay is the first thing to experience in the island. You will immediately see jetties on this bay. The Main Jetty, Fuel Jetty and Hotel Jetty are all located in Thomson Bay. Additional feature of the bay is its historical settlement area where it boast its interesting Colonial Buildings that are more than 100 years old standing until today which mostly converted and used as guest houses, accommodations and hotels nowadays. From the settlement, there is sheltered waters of Thomson Bay that can be enjoyed for swimming. There is aquapark as well that can enjoy inflatable equipment for any ages.

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2. Henrietta Rocks & The Shark Wreck

Henrietta Rocks is a lookout where it can easily see “The Shark” shipwreck which said to be the easiest shipwreck to enjoy around the island for diving and for snorkeling as it is accessible 50 meters from the beach. There is small beach under the lookout that can be enjoyed for swimming. Whether you enjoy the beach alone or snorkel in short distance, the place is perfect for both. Henrietta Rocks Lookout, Dyer Island can be seen closer than any other points in the island.

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3. Parker Point and Purpoise Bay

Parker Point does not only offer scenic views of stunning bay and beaches from its lookout, the white sand beach at the bottom is lovely, the turquoise water is great for swimming. Parker Point beach is one of the most popular beach in the island. And Purpose Bay is wonderful for boating experience. The bay is one of the great spot for snorkeling since Parker Point is one out of five marine sanctuary exist in Rottnest.

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4. Jeannies Pool

A beautiful pool can be seen in Jeannies lookout. The pool is a series of holes in the reefs between Parker Point and Little Salmon Bay and only recommended to swim if the wind is light. From the lookout, the pool scenery is unique compared to other viewpoint.

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5. Little Salmon Bay

When I had a chance to see Little Salmon Bay from a distance, I can say that the small beach was amazing. Its clear water still visible from afar that looks so lovely for swimming.

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6. Salmon Bay

Salmon Bay is the longest bay in Rottnest where the long stretch of shoreline consist of beaches boasted its beauties and offers lots of underwater sites to enjoy snorkeling and swimming.

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7. Fish Hook Bay

This bay near at Cape Vlamingh looks similar to Jeannies Pool from the lookout which also said to be a great place for snorkelling. It is said that this bay can enjoy lots of fishes and even turtles.

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8. Cape Vlamingh

At Cape Vlamingh Viewing Platform I enjoyed the waves that breaks into the reef and an up-close observation of flying silver gull. During migration season, this is one of the best spots to enjoy watching whales.

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9. Cathedral Rocks

Not far from Cape Vlamingh is Cathedral Rocks where the New Zealand Fur Seals (local residents of the island) can be observed from the viewing platform or from the boat that can go nearer to these wilds at short distance. If lucky, will have a chance to see them playing around in the water like what I witnessed during the visit.

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Other bays and beach that I found while exploring the island are : Rocky Bay , Stark Bay, Ricey Beach, Catherine Bay Beach and Geordie Bay.

10. Rocky Bay

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11. Stark Bay

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12. Ricey Beach

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13. Catherine Bay Beach

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14. Geordie Bay

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Notes :
1. Plan to visit Rottnest Island ? Please check latest information here.
2. Location : Rottnest Island, WA 6161, Australia
3. Directions to Rottnest Island :
Transportation :
a. Join Day Tours from Perth or
b. Go to Barrack Street Jetty Elizabeth Quay terminal and take Rottnest Express
ferry
c. Go to Hillarys Ferry Terminal and take Rottnest Fast Ferries boat
d. Go to Northport Rous Head Harbour or  B Shed Victoria Quay in Fremantle and
take Rottnest Express ferry or
e. Go to B Shed Victoria Quay in Fremantle and take Sealink Rottnest Island ferry
Official Website : Rottnest Island

 

4 Most Favorite Places in Rottnest

If I will look into the places that I saw, reached, visited within Rottnest Island, I can say, I have favorites. And it fall into group based on its similarities, to be able to identify which place is the most beautiful for me, which is historic based on experience or which place left something that I will remember if not forever but for a very long time. The list of favorite can be subjective based on my preferences. And for others whom visited the island may or may not agree with me. If you wanted to see post about Rottnest, please visit here.

1. Favorite Historical or Heritage Place – Oliver Hill

Historical places that I had a chance to visit in Rottnest are : Oliver Hill, Wadjemup Lighthouse and Thomson Bay Settlement area. There is one historical place in the island that I never had a chance to see and that is Kingstown Barracks.

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Oliver Hill has 9.2 inch battery where I had a chance for gun and tunnel tour. It is my favorite because though this related to World War II, but its purpose when it was built was for defense. Unlike Thomson Bay Settlement, it honestly breaks my heart, as for me it represents history of real sufferings, as the aboriginals or first nations that lived even before Europeans arrived, became strangers on their own land.

2. Favorite Viewpoint or Lookout – Parker Point

I think this may be the most challenging thing to think of. Why? Because Rottnest is an island and because it has so many viewpoints or lookout, majority if not all, gives panoramic scenery of beaches, bay and seas. And it is so hard to choose which one is the best. I can honestly say that I love all of it. But in the end, I chose Parker Point.

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When I had a chance to see Parker Point where its Purpoise Bay shown its different colours of the bay made me felt that it was so perfect and felt like I was seeing a paradise again.

The following viewpoint or lookout that offers amazing scenery are : Henrietta Rocks, Jeannies Lookout, Cape Vlamingh, Cathedral Rocks, Wadjemup Hill and Oliver Hill

3. Favorite Bay or Beaches – Little Salmon Bay

Since I was not able to swim in the island, I can only based my preference on the surface of the bay or the beach. Because I prefer to swim on clear water even in beaches, the best candidates are either Parker Point or Little Salmon Bay. Then, in the end I decided to choose Little Salmon Bay.

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Other bays or beaches to appreciate in Rottnest are : Thomson Bay, Parker Point in Purpoise Bay, Little Salmon Bay,  Salmon Bay, Rocky Bay, Stark Bay, Ricey Beach, Catherine Bay Beach and Geordie Bay.

4. Miscellaneous Favorite – Rottnest Wind Turbine

For no category place favorite, I can say that I like Rottnest Wind Turbine its surroundings looks picturesque. Other places to see and explore while in the island are : Eastern Osprey Nest, Fish Hook Bay (Cape Vlamingh), Lake Vincent, Lake Baghdad and Government House Lake.

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Now that I listed my favorites in Rottnest, what are yours?

Until then.

Rottnest Island – Its Perfections and Imperfections

The fourth and last day tour that I had while in Perth. And while completing my writings for my travel post which started in Perth, I just realized that I almost did a counter-clockwise travel from the said city. First tour was going south, second tour was going east, third tour was going north, and last but not the least, the last day tour was going west.

Perth is already at the west side, which place I was referring to that means my tour was going west? If the three tours were all by land, the last tour was involved with crossing the sea. I took a ferry that goes back and forth from Perth to the island named Rottnest. I still booked a tour to the island since my flight returning to Manila happened at the evening. It was my last day in Perth, or let say my last day in Australia since I must return to my country that night. That day for me like, every moment counts because I am not sure when I will be able to return to the third country which became my home for more than 1.5 years.

It was Sunday and I did checked-out in my hotel. Then, I temporarily left all my luggage at the hotel lobby as I will picked them back again after my last day tour. Since it was Sunday and like my usual Sunday, I attended personal activity early in the morning. Then, I took an Uber to reach Hillarys Boat Harbour as my tour will commence from the said harbour. I reached the harbour and I was thankful that I had a bit of familiarity of it since the night before, I had a chance to drive to the harbour with the help of Patricia (my tour guide from previous tour). When I got-off the car, at first, I thought I had to go to straight to the jetty where the boat will pickup their passenger. Then, I inquired some people whom I thought will be doing the same tour in the island and then I learned that I have to go the ticket booth first to exchange my booking. I was glad that I had time and I did exchange my booking for the actual ticket. Then, I went to the boarding area and realized that the boarding had already started. I approached the staff in the area and shown my exchanged ticket. And after inspecting my ticket, I was allowed to enter in the gate and walked to the ferry, I was very excited to get on-board.

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Hillarys Boat Harbour at Night

While traveling via ferry, it was already an adventure because the ferry captain announces if they found a whales along the way so that people on-board will have a chance to see them in their natural environment. At first announcements, I missed to see them, but after third or fourth announcement, I had a chance to see them playing in the water. Unfortunately because of immediate appearance of the whales, I was not able to capture photos of them.

The travel time from Hillarys Boat Harbour to Rottnest Island is around 45 minutes. We left the harbour just few minutes after 10AM and reached the island just after more than 45 minutes. When I arrived the island that was the time I realized how popular the island to people. At the time of tour in Rottnest Island, there was bike racing event and it can be the main reason why lots of people were there at that time. Most of the visitors brought or rented a bike, a one way to enjoy and explore the island for less.

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Thomson Bay

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Salt Store

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Walking Trails featured in Rottnest

The tour that I booked was Grand Island package where there was an assigned tour guide. As I had limited time, I took the said option. And honestly, I never regret that I took that Grand Island tour because I was able to maximize my time exploring Rottnest.

From the Main Jetty (ferry terminal), I walked and followed the path to meet the tour guide as described in the brochures that was given to me when I exchanged my booking to a ticket. And the walking path was easy to follow. Then, at first, I was hesitant because I met the tour guide and he said, we just need to wait a couple of minutes to see if there are other guests that will join the tour. And in few minutes, two female adult joined the tour. We were exactly three people in the tour.

Rottnest Island offers bus options but it was different compared with the tour that I booked. Because, the bus that we had were designated on the tour while the other bus options is operating as hop on / hop off. This means that passengers has to wait to the drop-off/pick-up point to be able to take a bus. And at the time of the visit, it will take some time to wait for the bus. While on my end, since it was a tour, our bus was right there, we were able to easily navigate and explore every corner of the island which for me was a great choice, as I don’t have so much luxury of time to see all of what Rottnest Island has to offer.

The tour started at the center of Thomson Bay Settlement area where the Main Bus Stop terminal is located. Our tour started and our tour guide started telling us information about the island. He mentioned that at that day, all the accommodations in the island was fully booked and he added that if in case we plan to book accommodations in the island, it has to be done months before your holiday to get vacancy.

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Bickley Swamp

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The railway from Oliver Hill Station to Settlement Station (Left) or Kingstown Station (Right)

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Dyer Island from Parker Point Road

We took Parker Point Road from Brand Way. And along the road, we saw Bickley Swamp, a crossing rail-tracks and some set of accommodation units. Following the road track of Parker Point Road, we saw Dyer Island from a distance and our tour bus had a quick stop at Henrietta Rocks where we saw “The Shark” shipwreck which said to be the easiest shipwreck to enjoy around the island for diving and for snorkeling as it is accessible 50 meters from the beach.

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At Henrietta Rocks with Dyer Island

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The Shark Wreck

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A bay scenery near Henrietta Rocks

Since we never get-off the bus, our tour guide continued driving along Parker Point Road until we reach Parker Point itself. It was the first stop in the tour where a part of its stunning turquoise water bay greeted us. Parker Point has white sand beach and some portion of turquoise water, I can say it’s a great spot for short distance swimming and snorkeling to enjoy the water. At the time of the visit, there were just couple of boats nearby the coast. Based from our guide, during peak season, it’s normal to see lots of boats in Parker Point. But for me, I can say that I was lucky seeing Parker Point with few boat as it honestly lovely.

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Porpoise Bay from Parker Point Road

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Almost near at Parker Point

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At Parker Point

After appreciating the beauty of Porpoise Bay that surrounds Parker Point, we found the famous creature exist in Rottnest Island near of Perth, Bald Island near Albany and isolated scattered populations in forest and coastal heath between Perth and Albany. That animal is none other than Quokka. We found one of them drinking water (though it is advised not to give them food and water) by some bikers that were resting in Parker Point.

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Quokka

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At Jeannies Lookout

After Parker Point, we had a short drive to Jeannies Lookout where different pools between reefs are visible from the lookout.  Then, we passed Little Salmon Bay (one of the best site to snorkel and to swim), Eastern Osprey Nest (one of the 14 nest site of Eastern Osprey – a wild large eagle bird shape in Rottnest) and Salmon Bay (where beached boasted its beauties and offers lots of underwater sites to enjoy snorkeling and swimming) wherein all the photos were captured while inside the bus.

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Little Salmon Bay

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Eastern Osprey Nest

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Salmon Bay

Next destination that we stopped for a while for another great scenery was Cape Vlamingh. It was the same place where we ate our packed lunch. In that same location, where I enjoyed second incident of up-close observation of flying silver gull with the beautiful backdrop around it.

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Fish Hook Bay while at Cape Vlamingh

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At Cape Vlamingh Viewing Platform with scenery and silver gull

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At Cape Vlamingh

Not far from Cape Vlamingh is Cathedral Rocks where we had another stop in the island. This is where the New Zealand Fur Seals (local residents of the island) can be observed from the viewing platform or from the boat that can go nearer to these wilds at short distance. If lucky, will have a chance to see them playing around in the water.

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At Cathedral Rocks with New Zealand Fur Seal

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West End (Between Cape Vlamingh and Cathedral Rocks) – Near the corner of Aitken Way and Digby Drive

The tour continues around the island and to be honest, I was really glad that I joined the tour, because of limited time that I had, I was able to see more in short period of time. Another places that I saw and appreciate while inside the bus were : Rocky Bay, Stark Bay, Ricey Beach and Catherine Bay Beach.

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Rocky Bay

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Stark Bay

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Ricey Beach

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Catherine Bay Beach

Taking Bovell Highway

While we took Bovell Highway, I was able to see from a distance the Wadjemup Lighthouse, Lake Vincent, Lake Baghdad, Geordie Bay and Rottnest Wind Turbine.

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Wadjemup Lighthouse

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Lake Vincent

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Lake Vincent and Wadjemup Lighthouse

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Lake Baghdad/Lake Vincent Wadjemup Lighthouse

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Geordie Bay

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Rottnest Wind Turbine

Taking Geordie Bay Road

Places to appreciate while taking Geordie Bay Road were : Herschel Lake and Rottnest Wind Turbine.

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Herschel Lake

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Rottnest Wind Turbine and Herschel Lake

Taking Digby Road

The scenery to appreciate while driving along Digby Road is the Government House Lake

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Government House Lake

One of the historical sites that can be found in Rottnest Island located almost at the center is Oliver Hill where it features the military remnants from World War II specifically the 9.2 inch gun battery. And I had a chance to see it up close and experience a tour on its underground tunnels. For a more details of the visit, please see my post about Oliver Hill.

After Oliver Hill, we visited Wadjemup Lighthouse which stands in the highest hill in the island. But unfortunately, tour schedules were over when we arrived. Therefore, we only took couple of photos inside the lighthouse and its surroundings.

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At Oliver Hill

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Wadjemup Lighthouse at Oliver Hill

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Wadjemup Lighthouse at Digby Drive

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Inside and Outside of Wadjemup Lighthouse

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At Wadjemup Lighthouse and its surrounding scenery

After coming from Lighthouse, we went straight to Thomson Bay Settlement where our tour bus ended.

At the start of my travel in Rottnest Island, my only impression was that it’s just holiday island and nothing else. While taking the guided bus tour, I was really impressed and thought that it was a perfect place for recreational activities. The last part of my tour in the island was a worthy education for me. My earlier impression in Rottnest was changed. The island has its imperfections that needs to be known by people who comes and visits the island. But these flaws should not spoil the guest perfect holidays, but at least to be a great lesson to learn, to accept and to respect what Rottnest past has.

Rottnest Island Museum is one of the colonial buildings to discover in Thomson Bay Settlement area and currently the island’s museum. To know more about my visit in the museum and some of its display, please check Rottnest … Island Museum post.

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Rottnest Island Museum

Another part of the island to discover is the Thomson Bay Settlement area where most of the historical and colonial heritage building can be found and still standing today. The full post about my walk following the colonial buildings of Thomson Bay, check the post Rottnest Walks : Collonial Buildings of Thomson Bay.

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Military Barracks (1844)  – 3 Flats (“E”,”J” & “H”) or Room 339, 338, & 337

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The Quod

After a quick walking tour about Colonial Buildings in the island, I had to run to the Main Jetty to board the ferry that will bring me back to Hillarys Terminal. And before totally turning my back to the island, I had another glimpse of The Salt Store and Rottnest Island Visitor Centre

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The Salt Store

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Rottnest Island Visitor Centre

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The Main Jetty

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Around the Main Jetty

When I was inside the ferry I just relaxed myself. And I had my silent moment of my life. Rottnest was the last place that I left before leaving Australia. And the thought of my flight made me reminded, when I will be able to see again the country that had been part of my life because of my career. And it made me felt that I am going to miss it a lot.

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The ferry we had when returning from Rottnest Island to Hillarys Boat Harbour

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Hillarys Boat Harbour (Hillarys Ferry Terminal)

We returned to Hillarys Boat Harbour and from there, I took my last shots of the harbour. Then, I waited for my tour bus that will pick me up so I can return to my hotel before going straight to Perth Airport.

Until then.

Notes :
1. Plan to visit Rottnest Island ? Please check latest information here.
2. Location : Rottnest Island, WA 6161, Australia
3. Directions to Rottnest Island :
Transportation :
a. Join Day Tours from Perth or
b. Go to Barrack Street Jetty Elizabeth Quay terminal and take Rottnest Express
ferry
c. Go to Hillarys Ferry Terminal and take Rottnest Fast Ferries boat
d. Go to Northport Rous Head Harbour or  B Shed Victoria Quay in Fremantle and
take Rottnest Express ferry or
e. Go to B Shed Victoria Quay in Fremantle and take Sealink Rottnest Island ferry
Official Website : Rottnest Island

 

 

 

 

 

Rottnest Walks : Colonial Buildings of Thomson Bay

When I left the museum, honestly I thought that I will go straight to the jetty and will just wait there until boarding time. But while walking, I found information boards not far from buildings. And I saw a couple of them. When I approached one of it, I realized that the building it describes are historical building. Then, I remembered that I had a brochure about Rottnest Colonial Buildings, I took it out from my bag. Then, I checked the time, I knew I had at least half an hour to spare for a walk to see the historical buildings in the island before the scheduled boarding time. I was time conscious or else I will be left behind by the ferry and most likely to miss my flight back to Manila that night. But, it did not happen as I quickly stride from one building to another. Below are some if not all colonial buildings that I was able to see as fast as I can while in the island.

Since I came from Rottnest Island Museum, the first building that I was able to recognized as colonial building in Thomson Bay Settlement area was Old Mill and Hay Store.

Old Mill and Hay Store (1857) – Rottnest Island Museum

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The building was constructed after previous farm buildings were destroyed by fire as part of the complex farm buildings alongside with General Store. The building was first converted into staff accommodation for the Island’s hostel in 1911 when the prison was closed, it also housed the Rottnest Literary Institute and Club until it finally became a museum in 1979.

Then I walked along Digby Drive towards the bay and turned left and went inside the General Store to buy post cards as my souvenir in the island.

Hay Store (1857) – General Store

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The island’s current shopping mall was part of the complex that includes two-storey prison/workshop building, stables, barns, and a piggery. The General Store was a former hay store and converted for commercial use in the early 20th century.

With the arrival of the first holiday makers in early 1900s, The General Store and Bakery were the first to welcome the public, followed by a greengrocer, butcher, laundrette and hair salon.

From General Store, I walked along Somerville Drive and turned right at Maley Street where I found the Military Barracks and now serve as accommodation units for guest and visitors in the island.

Military Barracks (1844)  – 3 Flats (“E”,”J” & “H”) or Room 339, 338, & 337

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Originally a military barracks and accommodated soldiers that guarded Aboriginal prison. When a new prison built in 1864, the soldier replaced by resident  prison warders. This building consisted of 3 rooms and modified later for Prison wardens and their families. It was altered again and extended  to provide accommodation for the Island’s School Teacher in 1898. Then it divided again into 3 Flats in 1917.

Then, I turned left in Vincent Way while facing the bay. The next building that I saw was the Second Superintendent’s House, which serve as another accommodation unit in the island.

Second Superintendent’s House (1848) – Sullivan or Room 336

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This building built in 1848 when Governor Fitzgerald expressed interest in taking over the First Superintendent’s House. The building also accommodated the Island’s store keeper (1898), the Colonial Secretary (1908) and the Officer-In-Charge (World War I & II). It later became the Island Manager’s House.

I was still walking along Vincent Way, when I found the Pilot’s Quarters or Pilot’s Cottage which now serve as additional accommodation unit.

Pilot’s Quarters / Cottage (1847) – Room 335 & 334

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Mr. Francis Armstrong arrived at the island in 1847 as Storekeeper and Moral Agent to improve the habits and morals of the prisoners. He lived in the cottage for less than a year to avoid conflicts with Henry Vincent – the Superintendent of Aboriginal Prison. After Armstrong, the chief pilot occupied the cottage, that is why it was called as Pilot’s cottage.

Another building that I found along Vincent Way was Coxwain’s Cottage. I was not able to capture the photo of the next building beside which called as Pilot Crew Kitchen

Coxswain’s Cottage (1871) with Photo – Room 333 & Pilot Crew Kitchen (1867) No Photo – Room 332

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Coxwain which was an Assistant Pilot stayed in the cottage and was built in 1871. Between 1848 and 1903, pilot crew were needed for guiding ships between the island and Fremantle Port. Cottages are need for Coxwain and other pilot crews. Pilot Crew Kitchen was built inn 1867.

The last building that I saw along Vincent Way before I turned left to Cusack St was the Pilot’s Crew Quarter but was not able to capture a photo of it. But currently the quarter is now served as guest accommodation too.

Pilot Crew’s Quarter (1846-1852) No Photo – Room 301

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Pilot Service was stationed in the island as guide ship due to treacherous reefs and the Pilot Crew Quarters became their accommodation.

While taking the Cusack Street, I had a chance to see the Orchard.

The Orchard

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The Orchard showcases that during the colony period, vegetable yards was very important for the early settlers, until the said industry became big and this enabled them to trade to the mainland. The orchard shows the fencing style and plantings during that time.

While I was checking the Orchard, I was lucky so see Quokka for the second time (the first was while I was in Parker Point). This time, I realized how these animals are so cute and charming when up close with them.

Then, I walked along Kitson Street until I found what I was looking for, the School House.

Quokka

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Pilot Crew Quarters & School House (1890) – Guest House / Accommodation

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The building was built in 1890, to be used by Leading Hand of the Pilot Crew. Then, became island’s first designated school-house from 1910 to 1962 when the Pilot Service was closed in 1903. Until it finally became staff and holiday accommodation.

Not far from School House, I saw information board telling the readers that the land is a sacred site.

Wadjemup Burial Ground – A sacred Site

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When I read the information boards across burial ground area, it was a relief that there was a ground dedicated and recognized as sacred site for the aboriginals throughout the island. After learning that a lot of aboriginals were buried somewhere within the island and yet unidentified was somewhat a sad story for the natives. And having this kind of site returns respect to Aboriginals after a tragic history that happens in Rottnest.

Then, I looked again on the brochure map that I was holding and following the location of the other colonial buildings. But before I found another one, I saw again a familiar flag while I was traveling in Western Australia, an Australian Aboriginal Flag. Not far from where the Australian Aboriginal Flag stands, I found the Lomas Cottage.

Australian Aboriginal Flag

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Lomas Cottage (1871) – Exhibition Space

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Lomas Cottage or commonly known as “Buckingham Palace” a named it received in 1880s when Warder Buckingham lived in the cottage. Formerly it was built for John Lomas, ex-convict and became “Imperial Pauper”. The cottage served many different purposes. Right now, it servers as an exhibition space.

Next to Lomas Cottage, the vast space or grasssed area now with trees is known as Heritage Common.

Heritage Common

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These place witnessed the men whom crossed here from 1864 to 1903 as over 3000 Aboriginal men came to Rottnest’s infamous Quod.

The Quod (1863-1864) – Karma Rottnest

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Quod is an old English slang word for prison. And the Quod served as prison in Rottnest island for Aboriginal men. When the prison was closed, it was converted into a hostel or lodge as holiday accommodation today as Karma Rottnest.

After passing “The Quod”, my walk continue until I saw another board information which signifies another historical colonial building, where I saw “The Chapel”.

The Old School and Chapel (1856 – 1857)

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The building was originally built as school by aboriginals and became local point of the island’s community. It was used as school during weekday and chapel on Sundays. It has been venue for tea dances and meetings of the Rottnest Island Institute. When the prison was closed, it was stopped as school and converted back as chapel.

Just beside “The Chapel”, another colonial building is still standing, it is called Boy Reformatory and now additional accommodation for guests in the island.

Boys Reformatory (1880-1881) – Accomodation Hostel

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The building was designed by Public Works Department, it was completed in 1881. Before, the juvenile prisoners sent to Perth Gaol, but when this was built, young prisoners sent here so that they can be separated to adult criminals to be able to change their way of life and not to be influence of prisoners in gaol. Now, the building was converted into “Accommodation House” for the State Hostel and the dormitories were divided into bedrooms.

Then, as I look into the map, the last building that I can visit to see before I walked towards the jetty to board a ferry was “The Salt Store”. One of the buildings that easy to see since it is standing not far from the jetty. But because, of the time the building was already closed, where the volunteers in the picture took care the Australian flag.

The Salt Store (1868) – Gallery and Exhibition Centre

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Capture before boarding the ferry

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Captured when arrived in the island

Salt which crystallizes on the beds of the salt lakes when dried were brought to Salt Store since 1830s by the settlers and then later by aboriginals. Salt Store supplies the salt to the whole Western Australia during its early years.

There is one and probably the most charming building of all colonial buildings that I should see but I missed was Governor’s Residence as it is separated to most of the colonial buildings that I saw. Because of limited time, I had to run to jetty not to missed my ferry.

Until then.

Notes :
1. Plan to visit Rottnest Island ? Please check latest information here.
2. Location : Rottnest Island, WA 6161, Australia
3. Directions to Rottnest Island :
Transportation :
a. Join Day Tours from Perth or
b. Go to Barrack Street Jetty Elizabeth Quay terminal and take Rottnest Express
ferry
c. Go to Hillarys Ferry Terminal and take Rottnest Fast Ferries boat
d. Go to Northport Rous Head Harbour or  B Shed Victoria Quay in Fremantile and
take Rottnest Express ferry or
e. Go to B Shed Victoria Quay in Fremantile and take Sealink Rottnest Island ferry
4. Directions to Thomson Bay Settlement area
a. From Main Jetty go to Rottnest Island Visitor Centre and get a brochure for
Colonial Buildings of Thomson Bay to follow the historical walking trails of the
settlement.
Official Website : Rottnest Island

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discovery : John Lomas Cottage or Buckingham Palace ?

Discovery (Post#68) : John Lomas Cottage or Buckingham Palace ?

Photos of the day are all about Lomas Cottage which commonly known as Buckingham Palace since Warder Buckingham lived in the cottage. This was built for John Lomas, an ex-convict and became ‘Imperial Pauper’ for whom the Government provided housing and provisions. Because of my curiosity with John Lomas as Imperial Pauper, I found another page which wrote something about him which also questions why an ex-convict for many times, will have its own cottage and even ration supply for his living? To see the article please visit here. The cottage is now being used as exhibition space in the island. These photos are part of Rottnest Island Tour October 2016.

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Notes :
Photo : Lomas Cottage, Buckingham Palace, colonial building, historical cottage
Location : Rottnest Island WA, Australia
Transportation :
1. Join Day Tours from Perth where different options are available or
2. Take cruise to the island with your own or rented boat
Official Website : Rottnest Island

Something To Look At : Wadjemup Burial Ground

Something To Look At (Post#22) : Wadjemup Burial Ground

Photos of the day are all about Wadjemup Burial Ground. During my visit in Rottnest Island Museum, I found articles or artifacts that tells that most of the aboriginals died in the island were buried somewhere without recognizing its burial-place. This area before has been used for recreation activities as it was not acknowledge as a sacred site. This means that the respect on buried native people and because they were prisoners was not given accordingly. Lots of aboriginals have been buried across the island. And when I found that they identified an aboriginal burial site, I can think that at this time of ours, the aboriginal community in the island will be able to make effort to tell to people so that a burial site will be able to received respect that it deserve. These photos are part of Rottnest Island Tour October 2016.

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Notes :
Photo : burial site, Wadjemup Burial Ground, sacred site, aboriginal burial place
Location : Rottnest Island WA, Australia
Transportation :
1. Join Day Tours from Perth where different options are available or
2. Take cruise to the island with your own or rented boat
Official Website : Rottnest Island

Enriching Viewpoint : The Quod

Enriching Viewpoint (Post#5) : The Quod

Photos of the day are all about “The Quod”, the old prison which converted into a hostel or lodge, and now as Karma Rottnest. They also called this as “The Establishment” within the island. While I was following the walking trail, I can say it was the biggest structure of all the colonial buildings that is still standing today that I was able to see. The prison was designed similar to Fremantle Prison (first prison in Western Australia). “The Quod” has been described with terrible conditions where no furniture, sanitation, fireplace nor windows and prisoners just slept in thin blanket. The structure was made by Aboriginals themselves and it witnessed the sufferings of native prisoners until they died. But the cruelty experienced by aboriginals were said to be driven by the first superintendent named Henry Vincent. These photos are part of Rottnest Island Tour October 2016.

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Information board at the front of “The Quod”

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