Sunday, 28 December 2014


On my birthday, 26th December, we headed to Rottenest Island for the day

We had an early start, arriving at Fremantle at 8am to catch the ferry.  

The girls waiting for the ferry to arrive

The water was fairly smooth on the way over but I still felt sea sick. Yuck. Its that awful morning sickness/hangover feeling all rolled into one. Charlotte also felt a little unwell, but everyone else seemed ok. It took 45 minutes before we docked at Rottnest. We got off the boat and headed straight to the playground for morning tea. Then we went for a walk to the most beautiful swimming beach, the Basin. No sharks here as it is a basin shaped swimming area protected by reef.

The Basin

One of the friendly little Quokkas we saw.  The quokka was one of the first Australian mammals seen by Europeans. The Dutch mariner Samuel Volckertzoon wrote of sighting "a wild cat" on Rottnest Island in 1658. In 1696, Willem de Vlamingh mistook them for giant rats and named the island "Rotte nest", which comes from the Dutch words rattennest meaning "rat nest". The word quokka is derived from a Nyungar word, which was probably gwaga.

After our long morning swim we headed to the restaurant for some lunch. Fish and chips and a glass of moscato. Well it was my birthday!

Family pic, at Arristos restaurant for fish and chip lunch

 After our lunch we boarded the bus and headed over to the other side of the island to have a look at Geordie Bay. Being boxing day it was packed with boats. Craig spent some time dreaming about which boat he would like.
Geordie Bay 

We then headed back to the main area of the island to board the 4.15pm boat back to Fremantle. Three tired little people did such a good job on the boat on the way back. Charlotte fell asleep on my arm and Abigail barely said a word. 

On the way back to Freo, one kid asleep and another on my knee singing twinkle twinkle. A lovely ending to a lovely day.

Rottnest Island broke away from mainland Australia over 7,000 years ago. It has a rich Indigenous history and several parts of the island are now protected as Aboriginal sites. The first European settlers arrived at Rottnest around 1830 and built colonies. The land was farmed for cereal crops and was quite successful. Then in 1839 it was decided that the island would become an Aboriginal prison, and indigenous people were sent to the island. Access to the island was prohibited and farmers were compensated for their land then sent back to the mainland. For the next century the island remained a prison for Aboriginals, during this time the Aboriginals were used for slave labour to build lighthouses, roads and the buildings. The island was also used for prisoners of war in WW1 and as a holding station for ammunition in WW2. It was then reopened to the public in the 1960's as a recreational area and is still enjoyed by all of us today.

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