If you’ve never seen a quokka before, google “the world’s happiest animal” and you’ll see image after image of an adorable furry little creature that appears to be smiling. That, my friends, is a quokka and they live wild on Rottnest Island off of the coast of Western Australia.
When I returned to Australia I knew I had to pay a visit to Rottnest Island and it turned out to be one of the best days!
We were staying in an Airbnb in the lovely town of Fremantle, which was where we caught the ferry from. The ferry journey took around 25 minutes before we reached the blissful shores of Rottnest.
At the port, we collected the bikes we had hired as this is pretty much the only way to travel around the island as cars are not permitted and it is too large to navigate by foot. However, there is a bus service but where’s the freedom in that?!
We picked up a map and set off on one of the bike trails. We only covered a small section of the island but still managed to cycle about 10km!
The beaches are stunningly beautiful here, with white sand and turquoise sea, so be sure to take a break from cycling to enjoy them. It was a little while before we spotted any quokkas but when we did, we tried to get ourselves an obligatory ‘quokka selfie’ (yes that’s a thing). After initially worrying that we wouldn’t find any quokkas, we ended up seeing loads of them all around the island.
The quokkas face no natural predators on the island so they aren’t particularly fearful of anything. They actually see humans as a source of food which is bad because you aren’t supposed to feed the quokkas.
Once we’d cycled a loop, admiring the views and the wildlife along the way, we headed to Aristos Waterfront Restaurant for some well earned fish and chips which were delicious!
Rules of Rottnest Island
- Don’t feed the quokkas
- Don’t touch the quokkas
- Be careful – in one quokka encounter, I ended up shoving a man in the leg because a throng of over excited tourists had showed up and he wasn’t looking where he was going and stepped backwards onto a poor little quokka’s tail! I’m a wildlife warrior, me.
- When cycling, ensure you are wearing your helmet. They are compulsory by law in Western Australia.
- Respect the island – take your rubbish with you and stay on the designated paths.
- Take plenty of water and snacks as once you leave the main harbour there isn’t really anywhere else to grab refreshments.
- Take sunscreen/hat/sunglasses etc as it is hot out there and not particularly shaded.
- If you’re only in Western Australia for a short amount of time I would recommend booking your place on the ferry in advance. We booked ours before we left the UK and the package included bike hire. We also went on a Tuesday as we found that this was the cheapest day to go.
- Take a watch with you to ensure you don’t miss your ferry slot back!
We had booked the last ferry back so once we’d explored a little more, we spent some time chilling on one of the beaches before having a drink at Quokka Joe’s cafe. I was pretty jealous of the people who were staying overnight on the island but I was also incredibly satified at what a wonderful day we had had.