2017 Western Australia – Day 3 – Rottnest Island

Somehow I could not find any pictures of the third day in Sydney and also of the fourth day none. Probably there were no pictures. On the third day in Sydney we had met at the university for lunch with the group.

Then we took a taxi towards Coogee Beach, which was much more comfortable considering the time saving and the not so high costs with something around 25$. From Coogee I turned left for the third time in the direction of Bondi Beach along the legendary Beachwalk. The weather was good and warm again. As always there were quite a lot of runners on the way. We took a lot of time on the way and it took us a while to get to Bondi Beach. At Bondi Beach the postcard pool this time was empty and completely dirty. I wanted to show the beautiful infinity pool but there was only this dirty broth in it. Since the season just started it was probably cleaned. However, it was also in winter in operation.

From Bondi-Beach I took a taxi back to Zetland. In the hotel we are still down into the pool, whereby the water in the pool was too cold for me and I lay down in the Jacuzi. Since we had to go the next day to Perth, we finished the day quite early again. On the fourth day we went to Perth around noon. It is not worth it to drag the suitcases to the subway for 20 minutes and then to pay each 20$ to the airport. So we took a taxi again and came comfortably to the airport for 25$. The flight was with Virgin Australia Sydney to Perth, this time from Terminal 2. Somehow we arrived much too early. Probably that was because we had to vacate the hotel 1000 times and the flight didn’t leave until 13.30.

After checking in our luggage we lounged around in the main hall for a while, but it had gotten really warm again outside. At some point we went in and went to the gate. At the gate some people were already there and the flight was really full. All in all Virgin Australia seemed a bit older but ok. The flight lasted about 5h or almost six. From the air the overflight over the whole length of South Australia always looked the same. The name “red continent” fits this already completely. Nevertheless always the same. Later there was a little change shortly before Perth with interesting empty coastal sections. The airport in Perth was quite empty and quite provincial.

As good as no people on the way. Outside it didn’t look much better, only the sun burned down brutally. We went to the rental company to pick up the car and first had to do a lot of paperwork and wait because of the people in front of us. To be on the safe side we took out an insurance which cost us an additional 700 Euro. Interestingly, the amount of the car was not fully paid. I thought that would have been complete with the booking. But I couldn’t find a bill with the rental price on it. That was a bit strange. The insurance should turn out later still as luck case and I recommend the insurance actually urgently. The deductible of the normal insurance was something of around three thousand dollars and the insurance reduced it to zero.

The problem with Western Australia is that it’s always quite a gamble that you don’t damage your car on such a long tour because something can happen. We drove through bushes or through the terrain. But much worse is that some animal can jump in front of the car all the time. Later I drove over a metal pillar on a parking lot and took advantage of the insurance. Apart from the many scratches of the bush drives. The car was a Toyota RAV4 all-wheel drive and at the beginning the left-hand traffic was quite habitual. However, this was less problematic than I thought.

The first kilometres were still quite bad, but after three days it was complete. Later and also now after 6 weeks after driving in the left-hand traffic I have in DE again and again short-term problems on which side I should get in the car or on which side of the road I should drive. I had trained my brain for four weeks to drive on the left side and to always look to the right and to get into the car on the right side. Now there are some conflicts from time to time.

We had to drive about 35 km from the airport to Coogee (this time near Perth). Fortunately I had already saved the address in the OSMAnd before. In between we stopped at a Coles and got a box of beer and some wine. At B finally arrived quite without problems gave it first of all a beer pressed into the hand. We referred the first floor and after unpacking went on the terrace to entertain. In the evening we made planugn where we should go. I was still not clear whether to the south or north. So either clockwise or the other way around. That should decide then the next day. In Perth one already noticed the difference in the weather. Tags were always sunny and brutally warm. In the evening we couldn’t sit outside for very long because it was too cold and windy.

We decided to take the ferry to Rottnest the next day. Rottnest probably knows no one else in the world. I didn’t know about the island until 2016 when I read the travel reports of the explorers around the South Seas and Peron. There was always the talk of Rattennest, so we drove to Rattennest and so and I couldn’t make any sense of what it should be until I realized that this island is. The island was named after the Quokkas which look like big rats and which are everywhere there unmissable. There were also ferry departure times online, so that we started the next day quite early in the direction of Freemantle harbour.

Before it had been quite warm in the house at night. Early was not so much going on in the area of Freemantle. We parked somewhere quite in the city center at the harbour but not directly in front of it. We walked through the park, where one of the probably potheads greeted us friendly. At the harbour the ferry was already there and we bought two tickets for maybe 50$ per person. We brought the trip outside on the back deck and stared through the area. From the harbour you could hardly see Rottnest. All in all the trip took about one hour. Rotnest already made the impression of an island in the South Seas at the harbour. Quite idyllic and not much going on.

We wanted to rent bicycles and went to a quite large bicycle rental. On the whole island there are only bicycles or a bus. I almost took an e-bike, but was redirected to a normal bike. We also started driving around the island clockwise. Shortly at the end of the small main town we saw the first Quokka. Actually we could have seen it right at the harbour but we didn’t think about it at all. Later they were everywhere in the food to hose.

The bike ride made me sweat because the temperatures and the sunlight became extreme again. The landscape was very interesting. In the interior of the small island it was dry, partly swampy and at the edge were innumerable small or larger beaches or rocks in alternation. By the white sand with the absolutely clear water the water was absolutely turquoise. Sometime we stopped at an interesting beach and tested the water. That wasn’t quite warm but it worked because it was quite warm outside. Then we went on again. On a rock in the water was a nest with birds like eagles. Again there were many empty beaches. We stopped at another beach and had a short rest there. Then we went back to the small town to drive along the other side. But before we went for some food in the very small center.

Between the tables there were quokkas everywhere to secure the food leftovers. We continued on the other side of the island. There were bungalows, small cottages and quite a lot of boats and yachts as well as cyclists. At a very nice beach we stopped again. The water was still not warmer but it was short. Outside it was extremely warm, especially the sunlight was strong. Here I probably got a sunburn again, but not too strong. Altogether the island made a quite interesting impression. Around 1700 we took the ferry back to the island and were a little bit damaged by the weather. After a short drive we were back at B and I got a beer in my hand again. Afterwards there were again conversations with absolutely excellent wine and this time it was clear that we should drive the next day to the north.

Actually I was the whole time against a journey to the north. The reason for it is quite simple that it is always discouraged to drive north in the summer because the conditions are too strict. However, I had seen the weather forecast and it promised a kind of onset of winter in the beginning of summer in December in Perth with storms and low temperatures so that we did not drive towards Esperance and then up north or further east. We didn’t want to be freezing in the tent.