- It's only an hour away from Perth, but it feels nothing like being in the city. Whether you take the ferry from Hillarys in the north or Fremantle in the south, it's a quick hop across the Indian Ocean and on a (rare) cloudy day, you might not even be able to see Perth back across the water.
- Quokkas. Apparently these animals can also be found in a few spots on the mainland but I've never seen them anywhere but Rottnest. They're a marsupial which looks like a cross between a rat and a kangaroo. They're meant to be nocturnal but even during the day you can see plenty of them.
- There are almost no cars on Rottnest Island - just a few vehicles related to the shops and accommodation, and the shuttle bus, but that's it. Rotto is all about bicycles and it's one of those rare places where you can ride your bike happily down the middle of the road and not stress about a heap of cars coming along.
- The beaches of Rottnest are plentiful and amazingly white. Rotto is a long skinny island, about 11 kilometres (almost 7 miles) long, and the entire coastline is formed from perfect beaches. If you ride your bike to the far end from the main settlement then it's really easy to find a beach just for you.
Relaxing at Rottnest. Hi, gull!
- Rottnest has an interesting history - from long-ago Aboriginal inhabitants (they stopped living there about 7,000 years ago when the sea rose enough to completely separate it from the mainland) through the colonisation era (Dutch saw it first, and the quokkas which they thought were rats) and then during World War Two when Oliver Hill had guns installed to be a defence point before ships reached the mainland. There's a great volunteer guide programme which means you can learn all about these different aspects of the island from some really passionate experts.
- The beachside accommodation at Rottnest - simple houses - are perfect. People sometimes complain they're old and need more renovations and mod-cons, but that's not why you go to Rottnest. It's a place where you can feel like you're sleeping in a shack (they're much better than shacks though) and spending your day at the beach.
- Swimming and snorkelling (and, although I don't do it so have only heard from others, diving) are excellent at Rottnest. The water is so clear and inviting and it's a place I'll swim even on the fringe of summer, when I know the water won't be quite as warm as I'd like it, just because it looks so lovely.
- Last, and possibly also least, a little known fact that I just discovered on Wikipedia: if you dug through to the other side of the earth from Rottnest, you'd end up in Bermuda! Cool or what??
Now, if you've enjoyed my nearcation post, you might want to check some of the other bloggers taking part in this carnival - their nearcation suggestions are scattered across the world so there may be one near you.
- The Great Sand Dunes of Colorado, USA
- Three places not to miss in Extremadura, Spain
- Experiencing San Diego, USA
- Exploring the Wairarapa, outside Wellington, New Zealand
- Ashland, near Portland
- Best things to do in Auckland Harbour, New Zealand
- Kairenai botanical gardens, Lithuania
- Capestang, southern France
Click on over and discover some great travel blogs you may not have seen along with some interesting destination tips, too.