Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Swan Brewerie with walk way at Kings Park in the background

We last visited Perth on holiday in about 1992 or 1993 when as a family we
had holidayed from NZ to Bangkok, Bali and Perth. During that visit we
hadn't taken the opportunity to visit Rottnest Island so I was keen to visit
now. Peter has visited Perth many times since we came to live in Australia
but those visits have always been for work purposes so this week he has got
to know Perth so much better.

Although we had spent a couple of days cruising we decided that we would
definitely visit Rottnest Island. This is a full day trip with the boat
leaving from The Esplanade in the city at 8.45 am and not returning there
until 6 pm. So we were back on our trusty train, this time along with the
commuter traffic at 7.45 a.m. We were not surprised that the train was full
when it arrived at our station but we were shocked when two people
immediately stood to give us their seats. Why were we shocked? Firstly
that we are obviously now in the category of seniors (or worse disables) and
therefore should be given seats by younger people, and secondly that these
younger people had manners to give up their seats. We were most embarrassed
but glad not to stand on the train into the city.

The boat trip firstly goes up the Swan River to Fremantle and then out to
the open sea and takes a further half hour to reach Rottnest Island. Soon
after leaving the Esplanade the original Swan Brewerie building is on the
banks of the river opposite Kings Park with the walkway. The Swan Brewerie
building is now five star apartments and a shopping precinct.

A reasonably large boat is used and as it is school holidays the boat was
very full. We were fortunate to get good seats in the outside area.
Rottnest is a subtropical island with secluded beaches, salt lakes, two
lighthouses and with the exception of a very few "island" cars (police, bus,
rubbish trucks etc) there are no vehicles. There are a large number of
holiday villas and houses, a camping ground and various shops and
restaurants etc. The main method of travel on the island, which is about
ten kilometres long, is bicycle and these can be hired or brought on the

It was a hot day, thirty degrees, and as my knee wouldn't take kindly to me
cycling, we decided to take the hop on hop off bus. A good choice as the
road around the island is undulating and I am sure I would have soon ditched
a bike. The bus is a very popular choice and circles the island every half
hour stopping at all the bays with a commentary. Firstly we stopped at
Salmon Bay, a popular snorkelling bay. The bus driver said that the water at
Rottnest was six degrees warmer than the water in Perth or Fremantle so I
decided it was time to test the water. I must say it could have been
another six degrees warmer for my liking.

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