Saturday, September 25, 2010

Rottnest Island - the land of quokka

Rottnest Island, viewed from The Bathurst Lighthouse

The first European explorers who stopped at this island in the Indian ocean located off the coast of Fremantle, observed that the place was infested with rats, so they named it "Rattenest", which in Dutch means "rat's nest"[1]. What they didn't know then was that there were hardly any rats living on the island, and the animal they mistook for a rat was, in fact, a marsupial called "quokka".

The humble quokka. Despite being the famous natives of the island they show no arrogance towards the visitors

Quokka, although failed to give its name to the island due to the ignorance of the Dutch explorers, is a famous animal in Australia. It may not be as much as "Kangaroo" or "Koala", but you can find many restaurants, shops, roads and even newspapers named after this animal here in Down Under.

Ferry leaving for Rottnest Island at the Fremantle docks

Coming back to the story of the island, it later came to be known as Rottnest Island or Rotto, and now is a major tourist attraction in Western Australia. Famous for its pristine beaches, lighthouses, ship wrecks, second world war era naval canon and a look out post. It even boasts a small settlement with a resident community.

A tourist hotspot on Rotto

The naval gun and a lighthouse. Man's conflicting desires for destruction and safeguard

A settlement house

The main docks situated in the northeast part of the island

But, there is something above all of that that makes Rottnest so remarkable. Oblivious of what it really is, yet guided by an instinctive feeling, back in 2009 I set out in search of this enigma.

To be continued...



  1. love the settlement home photo....
    Nice write up too machan....

  2. Thanks G. Nice to see you drop by!

  3. Thanks nimal, thanks for visiting.

  4. definitely does not look like a rat, great to know they show no arrogance. beautiful pictures, and great information.

  5. Thanks betchai, glad you stopped by and found it interesting. Cheers.

  6. Interesting stuff. I like your write-up and descriptions too. Im intrigued for the next part of your story after that cliffhanger. :P

  7. Thanks Asanji. Don't worry if you miss the next part I'll tell you when I catch up with you next time :D

  8. Interesting! Can't wait to read part deux. :)

    The Quokka is a real cutie! i saw that they are about the size of a house cat?

    Kudos on the great pics, complemented by an informative backstory. - Now i'm ready for a vacation!! :D

  9. @Amaris in Wonderland- Next part coming up soon :) Quakka is slightly slimmer than a house cat, but when he stand from his hind legs, like a kangaroo does, he is taller. Not at all a timid creature, you can even touch them.
    See you next time.

  10. I had heard of a Quokka before, so I thank you for the education. Thanks, too, for the information about, and great pictures of, the island. The water in the background of the tourist photo is amazing. No wonder the island has become a tourist hot spot.

  11. Thank you for the journey to the island :-)
    I enjoyed it a looks like a great place to visit.
    By the way, Rattennest is a german word, too, with the same meaning :-)

  12. Thanks George and Frieda. Guess I'm indirectly promoting tourism for Australia haha...

  13. wonderful pics and the should be paid from the tourist board (or whatever they call it) of Australia :D
    My fav is the settlement house. like the way the shadows intersect the picture.
    And those girls look interested...ahem... :D

  14. Hi silent moments, I did a bit of post processing to the picture of the settlement house. Glad you liked it. If those girls only knew that they are on my blog LOL..

  15. I like the pic of quokka. looks sweet...haven't seen a kind like that before.Thanks to you now I know a lot abt them. I totally agree with Silent moments, you are a marvelous guide with a keen eye and spell binding words.

  16. Thank you Naදී. Yeah, quokka is cuddly specially in that posture. But, for me the cuddliest around (yet a damn nuisance)are possums. Love to see the way they walk on the ground :)
    See you again soon.