I’VE been to Rottnest Island a few times now – we used to hang out there during my uni days when a group would make the journey across Gage Roads to the patch of land sitting just off the West Australian coast – and the pace of those previous visits was always very relaxed.
We would hire bikes, pedal to one of the beaches on the far side of the island and swim for a couple of hours, then ride back to the pub and sit in the beer garden re-hydrating until it was time to catch the last ferry home.
I was back on Rotto for the day, as part of my trip to Fremantle, and a far more energetic activity was organised for me this time around.
For 90 minutes this afternoon I did a very quick lap of the island aboard a Naiad, the speedy boat s described as the “4WD of the sea”, roaring from one scenic location to the next with the wind and waves bouncing the vessel around the Indian Ocean.
The Rottnest Island Eco Adventure Tour gives visitors a close-up look at some of the wildlife that lives on and around this peaceful plot, and our first stop was in Eagle Bay on the West End where we stopped to see the lazy sea lions.
Some of the robust creatures were sunning on the rocks, others were playing in the waves, and we got close enough to look at their lovely faces while they relaxed.
Our last stop was off the beach at Bickley Bay where we stopped to watch the family of seals living on Twin Rocks.
It seems the seals get to know the boats, and know the vessels with the shiniest propellers, and one brave fellow venture into the sea to look at his reflection in the screws at the back end of the Naiad.
He ducked and dived to get the position, and our driver turned the boat now and then so we could see the little seal frolicking in the waves.
Visit the Rottnest Island website
… posted Saturday, April 7, 2012