My last weekend in Australia I spent on Rottnest Island together with three German girls. It’s a beautiful island with the cute quokkas jumpping around everywhere. The early Dutch explorers mistook the quokkas for giant rats and that’s why we today now the island by the name Rottnest Island (Rotte Nest meaning rat nest). Long before the Europeans came to Australia the Island was inhabited by Aboriginal people, until the rising sea levels seperated the island from the mainland of Western Australia, about 7,000 years ago. The aboriginals know the island by the name Wadjemup, meaning “Place across the water”.
It’s easy to get into holiday mood when you come to the island and it’s a great place for biking, since there are barley no motor vehicles on the island. Let me show you some pictures, first up the quokkas, the stars of the island 😀But the quokkas are not allowed in the supermarket 😛 This makes me wonder if the Australians really think the quokkas are able to understand signs, or if it’s just their kind of humour.This tree shows some real survival skills.There are several salt lakes on the island.Eager to get down to the beach for a refreshing swim.Wondering where to put our tents.Evening walk along the shore.This beautiful grasshopper had been sleeping under our tent and when we were packing our stuff together he got exposed and a raven saw his chance for an early breakfast, it’s a hard world out there.Biking time 🙂Along the way we made stops for some swimming in the clear waters, this is in little Salmon Bay.The “Shark” shipwreck in Porpoise Bay.Sometimes life is pretty good 😛Pinky Beach.
The rain is coming. Dunk Island can be seen in the picture below, to the right.I went looking for the Cassowary, but unfortunately I didn’t find it.The only place where I was lucky enough to find one, was in the Australia Zoo 😛 It sure is an interesting animal. Take a look at the colourful head and the horn on the head. Not to speak of the giant feet and legs. They have large and sharp claws to defend themselves with if they feel threatened, so you don’t want to mess with them. But you don’t have to be afraid of them either, they are very shy and peaceful animals, that tend to keep away from humans. But I did find some nice rain forest.And some pretty big spiders. In the pictures it’s hard to see how big they are, but the bigger one’s were more or less the size of my hand. That’s with the legs of the spider, their bodies were actually quite small. Mission Beach is also where I did my skydive. I tried to upload a video, but didn’t succeed. So you just have to take my word for it, when I say it was an amazing experience!
I spent a little bit over a week on beautiful Magnetic Island or “Maggie” as she is lovingly referred to by the locals. As so many before me, I came under Maggies’s spell, and found it hard to leave. Here are a few pictures from my stay.View over Magnetic Island from the top of Castle Hill in Townsville.Horseshoe Bay.Birdie forgot to read the sign and tried to squeeze in underneath the door, didn’t succeed.Hanging out with Charlie.Shadow.Having a special moment with Shadow.Echidna.Mango for breakfast, yum!Blue-tongued lizard.Oh my gosh, there is something on my head!Koala cuddle, best cuddle I’ve had in a long time! Mother with baby.This koala is a wild one that likes to hang out around the hostel. No one knows why he’s sleeping in a palm tree, normally they sleep in eucalyptus trees, so they can take a bite if they get hungry.Working on my discomfort around snakes.
Funny fact: In Australia you are not allowed to have people hold snakes if the snake has ever bitten someone, but you are allowed to have people hold koalas even if they have bitten people before… Hey, where is the equality(?!).Arthur’s Bay.Did the fortress walk and got some lovely views.Also got to see a wild koala with a baby. Magnetic Island is often referred to as the koala capital because it has a big and thriving koala population.When out walking on the island you encounter a lot of small lizards.Magnetic Island was the place where I got into diving. I did my open water course on the island. This picture is just before my second dive as a certified diver out on the Great Barrier Reef, the guy to the right is my guide. And what do we learn from this picture, never ever try to smile with your mask on 😛 just spare your friends from that sight.
I also went on a day trip to do two dives at the SS Yongala shipwreck. This dive site is rated among the top dive sites in the world, so I got spoiled already from the beginning. It was absolutely amazing, close to unreal, I wish I would have had a camera with me, now I just have to keep it in my memory. If anyone is interested, you can have a look at this youtube video to get an idea about the dive site, and what you might be able to see there.Got to see a wild Echidna, happy!These birds, Bush Stone-Curlew, often kept me up during the night because of their haunting and mournful cries, unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. Feeding the Rainbow Lorikeets.Two Common Ringtail Possums hanging out on the kitchen roof, waiting to see if there is any leftovers or unattended food. I almost lost my dinner when I went back into the kitchen to get some salt and pepper 😛I went horseback riding on the island, this is Bronson and me. First we rode through the bush down to the beach, saw some wallabies and eagles along the way. Then we rode along the beach for a while. After that, came the best part. We changed into swimmers, took the saddles of the horses and rode into the sea, absolutely wonderful!Beautiful tiny seashells.