"" Writer's Wanderings: Perth - Yanchep and Rottnest

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Perth - Yanchep and Rottnest

Just north of where we stayed in Trigg is Yanchep National Park. It was a lovely drive along the coast and then inland. We arrived around 8:45 a.m. and the visitor center, tea room, and confection store were not open yet so we drove down to the lake. As we pulled in, two heads popped up from behind the boulder in front of our car.

If you look at the picture, you can almost imagine one kangeroo saying to the other, "Let's go Gertrude. The tourists are arriving already." With that, they hopped off and disappeared. The park must have hundreds of kangaroos though. The evidence they left behind dotted all the grassy areas reminding us of the Canadian geese problem we have back home.

On our way back to the visitor center, we found the boardwalk that leads through a grove of eucalyptus trees that are populated with a dozen or so koalas. These furry guys were settling in for the day. They are nocturnal so they were looking for a good spot to hang on and fall asleep.

Within the park is an old hotel, the Yanchep Inn. It had a beautiful lobby and dining area with rich dark wood. This would have been a good spot to spend the night and get a better look at the kangaroo population either at dusk or earlier in the morning.

Along our walkabout to some caves in the park, we also encountered some black cockatoos. I never knew there was a black variety. They were quite impressive.

On another morning out, we caught a ferry from Fremantle to Rottnest Island just a half hour boat ride off the coast. We had heard that Rottnest was a "must see" and found that it was full of wonderful sandy beaches and areas that looked like excellent snorkeling spots but we aren't beach people--especially when the temperatures are in the lower 90s F and there is no place to escape the sun. The interior of the island has a few lakes but for the most part the whole island is just rocks and sand dunes with low scrub bushes and few trees.

Rottnest has a bus service called the Bayseeker that leaves from Thomson Bay where the ferry docks and goes around the island stopping at 18 different places from which you can access the beaches and a couple of the resort areas. You can buy an all day pass and hop on and off at your leisure. We rode all the way around once (about 45 minute trip) and then after lunch, went back to a beach where we could stick our feet in the Indian Ocean and then wait in the shade for the bus to return.
As we strolled through the small shopping area we noticed this little critter out looking for a new outfit. Proabably one of those hats to keep the sun off his head. The animal is a quokka, a marsupial related to the wallabies and kangaroos.

Though it is supposed to be fall here in Australia, the temperatures have not shown that to be true. They reach into the mid 30s C. That's upper 80-90s F. and before we left the area, temps were reaching 102-4 F. The sun is relentless but get in the shade and you can enjoy a cool breeze from the ocean. It also cools off amazingly in the evening just as the sun goes down in a glorious sunset disappearing into the Indian Ocean. God paints a masterpiece every evening.

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