Australia is a tourists paradise, as diverse as it is large and intimidating. The beauty of the Gold Coast, Bondi Beach and Ayer’s Rock stand in stark contrast to the bustling urban metropolises of Sydney, Perth and Melbourne. One of the best kept secrets in Australia is Rottnest Island, a paradise for the whole family that people are slowly discovering.
Rottnest Island is a short ferry ride away from Perth, which is an adventure in itself as you glide over the crystal clear water. The island itself is fairly rugged, but well kitted out for the whole family. The best way to get around the island is by bicycle. Rent a bicycle on the island and then start exploring. Be warned that the island is very hilly once you get out of the main area and roads, so be prepared for a lot of pedalling! The workout is well worth it though, as you can get around the island in a day. The scenery on some of the hills is simply breathtaking as you look out over the ocean, and the thrill of racing downhill is an exciting way to cool off. The sun is quiet fierce, so be sure to come prepared with a hot, sun cream, and longer shirts if possible.
Your cycle route will take you past some secluded beaches, and you will literally feel as if you are the first people ever to explore the waters. Swimming is safe if you stay alert and close to the shore, and a few exciting finds await intrepid explorers of the sea. A good cooling swim is also extremely pleasant after a long day cycling. If you are just in the mood to relax, you can simply tan on the pristine white beaches.
Along the way, you are likely to meet some of the islands unique inhabitants, like the kwagga, a small animal similar to a rock hyrax. These adorable little rodents are indigenous to the island, and you will see them scurrying around the undergrowth. Rottnest is also free of the fly problems that irritate so many tourists on the mainland.
All in all, Rottnest is an ideal family break away from mainland Australia. Wild, exciting and unique, there is sure to be something for everybody. I highly recommend that you saddle up, keep peddling, and find your own special part of this magical little island.