For as long as I've known we were moving to Australia, I've wanted to see Quokkas in person. I finally got the chance when Rob and I had to travel to Perth to get some documents notarized at the US Consulate there. So, we made a weekend of it and had a great trip. I'll show you pictures of Quokkas, Rottnest Island, and Perth City.
But first, let me tell you a little bit about quokkas.
Quokkas are herbivores who primarily feed at night and are mainly nocturnal. They eat the leaves, stems, and bark of many plants in addition to grass. If necessary, they can survive for long periods without food or water by living off the fat stored in their tails.
An early Dutch visitor to the island, Willem de Vlamingh, mistook the marsupials for giant rats when he arrived in 1696. He named the island "Rattennest" (Dutch for "Rat's Nest"), which was later adapted to Rottnest. I like that they appear to be always smiling, and I think they're pretty cute.
After a month of gestation, the female gives birth to a baby called a joey. Females can give birth twice a year. The joey lives in its mother's pouch for six months. Once it leaves the pouch, the joey relies on its mother for milk for two more months. At 1.5 years old, quokkas are old enough to have their own babies. In the wild, quokkas can live up to ten years.
While a few live on the mainland in SW Western Australia, quokkas primarily live on Rottnest Island, which is just off the coast of the Perth metropolitan area. Rottnest Island is a protected nature reserve with white sand beaches and endless walking and cycling pathways. Motor vehicles are not allowed on the island, except for a few shuttle buses. Rob and I rented a few bikes and completed a 10km route through part of the island's interior and then along the beach.
Several ferries per day run from Perth City and Fremantle. Below are some pictures of our ferry ride and approach to Rottnest Island.
Cycling around parts of the island.
Swimming in the Indian Ocean. The water looked like liquid glass. It was so clear that the boats appeared to be suspended above the water. Also, the first photo shows Perth City in the distance.
And finally, some pictures at Elizabeth Quay in Perth City.