As promised in the last post, we are going to go quokka hunting. But mind you, this island is so beautiful, especial as far its view is concerned that we are not only going meet the quokka but we are also going the get the grand tour of the area and become a little more familiar with the island and what it has to offer. After all you might land here sometime soon 🙂
Rottnest Island is a special place for Western Australians and a popular destination for interstate and international visitors. Mediterranean-style climate and the range of flora and fauna on this Island provides the backdrop to a special holiday experience.
It is believed that Rottnest Island was separated from the mainland 7,000 years ago. The sea level rose, cutting the Island off from the land mass, and it is now the largest in a chain of islands on the continental shelf opposite Perth. This island is formed of limestone rocks with a thin covering of sand. The limestone base of Rottnest Island has an effect on all life on the Island, including the types of plants which can grow on it, the species of animals which can feed upon the plants, and the extent to which humans can make use of the Island.
The Island has six major habitats: coastal, salt lakes, brackish swamps, woodlands, heath and settled areas. Salt lakes occupy ten per cent of the area of Rottnest Island. Many of them - including Lake Baghdad, Lake Vincent, Herschel Lake, Garden Lake, Government House Lake and Serpentine Lake - are permanent and have surrounding beaches. Other lakes such as Pink Lake, Lake Sirius, Lake Negri and the twin Pearse Lakes may dry out in summer. (source)
Rottnest Island's waters contain a number of shipwrecks - a legacy of the uncharted navigational voyages that occurred during the early exploration of the southwest coast of Australia. More than thirteen ships have been wrecked within the waters of Rottnest Island. These wrecks are protected under Commonwealth legislation, Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976, as well as State legislation, Maritime Archeology Act 1973. Plaques have been located next to the wrecks and are complemented by onshore plaques indicating their locations. (source)
The limestone coral reef surrounding Rottnest grew approximately 100,000 years ago when the sea level was thought to be at least three metres higher than the present day. This reef system is fed by the warm Leeuwin Current and provides a home to much of Rottnest's marine life, as well as presenting a significant hazard for shipping.(source)
The Island's first lighthouse was completed in 1851 and was constructed by Aboriginal prisoners, under the supervision of the Prison Superintendent. Half a century later it was replaced with a new, taller lighthouse on Wadjemup Hill; and a third was built in 1900 at Bathurst Point after the loss of 11 lives when the ship, the City of York, was wrecked in 1899. The Bathurst Point and Wadjemup Hill lighthouses remain today. The Wadjemup lighthouse is open to the public and tours are conducted daily. (source)
The earliest discovery of Rottnest Island by Europeans is credited to Dutch navigators during the 17th century in their search for a shorter route from the Cape of Good Hope to Batavia. The first Europeans to actually land on the Island are believed to have been Samuel Volkerson and his crew of the Dutch ship Waeckende Boey while searching for survivors of another Dutch ship the Vergulde Draek in 1658. William de Vlamingh, who in 1696 was the next recorded European visitor to Rottnest Island, gave the Island its name after the abundance of quokkas he saw, mistaking them for rats. (source)
And so that is a quokka. They roam the area freely and rather friendly.
More about quokka in the next post.
Let's move forward.