I’d only been to Rottnest twice before, in my early 20s and it was high time Chef and I introduced Little Chef to the little jewel in the Indian Ocean that is Rotto. So close to Perth, but far away enough to feel relaxed and detached from day-to-day life.
We’ve had our Pommie cousins staying with us and thought a day trip to Rotto would be a fun and different outing. We were excited to play tourist too. Setting off early, to make the most of our day, we arrived at our ferry just after 7am. Our ferry crossing from Hillarys Boat Harbour took about 40 mins and was very smooth.
Our first port of call after arriving at the main area of the island, Thompson Bay, was the Rottnest Bakery. There were sorts of baked goodies on offer and Chef chowed down on a bacon and cheese pie for brekkie. Little Chef wolfed down a sausage roll and I chose a blueberry muffin. I suspect it was yesterday’s muffin as it wasn’t particularly fresh, which was a shame. I’d hoped it was just hot of the oven.
I’d ordered a coffee too, but the coffee machine was being serviced, so I headed to “The Lane” opposite and what a fab find that was! Great coffee. The little café has a gourmet hotdog menu, so I made a mental note to come back for lunch.
Little Chef was keen to meet a furry Quokka and we saw loads of them! The friendly little guys, only found on Rottnest Island, are so sweet and don’t seem fazed by people at all.
Topped up with caffeine, we headed to the bike hire shop. Pedal power is the most popular form of transport on Rottnest, which adds to the laid back pace. We were planning to ride about 3kms along the north coast of the island to find some beautiful beaches. First, we stopped at the Wadjemup lighthouse and realised that we were a long way from Perth!
We spent most of the day beach hopping. First, we rode to the furthest point we were planning on visiting – stunning Little Parakeet Bay. We planned on a bit of snorkelling, sandcastle building, paddling and then to mosey our way back to Thompson Bay on our bikes. Though there were a few hills, it was a fairly easy ride, especially with stunning views like this along the way.
By the time we made it back to Thomson’s Bay and dropped off our bikes, we still had time for a late lunch. We visited my little discovery from earlier – The Lane. Chef had worked up quite an appetite and tucked into the spicy Tarantino inspired “Reservoir Dog”, $10. These are not served like traditional hot dogs, but a curled Portuguese sausage is served burger style. Chef’s organic snag was topped with jalapeno harissa, sliced tomato, mesculin leaves, cheddar mayo and fried onions. He loved it! Little Chef scoffed his “Pup Dog”. It got two big thumbs up from him.
I’d been eyeing up the “Mongrel Dog” or “Downward Dog” (I do love a good pun hehe), but the lady who was in charge tempted me with the special of the day the “Sheep Dog”. It was every bit as fresh and tasty as she’d described – with tender and juicy slow cooked lamb shoulder, cooked in rosemary, garlic, cayenne pepper and sumac. Topped with creamy coleslaw and served on a fresh roll baked by Lawley’s Bakery – it was top dog for sure!
Simmos Ice creamery, the Dunsborough favourite, was right next door. We figured it would be rude not to… We’d done a lot of exercise after all! Bubble-gum, choc mint and cookies and cream were the favourite scoops.
We all loved our day at Rottnest – despite being a tad saddle sore from our bike ride! This was the third time I’d been across to Rotto for a day trip and each time I come to love it a little more. I left feeling relaxed and like I’d gotten away from it all – albeit briefly. I’d love to stay longer and really discover more of Rottnest – its history, the southern end (which I’ve never visited) and the restaurants too. With a few planned accommodation developments, it makes me excited for an extended stay in a year or two. Though if Little Chef has his way we’ll be back much sooner, which is fine with us. See you soon Rotto!