Monday, December 31, 2007


A few things in life are certain: the righteous dominance of the Australian cricket team. Strife in the Middle East. 98 per cent of the world loathing Vegemite. And end-of-year lists in the mainstream media.

Notable op/eds in the New York Times this year – see here. The worst of 2007 sport, according to the Sydney Morning Herald – see here. Google’s annual Zeitgeist list of most popular terms and words used in searching (Rottnest didn’t get a mention) – see here.

So of course Rotto Bloggo has its list of 10 most noteworthy island events for the year that’s about to expire. We’ve interrogated People In The Know, Rotto identities both known and anon., filtered news events from the past 365 days and thrown darts at the board. Only a couple of these have been invented.

10: in January, the Rottnest Society gives both barrels to the State Government over the new hotel due to be erected at Mt Herschel: “The government has let us all down in not keeping a written commitment to allow the Western Australian public to comment via a properly constituted public comment process on the concept plans for the proposed new hotel at Mt Herschel”.

9: in July, a known union troublemaker stubs his toe while fishing off the rocks at Little Armstrong Bay, a notorious public relations operative is nearly violently ill on the ferry over to the island, the state’s top reporter makes her famous eggplant moussaka, and Mrs Rotto Bloggo thrashes Rotto Bloggo at Scrabble.

8: On Anzac Day the West reported on a Union Jack lots of blokes from the 2/28th Australian Infantry Battalion signed in WW2. One of the signees was Leonard Allan Wilkes, who was born 1 November 1913 in Kununoppin. He enlisted in 1940 in Claremont – and his “locality on enlistment” – where he lived – was Rottnest Island.

7: the Geordie Café was up for sale after having been in the hands of a woman called Emily for six years.

6: Scott Fava (we can quote from the SMH article above): “The say it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog - but that doesn't apply to quokkas. The Western Force backrower threw around a member of the protected species during an end-of-season trip. The biggest lower? Fava. The quokka is still running wild on Rottnest, but Fava was fined $11,000 and publically declared he had an alcohol problem.”

5: June: a French traveller called Dede described Rotto as “paradis sans voiture”. Exactement.

4: A journalist from upstate New York, Aaron Munzer, puts Rotto on his top ten list about Australia. Rotto Bloggo pointed out he’s put it only at #7, which prompted this reply from Mr Munzer: “A grotto, in addition to being "a small cave, usually with attractive features" is also a cave that floods often during high tide. So, while my usage of it might not be entirely accurate, I thought it got the point across. I just wanted to clear up the record: I didn't number the places; Rottnest was not my number seven. It should have been higher. Also, the WWII forts I visited on the island were definitely ruined. Just an observation. I'm sure there are guns in 'superb nick', but they must hide them very well. I guess that like the drop bears, the ruins are just for Americans.”

3: October: Sheila McHale peers into a fridge, drinks champagne on the jetty, and gives news on unit refurbishment progress. The crowd goes wild.

2: sometime in August, the number of images on Flickr tagged with Rottnest exceeds 10,000. The Internet, blogosphere and Web 2.0 go wild.

1: the Rottnest Island Authority refuses to release the whole Synovate document ‘Evaluating the Rottnest Island Experience (Final Report)’ to Rotto Bloggo. A whole lot of extra work is instantly created for someone in the Freedom of Information office.

Friday, December 28, 2007

no sex toys on Rotto

It would've been nice to have been on Rotto on the stinking hot Boxing Day: the most it got to was 38.1C, considerably cooler than the 43.2C or 44.1C or whatever it was around Perth. Hawaii was very temperate, too: it was always in the low to mid 20s with the odd sunshower and about 30 rainbows a day.

What's been the most unusual thing you've found in your Rottnest bungalow? Rotto Bloggo once left a boombox there: when we remembered we called the RIA and it was safely returned to us at Barrack Street via a late ferry. As the pic shows, when we arrived on our last trip our window had a delightful egg stain. But we've never found sex toys in the place - unlike Hawaii.

When we got to our timeshare on Oahu, at the Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club, we settled in and unpacked. Our friends found something deep in a drawer, though: a plastic bag containing a number of sex toys - two were surprisingly large - and a range of accompanying lubricants.

What to do? We put them to one side, then a bit later reception rang: the previous guests had left "something" in the rooms, and could a member of staff come up and look for it? "The sex toys?" we asked. There was a stunned silence on the other end. "We don't have any need for them - come up and get them."

The staffer who knocked on the door looked a bit apprehensive. We handed the bag over. "Heavy aren't they?" we remarked. Later there was another call from reception: a gift basket was on the way up to reward us for our honesty and no doubt compensate us for the gruesome discovery.

Monday, December 24, 2007

last minute Lodging

Looking for last-minute Xmas accomodation on Rotto? Check out eBay user 8616elaine: s/he has something at the Lodge: “Dec. 24-27 Lakeside apartment queen/ single/+ Inc. breakfasts xmas lunch” for $900. she says it’s legit: “the Lodge has Ok'd a transfer. We will be on the Island and would meet you at the Lodge on 24th to collect payment, book you in etc”.

While you’re there you could hang your latest art acquisition on a wall: here’s another eBay link to a print of a Rotto scene: looking into the mall. “If this is a place where you have visited in the past and rebember how really beautiful this place is and always wished you got a picture to remember it by then this is for you”, says nobbyyabe. “I am not sure who the artist is however I have photographed his signiture for you experts. We purchased this limited edition for $350 approx 8-9 years ago in Perth. It no longer fits the decor of our house so reluctantly we have decided to pass it on to someone who really appreciates it. Starting bid $280”.

Rotto Bloggo is back from Hawaii. We had a magic time. The snorkeling and snubaing! The mountains and hiking! The pools and beaches! Pearl Harbour (although they spell it Harbor). It’s – this is a big call – almost as good as Rottnest. There are windfarm windmills on Maui, like Rotto, and accommodation with sea views, like Rotto.

Important research into oceanography and seismology happens on Hawaii – and something botanically important may be happening on Rotto, too. Flickr user Frogga Hops has a couple of dozen pics up of boffin-like people investigating something (the accompanying pic is titled ‘study site’) but there are few clues as to what they were working on. Frogga Hops also has a pic of a man with a condom on his head, and the image is titled ‘dinophysis’ – Dinophysis norvegica, of course, is an armoured, marine, planktonic dinoflagellate bloom-forming species associated with DSP events and commonly found in cold neritic waters. The mystery deepens…

Friday, December 07, 2007


Rotto Bloggo is off to Hawaii for a couple of weeks, so there will be a brief interregnum between news of the beautiful island. We'll be comparing the Basin with Maui, the Bakery with Starbucks, the Wadjemup lighthouse with a volcano and Rottnest Society T-shirts with Hawaiian shirts.

It was good to see the two Western Farce players have been fined more money, and that the RIA may also slug them some cash...

Also in the SMH, someone says the beautiful island has a funny name: "...right up there with the Bungle Bungles in terms of unfortunate place names". But the writer then distinguishes himself when he describes Rotto as "an absolute gem" and a "sumptuous playground"...

Enjoy the Perth World Cup this's Australia's richest surf ski racing event...

While you're on Rotto, look out for James and Laura, who seem to be working in the pub and living on the island. Bliss!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

TWOPpo Rotto

What’s the crème de la phlegm of the beautiful island? The expensive goodies from the bakery? Red Rooter? The ridiculous rules at the pub? (no jugs of beer, for example).

Rotto Bloggo has been scratching its bonce pondering this during the last week as we’re big fans of superb local blog The Worst of Perth. If you need a laugh-out-loud moment thanks to cheeky writing and arresting images, TWOP is a must-read.

Historically there are plenty of worst Rottnest items. Many dead Aborigines, for example. Schoolies? We don’t think so. Arrogant yachties? They’re no more arrogant than anyone else. The new four-and-half-star hotel at Mount Herschel? It hasn’t even been built yet. People who jump the queue at the liquor store?

Someone just suggested the delapidated mini-golf course (torn green carpet, lots of bird poo) is a Worst Rotto feature. But Rotto Bloggo things the course is quirky, and its faults are merely a challenge for a keen mini-golfer.

If you asked one of the passengers on the Macedon, the Uribes or the Shark how they enjoyed their introduction to Rottnest, you wouldn’t get a favourable response. Today's pic shows someone in the midst of the old ferry heave-ho on the way to the beautiful island.

Anyway, we’ve sent a photo we ran last year to TWOP in order to get some Rotto coverage. If all goes well Rotto Bloggo will become TWOP’s international correspondent.

* Some people find the trip across to Rotto the worst, but they feel better after staggering down the jetty and having a restorative coffee at Dome.

Monday, December 03, 2007

leavers, Lana and a Lodge

A lot of people who come to this blog are looking for information about Leavers Week: they put things into Google like ‘rotto leavers 07’ and ‘rottnest island pinky's news night’ (the latter string only gets posts from last year, though).

The beautiful island has endured another wave of schoolies. There weren’t many dead: eight were evicted early last week, according to the ABC, and the Thin Blue Line was generally happier than they were last year. The frenzy was condensed into four weekdays this year, instead of a longer period that included a weekend.

"We're just not seeing the levels of intoxication we've seen in the past, we're not seeing the drug taking we've seen in the past, and overall the leavers period on Rottnest has been a great success so far," Sgt Paul van Noort told Aunty.

One Ash Blackwell told The Sunday Times the four-day frenzy meant for a more-concentrated imbibation.

"Most of us are cramming two weeks of drinking into a few days'', the 17-year-old was quoted as saying. Much like any adult, really! Do we need to fuss so much about kids on Rotto? Many adults do the same, or even worse. The jetty is still there, the lighthouses haven’t fallen over, Brett Heady’s Family Fun Park is still open for business (keep the rugby players away from the quokkas, though).

Rotto Bloggo interviewed Australian Idol contestant Lana Krost recently. She was going to Rotto for Leavers, and seemed very nice. One of her favourite things is a white dwarf bunny named Pancakes: she got him a few weeks ago after she returned from Sydney and Idol. Lana thinks he’s the “cutest little thing ever”. She’s also got about 10 birds at home and a dog called Pippin.

It’s not just schoolies who were on Rotto last week: Belle Taylor at The West tracked down the new owner of down-south’s Cape Lodge, Peter Larsen. But Peter was about to have a dip and didn’t want to chat.

“I’ve just arrived at Rottnest over here, it’s not good timing and I would prefer not to comment if you don’t mind…I’m about to have a swim,” Dr Larsen told Belle.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Western Force de frappe

The case of the mistreated quokkas reached a sorry yet predictable climax today.
‘CAPPING a horror week for the Western Force, controversial star Matt Henjak has admitted to having a drink problem and asked rugby fans for forgiveness,’ The Sunday Times reported.

Matt was one of the rugger buggers fined an exceptionally small amount of money for mistreating quokkas on the beautiful island (the other was Scott Fava).

‘The former Wallaby has revealed he is seeking counselling on the dangers of alcohol abuse and working with a psychologist,’ The Sunday Times continued.

That’s alright then! ‘The demon drink made me do it’, is the feeble excuse. Too much sherbet – and of course you would hammer-throw quokkas and stuff them in milk crates. Boys will be boys!

Rotto Bloggo is disappointed (but not really surprised) that there wasn’t more of a ruckus, and that the RSPCA in WA didn’t bag the Farce. The Sydney Morning Herald did, though, in this whimsical item which wasn’t really to our taste but did manage to point out Western Force is much more force de crap than force de frappe.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

boat floats, biz riz

We were the third person on board the Rottnest Spirit for its first trip on Tuesday.
We were going to Rotto to report on the refurbished bungalows in Nappy Alley: also present were other media heavyweights (Channels 9 and 10, Carolyn Monaghan from ABC 720, and Brendan Foster from the Fremantle Herald).

We’d reported on the Spirit before, but we were chastised this week for not including the number of passengers it can carry. The number is 200.

It was a nice ride to the beautiful island. The Spirit has a double hull. It seemed very smooth. There was OJ, sparkling wine, muffins and scrolls for breakfast. Can’t led the media go hungry.

Tourism Minister Sheila McHale says the new boat, which cost Oceanic $12 million, is a sign Rotto business confidence is soaring. Soaring higher than a freewheeling gull above the tearooms. Higher even than the top of the Wadjemup lighthouse.

“This major investment is a real indication of the level of private sector confidence in Rottnest and in tourism in Western Australia,” Ms McHale said in her media release. “We are entering a new era as business engages with the island and Rottnest’s popularity soars.”

Hmm. Business has been engaging with the island for a long long time, from making salt to charging the earth for bread. Popularity? It’s pretty popular now.

Ms McHale said an estimated $60million was due to be invested in Rottnest Island by the private sector: “$6.5million will be spent on the Quokka Arms hotel, a new Dome cafe is being built and negotiations are continuing towards a new $50million hotel…business confidence in Rottnest has never been so high and it augurs very well for the future…the Carpenter Government is boosting our State’s tourism industry to create new jobs and opportunities for people and preserve our unique lifestyle.”

Hmm. Is giving the go-ahead to a huge new hotel preserving Rotto’s lifestyle?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

McHale's navy

It was McHale’s army on Rotto today, too, as dozens of people invaded a Nappy Alley unit.

Tourism Minister Sheila McHale cut a ribbon across the front door of Gull, or unit number 211, in South Thomson.

The thronging crowd seemed like gulls as they huddled and devoured morning tea after the event.

“Ms McHale also unveiled 43 refurbished units in South Thomson, meaning 85 per cent of the island’s 308 holiday units have now been upgraded or refurbished,” said her media release.

“We’ve also reached another milestone – all asbestos cement roofing has now been removed and replaced with colorbond,” Ms McHale said in her release.“It also keeps us on track for the refurbishment program as set out in the Rottnest Island taskforce report to be finished in 2008.”

The media were keen to know if schoolies would be staying in these now-pristine places. No they will not, the Minister said: Nappy Alley is families only.

The refurbished unit looked very nice. It was certainly a lot cleaner than the one we checked into earlier this year. The Minister had a poke around the fridge, people inspected the shower and bedrooms, and marvelled at the view from Gull’s front porch.

The crowd zipped across to Rotto on the Rottnest Spirit: more detail about that tomorrow.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

off the soap box

We were at the Freo Markets the other day and we saw this Rottnest soap.

Mariners' Soap on a Rope lathers in salt and fresh water. "Great for boats, holiday home and Rotto", says the manufacturer. "Made with coconut oil...good for waterways."

Looks good to us. There's no fragrance. The rope is hemp. Why wouldn't you pack one of these when you're next going to the beautiful island?

Rotto Bloggo had it's HOME supplement (The Sunday Times) hat on when we were at the store. The owner told us a version of this tale, in the Wikipedia entry on soap: "...soap takes its name from a supposed "Mount Sapo" where ancient Romans sacrificed animals. Rain would send a mix of animal tallow and wood ash down the mountain and into the clay soil on the banks of the Tiber. Eventually, women noticed that it was easier to clean clothes with this "soap".

"The location of Mount Sapo is unknown, as is the source of the "ancient Roman legend" to which this tale is typically credited. In fact, the Latin word sapo simply means "soap"; it was borrowed from a Celtic or Germanic language, and is cognate with Latin sebum, "tallow", which appears in Pliny the Elder's account. Roman animal sacrifices usually burned only the bones and inedible entrails of the sacrificed animals; edible meat and fat from the sacrifices were taken by the humans rather than the gods. Animal sacrifices in the ancient world would not have included enough fat to make much soap. The legend about Mount Sapo is probably apocryphal.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

one death every eight weeks

Visitors to the Aboriginal cemetery on Rottnest are all too few. Rotto Bloggo has touched on the beautiful island's sorry indigenous history before (eg 'Tie them up like dogs'), but it's worth mentioning regularly.

So it was good to read this excellent Phil Haberland column on Perth Extra on Sunday: "If sadness was something you could physically touch, you would feel it here", Phil notes about the cemetery.

"Between 1838 and 1903, Rottnest was a prison for Aborigines. More than 3000 were transported from all over WA to the island to serve sentences for breaking British laws, of which they had no knowledge or understanding (such as six months for stealing a pipe or two years for killing a sheep).
"With chains around their necks and legs, they endured barbaric treatment and conditions. This is not "bleeding heart" history – just a statement of fact that can be found at the Rottnest Museum.

"There are more than 360 unmarked graves in the Aboriginal Prisoner Cemetery. That means that over 60 years, Aboriginal prisoners must have buried one of their number every eight weeks."

Phil talks about the cemetery and also thinks about Kate Grenville's The Secret River, and invites visitors to have a look at the place.

"...if you are at Rotto's pie shop or holidaying there, take the kids for a stroll, explain what happened, and for what it's worth, maybe say a prayer.For me, the word "sorry" still comes to mind."

Monday, October 08, 2007

chicken like Miss Maud's coffee

An update on the fast food situation on the beautiful'll remember our "Less work for Mother"?? post last month, about tenders closing for a new fast food outlet in the mall.

The tender relates to the site occupied by Red Rooster, whose lease is coming to an end. What's the latest?

"Evaluation of the responses is being carried out at the moment. Until the process is complete, the details you have asked for will not be released," Rottnest Island Authority bugle Penni Fletcher-Hughes tells Rotto Bloggo.

"I will let you know when the winning tender is announced."

OK. We look forward to the details. If a new fast food outlet goes in, the RIA will have to change this on their site: 'Red Rooster offers a delicious range of roast chicken meals, rolls and wraps, snacks and a selection of salads. They use fresh A-grade chicken, marinated for over 12 hours, and because their famous chicken is roasted, not fried, fat ends up in the cooking tray and not on your waist. To end a perfect day at Rottnest, it's gotta be red.'

*Food pictured is about halfway between slow and fast.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

do you like to clean?

Looking for another job? What about cleaning on Rottnest? Recent newspaper classified ads could be just the ticket for you.

“Housekeepers reqd for servicing units. Ferry leaves Fremantle @ 7:30am. Start time 8am. Call ISS on 9445 4410 or Txt “ROTT” to 0438 965 401”, instructs one.

The other is too long for Rotto Bloggo to retype, but there are Onsite Cleaning Supervisor positions where you live on the island and must be available all hours. They also need a Cleaning Admin Clerk: must “have customer service skills, hospitality exp pref.” Send your resume to or fax 9445 4422.

What’s the cleaning like on Rottnest? One prominent western suburbs identity wasn’t impressed with it three years ago: in a newsletter Colin Barnett had this to say about the place...

“A sewage system dating back to 1935, non-compliant gas reticulation, buildings in need of re-wiring, non-operational water tanks and substandard accommodation and cleaning.”

As they say in Leon - aka The Cleaner - if you want a job done well, hire a professional.

Monday, October 01, 2007

a mean cloud

This is by Flickr user geoffrey.fisher: Rottnest Jetty to Perth was taken on September 8, 2005.

He has five Rotto images: we also like this one, Big Light from Rottnest.

It’s not well-known the Big Light (aka the Wadjemup lighthouse) was a climate statistic-gathering location from 1879 to 1995.

The mean minimum temperature on the island was 11.5 degrees, during August. The least amount of rainfall was in January. The mean number of cloudy days during September was 12.1.

In case you were wondering, the lighthouse is at 32.01 degrees south, 115.50 degrees east.

Friday, September 28, 2007

"Less work for Mother"??

A new fast food outlet is on the cards for Rotto.

The Rottnest Island Authority is being a bit tardy in providing your humble blogger with more information: we emailed an Authority operative on Wednesday with some questions, but there’s been no response so far.

How many companies submitted a tender? Who were they? Where will the food outlet be in the mall (eg next to the general store)? When will the winning tender be announced?

It’s a mystery so far. While another Red Rooter* or Scungy’s** isn’t to everyone’s taste, you’d think a fast food place on the beautiful island wouldn’t have the, er, issues they do elsewhere.

For example: fast food places seem to attract an awful lot of crime. Here’s a random instance, plucked from the electronic headlines: Axe-wielding man arrested over fast food smash-up.

This is by Chris Mcgoey, who is supposedly a fast food security expert:

‘Fast Food or quick service restaurants are unique commercial properties. They operate late at night or 24-hours a day staffed by crews of young adults or juveniles. They are largely cash-based businesses with a high amount of workplace violence against employees. By design, they are conveniently located on major thoroughfares for quick service. The nature of this business style makes it very convenient for customers. Unfortunately, this style of operation also makes it an attractive target for aggressive or intoxicated persons, robbers, and other criminals.’

Indeed. Another issue with fast food places is litter. Do we really need more fast food on Rotto? Isn’t the beautiful island more in tune with a leisurely meal on the barbie, or a feast prepared slowly in the kitchen?

*and**:for our overseas visitors: Red Rooster, Hungry Jack's

Saturday, September 22, 2007

that's the Spirit

Oceanic Cruises’ new 25m-long catamaran is the first new commercial vessel to service Rottnest in 10 years, according to WA Business news.

The Rottnest Spirit was built by Sabre Cat Marine in Henderson.

Nothing more about the boat on OC’s website, but WABN also reported the company has new owners: Tim and Tammy Shuttleworth.

“We want the Rottnest experience to start when people get on board the ferry,” Mr Shuttleworth gushed to WABN, no doubt thinking of the “full bar, quality sound systems, granite benchtops and LCD screens” on board the Spirit.

Tim told the paper he means to refurbish his six vessels.

Rotto Bloggo likes the sound of OC’s new services: an 0700 from Freo and a 2000 departure from Rotto.

WABN noted Scott Bailey (Bailey’s Marine Fuels) bought Rottnest Express/Boat Torque from Peter Purves recently.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Basin landmark

Rotto Bloggo discovered this week that the beautiful island played a role in a significant precedent-setting legal decision.

This is a bit from Law of the Surf, from a 2003 edition of the Australian Law Journal:

“A significant case especially in relation to surf related liability is that of Nagle v Rottnest Island Authority where the High Court held that the Rottnest Island Authority was liable for injury sustained by Nagle who had been injured in a diving accident and suffered severe spinal injury becoming a quadriplegic.

“Nagle had dived into an area of Rottnest Island known as the Basin and in diving into the water had hit a partially-submerged rock-ledge. The Basin was described as small sand-bottom u-shaped bathing area on the northern coast of the island surrounded on all sides except the north by a flat-rock area known as a wave-platform, approximately 25cm above low-tide level.

“In this instance, it was held that the Rottnest Island Authority should have erected a sign to warn of the dangers. The High Court explained that it was clear that the rocks existed and that the Authority knew of this hidden danger, therefore, a warning sign should have been erected, especially in a context where the Authority encouraged people to use the Basin as a swimming facility.

The Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Kirby has been one of many referring to this case: “…this was the case in which the cost of a sign…was virtually zero and was contrasted with the consequence of the admittedly foolhardy conduct of diving into water from a rock ledge.”

Another reference: “His Honour referred to Nagle v Rottnest Island Authority (1993) 177 CLR 423 (seeE&E Insurance Review, vol. V, no. 1, p. 60; vol. VI, no. 1, p. 42; vol. VIII, no. 1, p. 44) for the principle that a notice may transform a plaintiff’s knowledge of the existence of a danger into a more lively appreciation of the danger.”

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Rottnest risk

More Rotto celluloid.

A Fish Tale “expos(es) an issue that needs to be heard by the local West Australian community”, according to its makers.

“The documentary, about exploitation of Rottnest Island’s natural resources, is swimming around the globe without a hint of tiring,” says Black Pearl Pictures (Black Pearl, of course, is also the name of Johnny Depp’s ship in those pirate movies).

The flick won best film at the Margaret River Film Festival and the Hawaii Ocean Film Festival’s Best Short award.

“It explores the delicate nature of the Rottnest marine environment and the risk it is being put under by oil exploration”, according to the Western Suburbs Weekly.

BPP advise you to keep an eye peeled for A Fish Tale at a film festival near you.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

great expectations?

Continuing our look at the Synovate research done for the Rottnest Island Authority…

Nearly a third of people stayed in villas; 19 per cent were in units; Kingstown was eight per cent; tents seven per cent.

Ten per cent of people were either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the accommodation, with another 20 per cent neutral: neither satisfied or dissatisfied.

The greatest unhappiness is with the linen and bedding: 26 per cent either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied, and 27 per cent neutral. Only 47 per cent were satisfied or very satisfied.

Furniture and fittings weren’t far behind in the unhappiness stakes. 22 per cent either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied, and 25 per cent neutral.

The ratings for standard of accommodation, cleanliness, cutlery and crockery, maintenance services and luggage delivery were better.

Overall, there were high levels of satisfaction with accommodation: bungalows fared the best, while cottages fared the worst. Tents and villas were the only types that had some very dissatisfied people.

People liked the guided tours, although 80 per cent of visitors said they didn’t go on the two-hour coach tour, or see the Oliver Hill guns and tunnels, or go on quokka walks or Aboriginal history tour or visit the lighthouse.

Expectations: 10 per cent of visitors said their expectations weren’t met – up from six per cent in 2004/05.

A fifth said their expectations were exceeded, and 69 per cent said their expectations were met.
The vast majority of people said they would return to Rotto and would recommend it to others.

A future post will look at the results for ‘Boaters Visiting Rottnest Island’.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

waves reveal happy campers

You’ll recall in our post are you Experienced? we said thanks to Freedom of Information laws we’d got some Synovate research done for the Rottnest Island Authority.

“This report details the findings for the 2005/06 Rottnest island Visitor Survey (based on all data collected in waves 1, 2 and 3.”
(Wave 1 saw 140 people interviewed from mid-June to mid-October 2005, wave 2 was for 271 people quizzed from mid-October 2005 to mid-February 2006, and wave 3 saw 275 people interrogated between mid-February and mid-June 2006).

More than one in four come from the “North Metro” area. We guess this means the western suburbs.
Nearly 60 per cent of people have a gross household income over $80,000.
Nearly half had visited Rotto more than 10 times.

How did they get there? Dunno: a large chunk of page 29 was blacked out: the RIA said it would need to get third-party approval to release ferry information.

About a fifth of visitors had heard about accommodation rate increases/rises/upgrades – nearly half said they would go to Rotto anyway.
A third hadn’t heard anything about Rottnest – nothing at all!

Satisfaction: boaties are the least-satisfied. Visitors from Perth are the least-satisfied of the visitors.
Value for money: 81 per cent think Rotto is ‘good’ or ‘very good’. Seven per cent said it was ‘poor’.
“Reasons for poor rating of value for money of Rottnest Island”: 37 per cent said the ferry cost too much; 32 per cent said the food and accommodation was too expensive.

A quarter said the accommodation was poor value.
Five per cent were either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the facilities and services on Rotto.

What did people think about Red Rooster, Dome, the store and the bakery?
Dunno: the RIA removed the seven-page section ‘Businesses on Rottnest Island’, because of the third-party thing.

Tomorrow’s post: what people think about the villas, cabins et al!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

it's a fantasy island

Lots of Rottnest news while we’ve been away. Did you see the ad in today’s West: if you get the job of managing the Rottnest Island Authority (position # EP007 Marine & Terrestrial Reserve) you get from $82,228 to $88,131 a year. The location of your employment is: “Rottnest Island (Commuting)”.

A story on egoli says Westralian Gas and Power has done a $37 million offshore exploration deal with Roc Oil Limited, which can now explore and drill two wells in two offshore petroleum permits.

“WAGP said the deal was with 25 per cent joint venture partners Lempika Pty Limited and Emphazise Pty Limited, and comprises 4530 sq km, in the Vlaming Sub-basin ranging from Rottnest Island to Mandurah.,” egoli says.

Another island list popped up, this time in the Sydney Morning Herald. ‘Fantasy islands’ had Qld’s Poruma Island at the top, then the Tiwi Islands – then Rotto. Some mistake surely? At least we were ahead of Kangaroo Island, French Island, and some place called Haggerstone Island. The plane! The plane!

And this from the West: “More than 40ha of prime Rottnest Island land previously protected from development will be rezoned, prompting accusations that the State Government is orchestrating a land grab for further development…Tourism Minister Sheila McHale rejected the claims as ludicrous, saying any future government would be “utterly crucified” if it tried to build on the expanded settlement zone.”

The Rottnest Society doesn’t like the sound of the rezoning: the West reported Sue Foukes as saying the Rotto task force report hadn’t recommended the zone be increased.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Somerville's book

Another gem has been added to the collection: the 1966 (third) edition of W. Somerville’s Rottnest Island in History and Legend (Its Discovery and Development, Natural Beauties, Fauna and Flora) arrived in the post this week.

Rotto Bloggo snapped it up on eBay for ten bucks: a snip compared to some of the Bookfinder listings (from $19.35 to $83.75, with most being the Rottnest Island Board reprint of 1976…the cheapest 1966 edition they had was $28.63).

Somerville was interesting. His name remains on the island: the cop shop’s address is 1 Somerville Drive. The UWA site says he was a Senate founder and wrote a history of the first 30 years of the uni that was never published. Fred Alexander (another big WA name) said some of Somerville’s comments in his history are “sensitive”.

The Australian Dictionary of Biography says Somerville was born in NSW and hit Freo in 1895:

“On the morning that he landed, he hunted up the union secretary at his breakfast and by starting time had found a job as engine-smith on C. Y. O'Connor's harbour works. He became a leader of the local labour movement, was active in the 1899 lumpers' strike, and represented the A.S.E. on the new Coastal Trades and Labor Council (president 1901). On 30 March 1899 in Wesley Church, Fremantle, Somerville married Agnes Spunner, schoolteacher; they lived in Mosman Park, a bushland suburb, and Agnes shared her husband's political activity. They had a daughter and three sons.”

Somerville was also involved on the King's Park and Rottnest Island boards: while on the latter he “instigated an ambitious afforestation scheme”.

A cataract meant Somerville retired in 1941. After an operation he wrote his Rottnest masterpiece and other works.

Monday, August 27, 2007


With all the fuss being created by Wikiscanner last week, Rotto Bloggo thought we’d have a look at the history of the Rottnest Island article on Wikipedia.

The first entry was done on Anzac Day 2003. All up there’s been 195 edits.

This was in the first entry, but isn’t in the current one:

'Each year, around November, the island is inundated with school leavers and university students, who celebrate their graduation with extended bouts of binge drinking at the bar in Thompson's Bay (called the "Quokka Arms") and at rented cabins and units. In [[1986]], outrageous student behaviour resulted in multiple arrests and expulsions from the island, and made national news.'

On 16 August 2005 there was a POV problem, and some superlatives had to go:

'The Rottnest Lodge is a high quality hotel located in the centre of the settlement at Thomson Bay, and the ever popular and recently refurbished Quokka Arms now offers a fabulous beer garden, quality restaurant and superb ocean views.'

There doesn’t seem to have been vandalism on the level of those naughty public servants (you’ll remember they inserted ‘poo bum dicky wee wee’ on an entry about martial arts), but Wikipedia doesn’t like commercial links. On 16 July last year someone slipped in the URL, but it was removed a minute later.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

more Rottnest art

Someone who's been told he paints like Monet, someone who types like Monet.

Jason Beer is the latest artist to put a Rotto image on eBay: his ORIGINAL OIL PAINTING ONSTRETCHED CANVAS FRE DELIVERY, which shows people on the beach, starts at $95 (or you can Buy It Now for $200).



The next eBay listing has Rotto Bloggo stumped, though. Item number 260151802995 is an ORIGINAL WATERCOLOUR BY ROBERT RICHMOND CAMPBELL (VERY POPULAR AUSTRALIAN ARTIST,"AUSTRALIAN LANDSCAPE".

Sounds good. But the seller, Bob Wright, is not the most articulate spruiker.


After some details about Campbell's employment, Bob gets red: "AUCTION DETAILS:TRAFALGAR SQUARE, OIL CHRISTIES 2000,71X 90, $35,250. SYDNEY HARBOUR,OIL,DEUTCHER-MENZIES SYD, 2004,15.5X 39,$12,925. MIDDAY LIGHT,ROTTNEST, WATERCOLOUR,27 X 39,GREGSON FLANAGAN,1996,$1,870."
What what what? Do these details have anything to do with the image for sale? What is the reason for the tantalising Rottnest mention?


Rotto Bloggo duly emailed Bob with our query but he was somewhat frosty in his reply: "i can see from your pleasant personality that you would be a wonderful person to deal with, i am quite happy for you not to worry about bidding on any of my items,thankyou".

Yikes! We're destined to remain in the dark about Campbell.

* Photo is in the Impressionist mode, by Rotto Bloggo

Saturday, August 25, 2007

icon do that

More Rotto artistic angles.

The Rottnest Channel Swim wants a design for next year’s event and it’s worth $500.

“Regarded as a collector’s item by swimmers and support crew the iconic long sleeve shirt has been produced since 1994,” the Swim’s site gushes.

(Hmm. Do these shirts really have the characteristics of an icon? It was discussed at Curtin Uni yesterday. Rotto Bloggo accepts the word no longer applies to just Russina religious images – but the Swim shirt?)

Anyway, the winning design will be on 4000 shirts and will win the designer serious Rottnest cred.

The winner also gets the cash, or two VIP passes on Swim day, or a choice of team, duo or solo entry, and a salutation in the yearbook.

You can only use four colours and it must be printable in block colour.

You can't have a quokka in your design.

The Swim people get to own the copyright, and they will use all or part of it.
Get a move on: entries close at the end of the month.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Your Space?

Got a spare space on your wall crying out for original art?

Look no further than Rotto Bloggo: we can guide you to a superb Rottnest image.

Perth-based emerging artist Alli Sylvestre posted this on eBay yesterday.

Item number 270157400213 is an oil on board artwork called In Each Other’s Space.

It’s about “about being completely relaxed with friends and soaking up the sun and the atmosphere of Rottnest”, as Alli explains in her listing.

It’s attracted glory: the painting won the Curtin Award of Recommendation at the Town of Vincent Art Awards this month.

The cost? A mere $850. Postage is an extra $150, but to sweeten the deal for Perth buyers, Alli will do free delivery to the metro area.

Get out your tape measure: In each Other’s Space is 970w by 935h by 70d.

It’s in a limewashed wood frame and ready to hang.

“Are you charging a commission if it sells?” Alli enquired, somewhat suspiciously, when Rotto Bloggo sought permission to use the eBay image.

No no: we’re just spreading the word about Rotto images.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Rotto quiz

We went to the Rottnest Society’s AGM on Monday night.

It was a very informative evening. The Society is a group of good people. Why not consider joining?

A highlight of the evening was hearing from the relatively-new environment manager, Nicola Patrick. She’s been in the job for about eight weeks.

By the way, which of the following plant species are not indigenous to Rottnest: Melaleuca lanceolata, Acanthocarpus preissii, Callitris preissii, Templetonia retusa?

If you think you know your Rottnest, check out the Society’s quiz (the above question is question number 20, out of 30), at

It sorts out the day-trippers from the hardcore fans.

Monday, August 20, 2007

are you Experienced?

What do public toilets and changerooms, linen and bedding, and shore facilities and fuel services for boaters have in common?

They’re areas that don’t rate well in surveys of people who have been to Rotto.

“To continue to satisfy customers, those aspects that continue to be less positively rated than others (and are used by many visitors) should be reviewed,” as Evaluating the Rottnest Island Experience (Final Report) puts it.

The Final Report is wonderful reading and Rotto Bloggo will quote from it in greater length this week.

But getting the Final report was an effort.

The RIA’s Penni Fletcher-Hughes wouldn’t release it: “The research forms part of our business operations. Some of the results are published in our annual reports. The report is not made available for the public.”

So of course Rotto Bloggo has to send in its cheque for $30 to the RIA’s Freedom of Information coordinator, Fiona Westenhaver.

The Final Report was sent to us – but not all of it.

In order to get most of it, Rotto Bloggo agreed stuff about businesses like Red Rooster could be left out.

“I…have removed third party information on pages 29 and the entire section on “Businesses on Rottnest island”,” Fiona wrote.

“The third party information refers to visitors opinions of businesses on the Island and as such the RIA would need to seek third party approval to release this information.”

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Did you see that SBS show the other night on The Triffids?

There was Paul Kelly and others saying how wonderful the Perth band was.

This from the Brisbane Times: "If Bruce Springsteen had put out Wide Open Road, it would have been a monstrous hit," says the Church's Steve Kilbey. "To me, it's tantamount to an Australian Born to Run."

High praise indeed - and correct. "By 1988 their fame was such that NME invited the group to contribute to the Beatles tribute album Sgt. Pepper Knew My Father alongside Billy Bragg and Wet Wet Wet," says the Wikipedia entry.

Rotto Bloggo couldn't help but notice two Rottnest moments during the show on this quintessentially WA band.

There was a few seconds footage from a music video between two villas in either Thomson Bay or Geordie: one band member was shovelling sand over a wall, while another was shovelling it back in.

Then there was footage of people at the Quokka Arms drinking and turning pink in the sun.

Almost as if it was Too Hot To Move.

Monday, August 13, 2007

the meet is on

Cancel your plans for Monday night, record Media Watch, get down to Cottesloe.

The Rottnest Society is having its AGM.

It's on at the Cottesloe Lesser Hall (the north-eastern corner of Cottesloe Civic Centre, on the corner of Broome & Napier Streets).

Eyes up for a 7pm start, and the they promise a free Rottnest Society t-shirt for the first ten members or guests there.

At 8pm the guest speaker is Kristy Winn, who will talk about woodland restoration on Rotto from her PhD.

"As we have been participating in this programme for the last ten years we believe members and friends will find this topic most interesting," the Society says.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

stony ground

There's a little bit of Rottnest in West Perth.

Rotto Bloggo was amazed to learn Rottnest sandstone was used to build Parliament House:

"The present Harvest Terrace frontage and the two Chambers of Parliament House were completed in 1904. Later additions included the eastern frontage and the members bar (1964), offices on the southern side (1978), the visitors bar (1980), the gymnasium/courtyard (1988) and offices on the northern side (2003).

"The facade of the 1904 structure incorporates Rottnest sandstone; later extensions are faced with Donnybrook sandstone. Locally quarried granite was used in the entrance foyer floors and steps, and the internal stairs and wall treatments are Italian Travertine marble. Wood panelling throughout is fluted and polished jarrah."

Sometimes they ask questions about Rottnest in a building that's made out of Rottnest.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Rottnest bagged

In our quest for Rottnest memorabilia, we saw this today:

"...two DMH Outdoors Rottnest sleeping bags. The two bags can be zipped together to form one large bag. I paid about $80 for the two bags 4 months ago and only used them one time."

Who would have thought it? Sleeping bags named after the beautiful island.

The bags won't be zipped together in Tentland: the RIA is closing Tentland as it sits on the Aboriginal cemetery (news that even made the Supernatural News website).

"Chairman Laurie O’Meara said ground-probing radar showed most of the Allison camping area in Thomson Bay was formerly a burial ground for Aboriginal prisoners and that campers had caused deep disruptions to the soil in the sensitive area," The West reported last week.

"The authority would set up a temporary area for 18 tents this summer, including five at the edges of Tentland and another 13 which were close to a nearby oval.
"Mr O’Meara said the authority was committed to keeping a full-sized campsite on the island and was looking for a new location, possibly one with beachfront views."

"The island has been racked by problems over the years,” Cedric Jacobs, from the Whadjuk Tribal Sovereign Lands group, told The West.

“Once the campers go, you will see peace come back to the place.”

And now someone says part of the Lodge should be closed:

"The Rottnest Island Authority has backed calls to stop use of a section of the Rottnest Island Lodge after an eminent historian likened it to holidaying at Auschwitz concentration camp because nearly 300 Aboriginals had died in the rooms," The West reported yesterday.

A Rottnest holiday is being part of the Final Solution! Goodness me. Perhaps we can all wear special-shaped yellow stars when we get the ferry to Thomson Bay!

Monday, July 30, 2007

best Rotto book

One of Rotto Bloggo's links is busted.

Someone left a comment recently, pointing out the link to the UWA Press site for 'Rottnest Island: A Documentary History' is broken.

Alas, it is so, and we can't find a decent link at UWA or indeed anywhere to this must-have publication.

We fired up Bookfinder: there's a copy in the UK via Amazon - it seems the softcover - for about $66.

In Oz there are two copies: they both seem to be the hardback edition. One is $75, the other $78.

If you're loaded Robert Muir has a copy signed by two of the authors for $93.

Sorry about the broken link: we'll try and find a permanent spot on the WWW where RIADH resides.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

"extremely liked island"

More international approval of Rottnest. We're very bilingual, thanks to Babelfish.

This German gives Rotto's beaches the thumbs-up:

Also the close convenient and extremely liked island "rotting nest Iceland" is to be explored with its fantastic beaches absolutely. The name this received from its Netherlands discoverer Willem de Vlamingh, to that the small Quokkas (Minikaengurus) in 17. Century for rats held.

We're also into property ownership, s/he observes of Perth:

Approximately around the "town center" about 30 "Suburbs" developed. This Suburbs or suburbs consists to the largest part of property or renting houses. Australians love it to possess their own house. Dwellings are to be found direct rather atypical and in the city center. The Suburbs is equipped with a good infrastructure. One finds own parka situations, Shoppingcenter as well as kindergartens and schools.

Babelfish really is impressive. Rotto Bloggo had assumed it could only handle Latin/Roman characters, but no - it does Japanese and Korean too! How amazement.

We liked the pictures on this Korean blog...and here's what he says about cycling on Rotto:

It puts two hands even from the uphill road and it burns,! ! It is how! Two hands it will put from the mileage plan elementary school motion market and and Baeng Baeng it goes round.. Like that.. ting Isn't degree level! ! u Under under; ; -_- ... The muscle place it takes and it puts and.. It stops and it builds and to be taking it appears.. Sound -_-; Should have been seen with the whole course degree of difficulty of the island the cotton, so smooth but the facility which is not all. Like Cheju-Do quite or the uphill and the downhill become repetition. The person where the experience or the physical strength which other see the bicycle especially are insufficient.. Only suffering quality phen description below tightly good terrain -_-;

Right. And he likes the West End:

The as well most beautiful scenery in the effort end which is strenuous Oh! the thing authorization which is the possibility of meeting! !

Thursday, July 19, 2007

a Rottnest film

Another Rotto film.

We were sorry to miss ‘Amy Goes to Wadjemup Island’ at the St Kilda Film Festival’s Perth run earlier this month.

Director Denise Groves tells Rotto Bloggo filming was last year.

“The initial film shoot took 5 days but we were in post - production for about a year,” Denise says.

Amy is eight minutes long and has 3D animation. Here’s the blurb from producer Jennifer Gherardi’s website:

‘Amy visits the island with her family, who while on holiday, are challenged to integrate the past incarceration of indigenous prisoners at the beginning of the colony in Western Australia. Amy and her family embody a contemporary acceptance of the past and present. Metaphorically they venture into the future by finding their own way of reconciling their experience during their visit. Amy makes a special connection with the quokkas and she establishes her own way of seeing and dreaming.’

And this from the St Kilda Festival site:

‘When seven-year-old Amy visits the holiday island with her family, they remember the past incarceration and death of Indigenous prisoners held there at the beginning of the West Australian colony. Amy’s innocence is also disturbed as she finds the indigenous animals, quokkas, are under pressure from human habitation.’

If you want to add ‘Amy Goes to Wadjemup Island’ to your Rottnest collection, email and get $17 plus $5 postage and handling ready.

We’ve updated the Wikipedia entry.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Teg? Grat? Na?

All perfectly legitimate, according to the OSW.

The OSW is the Official Scrabble Words, and lists all the permissible words from two letters to nine letters.

Even prez is in there.

Scrabble is the Rottnest board game of choice, and Rotto Bloggo has many fond Scrab memories.

There was the time someone was caught using a letter tile as a blank. There was the time someone memorably described putting down all seven letters (and thus scoring the extra 50 points) as a boardbuster.

Rottnest isn't in the OSW: if it was, it'd be between rotting and rotula.

Quokka is in, but Lancier isn't.

If Longreach was in, it's be between longnesses and longs.

Geordie is in, but Wadjemup is not (it would be between wadis and wadmaal).

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

"shipwrecked in paradise"

It's always interesting hearing someone else's account of something you know well.

Rotto Bloggo is a keen reader of assessments of the beautiful island: are the things we take for granted boring, banal - banausic, even?

So we loved this young person's account of her two days on Rotto.

jo21 is from North America and her favourite book is The Great Gatsby. She headed to Freo from a hostel...

"I probably should have planned exactly how I was going to get out there though. Me being me, I thought there'd be loads of boats going out to Rottnest from Fremantle each day. Not quite...found I had to wait three hours for a ferry."

The way things are done on Rotto was a surprise.

"The pace of life on the island, as I found when booking up the hostel there, is significantly slower than the rest of the world. Back in Sydney I was left on hold for 26 minutes while I organised accommodation there. The Rottnest Island Authority is pretty much like the on-island Mafia. Everything is overseen by them. You have to pay $5 extra just to hire a friggin' pillowcase at the youth hostel. I felt sure I would wake up on my first morning on the island to find a horse's head next to me."

We mentioned Magnetic Island a couple of posts ago: jo21 mentions it as well.

"I'm telling you, stepping onto that island was like stepping back a few decades. It was pretty reminiscent of Magnetic Island over in Queensland. It's just a really good, wholesome family friendly place with no cars and just one fast food outlet. Big up to Red Rooster for bribing the Mafia into getting a branch onto the island."

However the luggage delivery met with jo21's approval: "I was staying in the only hostel on the island and it just happened to be converted from a load of old Army barracks. The pretty cool system actually involved all your bags being delivered from the boat to the accommodation, which was really cushdy."

(We're sure she meant cushy).

Anyway, then there was bike-riding, a dip in a bay, "enchanting" quokkas...jo21 then observed she was "shipwrecked in paradise".

We hear jo21 about the RIA. There was no spatula in our place a couple of weeks ago, but we were charged for hiring a couple of extra sheets.

Monday, July 16, 2007

"snorkel-friendly grottos"

People in New York's Hudson Valley and the Catskills have been urged to visit Rottnest.

Their 'guy Down Under', Aaron Munzer, has included the beautiful island in his list of '10 things you can't miss' about our land girt by sea.

The Grampians, Salamanca Markets, Magnetic Island, the footy and the Great Barrier Reef all cop a mention - as does Rotto.

Aaron only has Rotto at #7 on his list, but at least it's on.

"The name Rottnest Island, Western Australia, makes it sound like a haven for Dutch pirates, but nowadays its only permanent inhabitants are the tame, cat-sized marsupials called quokkas and their buddies, the peacocks, who love leftover sandwiches (but don't feed them, you could get kicked off the island)," he reports.

"Its deep, snorkel-friendly grottos are filled with coral and tropical fish, and the stellar waves on the side facing the Indian Ocean draw surfers from around Australia."

(Isn't a grotto a small cave, usually with attractive features?)

"You can rent a bike for the day or get a guided tour from the friendly bus drivers. There's a picturesque lighthouse on one end of the island, and World War II ruins dot the higher points on the landscape."

(Hmm, actually the guns are in superb nick, but that is a mere bagatelle of a quibble).

Aaron writes for the Times Herald-Record, so we expect eager visitors from places like Woodstock, Roscoe and Jeffersonville to be catching ferries from Fremantle soon.

Warning: the Rotto peacocks aren't to be confused with warbler Burt Bacharach.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

badroom secrets

A stark contrast during Rotto Bloggo's recent five-day sojourn.

We were in an eight-bedder, and the time had been carefully assigned.

Rotto Bloggo had one all the time, as did another pair.

However...the other two bedrooms were divided: a couple of people the first couple of days, then a couple plus kids were moving in.

(They were meant to come for three nights, but only managed two: their ferry journey was cancelled, and it didn't seem that rough...)

Anyway...the images you see here are how the first lot left their rooms for the couple and kids...

One excellent, and shall we say...not so good.

Even the curtains are crooked in the not-so-good example.

Also, we note in today's excellent The Sunday Times a young model named Bridget Malcolm is enthusing about stuff.

She loves Rottnest! But she dislikes the cooler months...

"I hate winter! I hate the cold and the wind and the rain," she says.

Even in a Rotto villa with the heater on, knocking back some red and playing Scrabble?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

jerk on end of line

This wrasse was caught near Longreach - safely away from the new no-go Rottnest fishing zones.

He was thrown back: a Rotto Bloggo associate described the wrasse as rubbish.

We see we were using terminal tackle as we wet a line: "Some examples of terminal tackle include weights, floats, and swivels".

What about those new no-go zones?

The new zones are at Green Island, West End and Armstrong Bay; existing zones at Parker Point and Kingston Reef have been extended.

You can still fish from about 83 per cent of the Rotto shore.

Yes, but a couple of the new verboten spots were nice spots.

We can't find much in the way of reaction to the changes.

There was this in a Recfishwest statement last year:

"Recreational fishers also want a future for Rottnest, but not one where we are being told that we are the only problem and where there is a no balanced approach. Recreational fishers have done more for the aquatic conservation of this state than any other group yet this is never recognised by the green fringe who think that locking up the world will solve all its problems."

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Mr Percival!

Yesterday in Borders Rotto Bloggo glanced at a book about islands.

It went on at great length about the 40 best islands you have to visit before you die.

Absoloute piffle, alas, because there was no mention of Rottnest: the nearest they got to the beautiful island was Bali.

One day last week we were cleaning fish at the end of Thomson Bay when this magnificent creature took a keen interest in what we were doing.

He loved the herring and tailor leftovers.

Would this happen on Bali? Methinks not.

Books that lecture you about what you have to do before you shuffle off the mortal coil are a major pain in the ass, and have no place on Rotto.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Back from five days and nights on Rotto.

What bliss! Howling winds, driving rain, spectacular sunsets and sunrises, dramatic rainbows, lots of drinking, eating and reading (books, magazines, papers), long walks, minigolf and airhockey, fishing, staring out the window, Scrabble and sunshine.

As well as speculating on the reasons behind cancelled ferries, watching planes touch-and-go at the airfield, and marvelling at the prices: $6 for a loaf of bread.

It was so sunny we saw people swimming in Fay's Bay on Wednesday and Thursday. They seemed refreshed after their dips.

The smell of the Rottnest pines...the sight of fresh quokka dung...the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks...

Five days was barely enough.

Time to get back into the swing of things.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Rottnest Sun and Lighthouse

Rottnest Sun and Lighthouse
Originally uploaded by Dave Curtis
To Rotto today for five glorious days.

The Sunday Times says the weather is set to be rough this afternoon, so hopefully we’ll be in our villa before the worst hits.

Good stuff, that wind, as Premier Carps said earlier this week, as he praised the wind power on Rotto:

‘Perth householders could soon be using the “Fremantle Doctor” to save energy and cut electricity bills.

‘Premier and Minister for Science and Innovation, Alan Carpenter today announced State Government funding for two projects that could lead the way to electricity being generated from small wind turbines on suburban roofs.

‘Mr Carpenter said WA was a world leader in the development of innovative, renewable energy solutions.

‘Other technologies developed in the State include…the wind-diesel technology installed by Verve Energy in remote areas of WA including Hopetoun, Coral Bay and Rottnest Island and now being considered for other parts of Australia and the world…’

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

good luck

Deep in the classifieds of The West Australian this morning is an invitation to apply for summer time on Rotto.

“Applications open at 9.00am today for the Summer 2007/2008 Ballot (27th December 2007 to 6th February 2008).”

How excitement. Start lodging today. Applications close Tuesday 17 July.

We like this yarn in The Age (fine paper) a fortnight or so ago about Rottnest: it verged on the purple made put some pertinent points:

“Rottnest Island floats above the glittering water on Perth's western horizon like an antipodean Avalon. Being within sight of the city's favourite getaway is a sore trial for jaded office workers during the week, forced to endure the views from the booming city's office towers.

"On any warm weekend swarms of people descend on the island and 'Rotto', as it's known to locals, is so popular during summer holidays that accommodation is allocated by ballot. During the week, though, outside of school holidays, it can very much feel like you have the place all to yourself."

The RIA says it expects to receive more than 5000 applications.

Will you be in Geordie from Wed 2 January to Wed 9 January? Or Thomson Bay South (aka Nappy Alley) from Friday 25 January to Friday 1 January?

Not everyone sees the popularity as a good thing. This blog called The Boomtown Rap (think Sir Bob Geldof?) pines for the olden days...

“Queuing outside popular restaurants, once unheard of, is now commonplace. Ditto Rottnest Island. The days of the spontaneous holiday on Rotto are finished. Holidays during school breaks must now be booked a year in advance, and even then, you have to queue to score a place in the ballot system that operates to ensure holidays at the island are not gobbled up by the same people time after time – some actually camp out overnight to guarantee themselves a spot in the ballot!”

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

to the lighthouse prancing

Rottnest Island
Originally uploaded by Miss Leaving
A wonderful image from Flickr, taken nine days ago: the sun is setting over the Basin...time to head back to the villa...hope we don't get savaged by quokkas on the way.
A mere five days until Rotto Bloggo is on the island...we'll be doing a Wadjemup lighthouse tour for the first time (although the lighthouse pictured is not Wadjemup, natch).
"The only Lighthouse to be open to the public on Rottnest Island, this is a unique opportunity to discover what goes on within the walls of a real lighthouse," ther RIA website clumsily says.
"From the top of Wadjemup Lighthouse you will see a distant mainland Australia to the east and to the west stunning vistas that will take your eye to the edge of the world." Goodness me! Purple Haze!
Anyway, if you're keen on the tour, call the Rottnest Island Visitor Centre on 9372 9732 and talk with one of their "enthusiastic Hospitality Officers".

Sunday, June 24, 2007

the ptites betes de Rottnest

More translation fun courtesy Babelfish: here's a French tourist enthusing about Rotto...

'Beautiful Sunday on ROTTNEST After having magnifying glass my reveil last Sunday, this time it etait good, us here left for ROTTNEST ISLAND, a small island opposite Perth.

'When German decouvrerent this island, they transfer full with enormous "rats" ("Nest Rats" in German) of or the name..... But it did not etait Rats but QUOKKAS, these ptites betes so much familieres that one would want of in rammener has the house... but good I do not think that the customs officers are of the same opinion lol And then it is the only place in the world, and yes you read well in the world, or one can see these small creatures!'

(Hmm. Not sure how Frederick de Houtman and Willem de Vlamingh will feel about being regarded as German...)

'Other particularite of this island, if one wishes y sejourner during the Australian ete and well it is necessary to have gains its place has the lottery if not quenini!!! And yes too many people wish to go on this island during the ete...

(We love to sejourner during the ete!).

'Another dimension surprising of the island: there is enormously poisonous snake but by chance I do not have any crosses! OUfffffffff We thus travelled by our bicycle and veiled us left for one day decouverte on this marvellous island!! Alle now I let to you decouvrir the photographs, Ca will be much more interressant that words ah if a derniere thing, has the other end of the world I meet auvergnats of clermont! EXCEL!!!!!!!!!!!'

(No photos to be seen - never mind. What/who are the auvergnats of clerment? It's a mistoire...)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

the weather started getting rough (tiny ships were tossed)

Goodness me it’s been belting down over there.

Yesterday Rotto Bloggo was driving down Stirling Highway and we couldn’t see the beautiful island because of the rain.

Rottnest had 21mm of rain in the 24 hours to 0900 today. It had 1.4mm in the half-hour until 1000.

And it’s been windier than Blazing Saddles. Gusts of more than 80kph earlier this morning, and a monstrous 111kph yesterday afternoon around 3.30.

We hope no quokkas were blown away.We can’t wait until tomorrow week, when we’re playing Scrabble and drinking while looking out at the wind-whipped water.