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.