Friday, September 25, 2009


Ouch: 'Rotto costs double for leavers' is the grim headline in today's West.

'Accommodation fees on Rottnest Island during this year's school leavers' week will almost double in an attempt to recover soaring costs associated with the annual celebration,' is the lead.

That's the rule in reporting: costs never creep up, or increase - they soar, or they've been hiked.

Ljiljanna Ravlich hit the commercial airwaves this morning: she said when she left Govo SHS in 1975 she hit the beautiful island with her friends, and even allowing for inflation it didn't cost as much as it does today.

'Leavers renting a four-bed premium unit at Bathurst for the three nights set aside for leavers' week will pay $1422 this year, of which $1022 is for accommodation. The same unit cost $564 last year,' the West says.

Does it cost that much to clean up after the kids?

Monday, September 21, 2009

sugar hit

Is it possible to cram a vanilla slice into your mouth all at once? Some people give it a red-hot go when they're on the beautiful island - Gemma Boyd's friend Alisha, for example.

Gemma and Alisha got up at 6am to get the ferry two hours later. After riding around Rottnest they dropped in at the bakery and Alisha battled the snot-block: see the pics on Gemma's RTW Trip blog here.

After her sugar inhalation Alisha was so pooped she had a kip on the boat back to the mainland.

We're amazed to see the Urban Dictionary lists snot-block: it's here, between snot blaster and snot bong (which is not what you might think).

Our pic is of an American consuming a snot block. At least she's not throwing up and being dive-bombed by rapacious seagulls.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


It's Talk Like A Pirate Day. Me hearties! While few buccaneers or corsairs have made people walk the plank in Thomson Bay, Rottnest hasn't been without pirate encounters. After all, the beautiful island is antipodal to Bermuda.

The best one was made up last year (and covered on Rotto Bloggo here): a fishing boat called Pirate supposedly caught a huge great white.

Then of course there was this ad for the Lodge earlier this year, which featured buried treasure under the (kinda small) island's lone palm. Arrrr.

And let's not forget the Purple Pirates. One of this motley crew, Bosun Grog, "...s known to have ventured on the wild ocean many times and can often be seen singing at the baarrgh on Rottnest Island while collecting bottle tops for his Laarrgherphone. 'Ee 'as a vast repertoire of sea songs tattooed on the inside of his eyelids which helps him to strum his guitaarrgh and sing with his eyes closed - enabling him to plunder the hearts and wallets of defenseless audiences."

Shiver me timbers.

Friday, September 18, 2009

"Rotto favours private schools"

This story published today is white-hot. It's in the POST, and we can't understand why a ball-tearer like this isn't on the front, above the fold.

'The Rottnest ballot is random and computer-generated, but students at Shenton College are asking why their school keeps missing out on Leavers' Week accommodation.'

Oh yes. A bright Shenton College teenager is wondering why Scotch has at least 25 houses, PLC has 24 and Hale 27 - when the guvvy kids at SC have a mere three.


The Rottnest Island Authority wheeled out the big bureaucrat to speak on this one: Laurie O'Meara said any suggestion that RIA staff or any other person can influence the ballot is false.

"There is no, and there never has been, a ballot council of parent representatives in existence or any other external interference in the ballot process," Lazza said.

Will this be known as the Bulgarian effect?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Americans abroad

How did Americans end up ruling the world? We asked ourselves this question after reading an account of some New Yorkers in Perth - and on Rottnest.

The hapless family's adventures are headlined 'The Worst Vacation Ever', which made Rotto Bloggo's bristles hackle.

After a quick read we were mollified: it was Worst due to the family's ineptness, weak stomachs and general pratfalls.

"We headed home to get ready for an evening boat cruise to Rottnest Island, have dinner, and return later that night. This is when the next round of trouble began...."

They liked the quokka, but interaction with other fauna wasn't so cheery.

"As my wife was chatting and enjoying a chip (French fry), she slowly went to put it in her mouth when I heard her scream and duck as if she had been hit. Well, she had! A seagull had come flying out of nowhere, knocked her head with its wing, and stole the chip right out of her hand as she was attempting to put it in her mouth!"

After more bird battles the family heads back to the mainland...

"About 10 minutes into the boat trip Sydney started to look a little green. Next thing you know there is an awful retching sound as she tossed her cookies…thankfully in a proper bag. Now the smell combined with the choppy waters brought on the gags for all of us. My wife was losing it, I was sweating so badly some had thought the boat had sprung a leak under my feet..."

Oh dear. We hope the sailors aboard those nuclear-powered aircraft carriers handle Gage Roads better than this mob. The rest of The Worst Vacation Ever involves sorry incidents with more seagulls, more vomit, hospitals and fast food.

Do you reckon these guys were fat?

Monday, September 14, 2009


Cute Rotto animal picture alert: here's a close-up of one of the island pelicans.

This is also from Geoff V, who sent in the pic of the cavorting kiddies in Thomson with Mr Percival close by.

There's speculation the scarring on this guy's proboscis is from a fish hook.

In other island news, Rotto Bloggo has a competitor! At long last someone else has taken up the Rottnest blogging challenge. Chuck's blog is here - he also has blogs called Perth Tomorrow and Bassendean Tomorrow.

Chuck's latest Rotto post calls for more accommodation on the beautiful island.

Only 27 days until Rotto Bloggo's latest Geordie Bay sojourn...the countdown has begun.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

scrambled eggs

One of our favourite Rotto breakfasts: scrambled eggs with feta and topped with a chive or two. There aren't many better meals to have on the balcony of our plush Geordie Bay beachfront balcony. "Now this is living," we congratulate ourselves as we tuck in.

The POST has a story today about scrambled Rottnest eggs of a different kind...

RANGERS on Rottnest Island have been shaking seagull eggs in an effort to control their numbers.

The rangers go to gull nests, shake eggs so the embryos are destroyed, and then replace them.

Because the eggs aren't broken the gulls don't replace them by laying new eggs.

A Rottnest Island Authority spokesperson said there'd been a university research project aimed at manipulating gull nest sizes which used egg shaking.

"The project was supported by the authority and was done under full naimal ethic approval," the spokesperson said.
"However, this was a study and not a routine option for pest bird control."

The authority's pest management plan sees gulls caught with nets and then gassed.

The spokesperson said more seagulls were in Rottnest settlement areas because there was no longer a landfill on the island.

The spokesperson said if gull numbers increased, egg shaking might become another pest management method.

In other Rottnest fauna news, a number of peacocks have been removed from the island: Peel Zoo took 23 of the birds.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


It's ferry tough on the choppy seas of the business world, trying to sail into the gale forces of the GFC (Global Financial Crisis).

There was a very good Beatrice Thomas story in The West last week once word got out about Oceanic Cruises' receivership. We filed a little story for the western suburbs paper The POST, but it must have been overtaken by events come Friday.

Today's pic is of the Shuttleworths and one of their boats in happier times: it was taken about two years ago, when Rotto Bloggo was one of the few elite reporters invited to the beautiful island for a Sheila McHale presser.

Begin spiked copy...

Rottnest ferry company Oceanic Cruises is in receivership with its assets up for grabs.

Receivers KordaMentha said Oceanic went into voluntary receivership on Sunday, 22 August.

Two days later the secured creditor, Esanda Finance, appointed KordaMentha.

“We're in control of all the company's businesses and assets, except the underwater explorer vessel,” KordaMentha's Cliffe Rocke said.

“We're in the process of commissioning an advertising campaign for the sale of the businesses and assets.”

The company is owned by Cottesloe couple Tim and Tammy Shuttleworth.

They bought the company in September 2007.

Ms Shuttleworth didn't return calls from the POST by press time.

Oceanic and competitor Rottnest Express were cost-saving during the slow winter period.

“We are carrying Oceanic's passengers because it's hard to make money in WA in winter,” a Rottnest Express spokeswoman said.

“It's by agreement and no different to any other year.”

The spokeswoman said when both companies were running ferries that were only 15-18% full, combining services was a “sensible business decision”.

Monday, September 07, 2009

guy II

Famous artist pays for Rottnest accomodation with art!

A dream headline about the beautiful island. Since our recent post about Guy Grey-Smith, we've been in touch with the late artist's family about his Rotto work.

"The story about Rotto I can share is that Dad won a prize of accommodation at the Rottnest Lodge, so we all went over, only to discover it was for one person only," a relative revealed to Rotto Bloggo.

"Dad persuaded Lesley Anderson, who was running the Lodge with her husband, that he should paint Lesley's portrait in payment. So he did a pretty modernist portrait which I am not sure she particularly liked! It is knocking around somewhere I think."

We have made it our mission to bring this portrait to you. In the meantime we are wondering: how many pictures of the beautiful island did Grey-Smith paint?

Snell has two: we featured the one on the cover in our first Guy post, and the accompanying image is the other.

A WA Museum operative says they have one in storage: is it this one?

"I don't know of any other paintings of Rotto that he did other than those two you know of," Guy's relative says.

Snell hints at a major work done in his Darlington studio, in addition to the "several painted studies" done on the island.

And here's Snell on that competition: "...the inaugural Rottnest Island Art Award, established by Leslie and Bill Anderson after they took over the Rottnest Lodge in 1953. The prize of a fortnight's holiday for the winners of the three sections lured many artists over to complete their entries. However the choices of the judge Charles Hamilton, especially the selection of Guy Grey-Smith's oil painting, was so unpopular with the sponsoring businessmen of the island that it was also the last award of its kind."

Sunday, September 06, 2009

the five stages

There was a bit of Rotto rage last week as usually well-balanced people tried to lock accommodation in on September 1.

This tanty is from Shazza:

“I once loved the beautiful island passionately as you do. Both my husband and myself, having great childhood memories of Rotto, were hoping to share the love when our kiddies came along.

“Now, however, I find myself moving through Kubler-Ross' five stages of grief as I come to terms with the seemingly irrefutable reality that it is (almost) friggin’ impossible to find anywhere to stay, outside of tentland, on Rottnest.

“Denial: at first I considered the possibility that the accommodation checker on the RIA web page was faulty, thinking it couldn't possibly be true that I could not get a villa or unit in September or October for more than one night.

“Anger: waiting a few days and checking again. The same results. There is no room at the effin’ inn! I am even wiling to spend the exhorbitant prices charged by the Lodge at this stage.

“Bargaining: perhaps if I just call the RIA and ask instead of relying on the web page to find somewhere? Try that, get told they use the same checker, and can transfer me to bookings to discuss. On hold to bookings for 20 minutes then hang up. Outrage.

“Depression: the thought of having to enter the ballot again leads to a seething resentment which then leads to a depressing despair. Will we have to buy a boat and compete for moorings to be ever able to see my beloved Rotto again?

“Acceptance: never!”

We empathise, Shazza. The sight of a wild-eyes western suburbs woman clutching her phone and trying not to hyperventilate (hi Julie!) is distressing. But Shazza found that persistence paid:

“With perseverence I have managed to book something after all. Hey: no mention of the comedy festival they just held on the island?”

For some pics, Shazza, go here to Laura Is Hot (I kid you not).

Saturday, September 05, 2009

fishing for compliments

Geoff V ventured south from the Kimberley to the beautiful island last week and experienced a dramatic drop in temperature.

Here's his delightful pic of the (rugged up) kids hanging out with Mr Percival at Thomson Bay while they fish. We love Mr P's wind-blown feathers.

What is the kids' secret? Even if we have fresh fish in hand, the pelicans don't want to know us. Perhaps they know we're a gerbalist.

It's perky on the mainland today, but we note the lowest temp on Rottnest today has been a superbly mild 11.8 degrees at 0530.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

stuffed skinks

We really, really hope two shingleback skinks are back on the beautiful island and sunning themselves in a prime position on Geordie Bay.

This Perth Now yarn is about a Japanese tourist intercepted at Perth airport: he allegedly had 14 animals - including the Rottnest rodents - stuffed into his bag.

The 34-year-old Jap allegedly hid the beasties "in socks and small pet carriers".

If the terrible tourist is found guilty of this heinous crime, Rotto Bloggo volunteers to stuff him into a small pre-worn sock.

"The Rottnest Island shingleback is specially protected as a threatened (vulnerable) species in WA and is only found on Rottnest Island. Under the state’s Wildlife Conservation Act the maximum penalty for taking specially protected fauna is $10,000," Perth Now reports.

"The man has been refused bail and is due to appear in Perth Magistrates Court today."