Saturday, October 24, 2009


A mixture of good and bad news from the beautiful island.

It's like a The Worst of Perth moving convention over there: the latest identity to grace Rottnest is notorious PR thug and blogger Cookster.

He texted us: 'Where to go> Snorkelling at Salmon Bay, or simply floating around in the cool, crystal clear waters of Little Parakeet? Is there any better smell than summer sun and salt on skin, mixed with Rottnest Island pines and the tang of crusted salt lake foam carried in the warm breeze..."


This from Kim, on the Gluten Free Aussie blog: "I just returned from a weekend in Rottnest, which would have been fantastic except for a bad experience..."

Check out the link for the rest. People are so litigious. There was a crouton issue.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

all natural

Rotto Bloggo's new year resolution is to swim from thje natural jetty to Phillip Rock. How hard can it be? When you're standing there waiting for a garfish it looks half a hop away - a bit like the view from Cottesloe to the beautiful island.

We'd have to be watchful for Rottnest Express, the supply ship and a few other craft, but it would be a doddle. The island looks accessible once we're there.

These are shots from last week. The waves washing over the natural jetty, and nowhere to put bait, rods, caught fish etc, make the place a thrilling fishing experience. The creature featured is a Leopard Wirra.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Can you believe the amount of Rottnest news? We can't. James Packer lunches at the hotel on Thursday, there's a boat missing north of the beautiful island, and Shazza spends a weekend in Thomson Bay.

It all happens there. We muts have just missed Packer: we caught the 1030 ferry back that day. We hope his meal was better to the last one we had there.

Memories of last week's four exquisite days on Rotto persist. One was of strange behaviour on the beach at Geordie. A bloke motored in from his costly yacht and cleaned and gutted fish on the sand. He was too close to the water. He was perturned by the gulls - at at one stage took up a karate stance, knife in hand, to confront the pesky birds. It went on for about half-an-hour. He seemed to throw a few cleaned and gutted fish into the water. Then he putted back to his yacht. Strange days indeed.

We trust it's not him who said in the mayday call: "I'm experiencing problems with electricals on board due to the actual taking on of water. Judging by the current flow rate into the actual vessel, I've probably got between 40 and 50 minutes before I'm going to have to abandon the vessel."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

day 3 Geordie

Surrounded by sea: that is the exciting experience that is extreme fishing on Rottnest.

The fishing scenes on the beautiful island are varied. You can wet a line from a jetty, or rocks, a beach - or at Henrietta you can wade out on the reef and have the beach behind you.

But for water all around there is the natural jetty. You're so far out at low tide it seems like just a hop and a skip to Phillip Rock (but watch out for the ferries!).

The tide surges around you, the water is that deep Rotto blue, there's nowhere to put your bait and you have to be mindful of balance and footing - it is a satisfyingly extreme fishing experience.

We weren't disappointed today: herring, skipjack and a cod or two were landed.

At 1700 we also dropped in to our regular perch at the end of Geordie Bay: more herring and skippy were plucked from the water.

And we saw a snake on the just before the Geordie hill, the alarm went off at the (closed) Aristos, we had a (luke warm) coffee at Dome, the leftover roast from last night was still marvellous.

For lunch today we fired up the smoker. We spread a small amount of mallee sawdust/chips on the inside tray, laid our fillets on the rack above, lit the meths cup below - and left it alone.

After 60 seconds it was smoking like a thousand joss sticks. Eight minutes with the flame - then whip out the flame and let the fillets sit for five minutes, absorbing more smoky goodness.

It was the best smoked stuff we'd ever had: delicate, flavoursome, a hint of honey and spice. And not too fishy. You can even do vegetables in it.

We'll have smoked herring for breakfast, but tonight it's gently fried skipjack and garfish with baked potato and an apple crumble for dessert. And a few German beers.

smokin' & stirin'

The smoker was deployed at lunch: what a remarkable device it is.

A full report later of the smoker and our extreme fishing exploits at the natural jetty, but we couldn't let this worst spelling wait until then. Seen at the Geordie Bay cafe.

How sweet it is on Rottnest.

Monday, October 12, 2009

day 2 geordie

The first full day, and it's been sensational. Much fruits de la mer have been plucked from various locations around the beautiful island - some were thrown back.

We started out at Henrietta Rocks. It was satisfying to indulge in some extreme fishing (wading out in the surf on the reef) but the haul was not huge: we were casting into the teeth of a south-westerly. We're all highly sceptical of any Bureau of Meteorology forecast.

So we had a look out near the West End and settled on Mable Cove, on the other side of Rottnest. Conditions were a little better, but they were hardly jumping into the bucket.

By then it was 1430: we headed back to Thomson to eat (spinach and feta rolls for Rotto Bloggo). Bought the papers, back to the pad - until about 1700, when we were galvanised into action when we realised we'd have nothing to eat (the other three have a lamb roast on the go for tonight).

So we walked 500m to the rocks at the southern-most point of Geordie Bay, where we wet a line last night - and the difference was remarkable. The herring (and more than one skipjack) were in a frenzy and leapt onto the line. So Rotto Bloggo has ample fillets while the others chow down on their red meat.

While the lamb was in the oven Bealo knocked a few more pages of Middlemarch.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

day 1 geordie

Mixed success on our first fishing foray. Your reporter caught four-fifths of fuck-all, but the other three hauled in the garfish, bait fish, herring and a magnificent squid. Those squid are full of ink. And they taste superb on pizza.

The ferry was late: we blame the Rottnest Island Authority. At least the ferry wasn't weighed down by Bealo's rods: he forgot them. Mind you we forgot the pizza trays.

Our plush Geordie Bay unit is absolute beachfront: the young worker who checked on our equipment was very efficient. She spotted we were light-on for knives and fixed us up.

It doesn't get any better than this. Some are whinging about how cold it is, but we are just thankful for the freshest air in the world.

A special thank-you to Rottnest police, who had a rod or two they could share - it meant Bealo didn't have to use the cheap and nasty handline.

Now we will make a dent in a carton of Coopers and plan our angling assault tomorrow.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

offshore vibrance

We've got the good stuff: smoking sawdust for the fish smoker. It's mallee, and is "extra strong earthy flavour". We haven't seen the smoker yet: we'll collect it tonight. Hopefully it will fit the bill.

There is a fish out near Little Armstrong Bay swimming blamelessly, unaware it will be in a bucket this time tomorrow. We don't mean to sound bloodthirsty. Herring watch out.

We're keen to get to the beautiful island before the hoards descend. Rottnest has been featured in The (UK) Independent (Motto from a few years ago: 'It is. Are you?'). The Independent was Rotto Bloggo's paper of choice when we lived in London - and we're not disappointed with it today.

David Orkin goes around the usual suspects in his traveller's guide to WA. He claims Perth is "vibrant", and speaks sense about Rotto...

'Perth makes a great base for several excellent excursions. One of the most popular day trips is the short boat ride to tiny Rottnest Island (, which is just 11km long and 5km wide. A variety of boats leave for "Rotto" from Perth and Fremantle: the trip takes less than half an hour and costs from £32 return from "Freo" or £42 return from Perth with Rottnest Express (00 61 8 1300 467688;

'The island offers good swimming and diving: is virtually car free, so explore by bike – these can be rented from the island's Rottnest Bike Hire (00 61 8 9292 5105) from £5 per hour or barely twice as much for a full day.'

Friday, October 09, 2009

those stuff

Only two sleeps to go before we're on the beautiful island: 48 hours from now we may be blogging from the balcony of our plush beachfront Geordie Bay pad.

We can reveal that we're taking a herring smoker. Or we will be if all goes according to plan. It has to be collected from the father-in-law, for a start. And also it's alleged we need some woodchips.

Some readers of this blog will be aware of the cultural significance of smoking herring to Rotto Bloggo. We are excited it may be happening.

The good news about Rottnest continues to be communicated. This New Jersey travel writer has her facts straight: "The highlight of the visit was an excursion by local ferry to Rottnest Island (aka Rotto) where we rented bikes and rode around the approximately 7 by 3 mile island. Another transportation option, since visitors aren't allowed to bring cars over, is to take the bus that circumnavigates the island, stopping at any or all of the beaches."

Mary Altier (is she Californian, actually?) can't spell Fremantle, but never mind. It's pleasing that Rotto ranks with the Harbour Bridge, fending off crocs in the NT, yadda yadda.

And Mei Teng also liked her sojourn on the beautiful island - but had at least one concern: "Quokkas are herbivours and they rely on plant life as a source of water. As we were admiring and photographing those creatures, I noticed lots of dark brown droppings all over the grassy area. I was careful not to step onto any droppings as I made my way out of their shelter. Later, we were told not to come into contact with the droppings as those stuff have been known to cause illness."

Sunday, October 04, 2009

the play's the thing

An associate has kindly reminded us about Waiting for Rotto, a Blue Room production that's now on.

We blogged about this island drama a while ago, and will endeavour to see it even though it's clashing with our next island sojourn: this time next week we'll be there.

Will the play mention the Angry Whopper?

You might think WfR is the first play to mention the beautiful island. You'd be labouring under a misapprehension: here are some of the plays that have...

Journey's End by R.C. Sherriff: a glimpse into the experiences of an obese American family as they cycle to the West End. Do they get there before evening, or will the seagulls peck them to death?

Setonix by Peter Shaeffer: a lonely Red Rooster check out chick embarks on a sexual odyssey as she investigates why a toolie blinded six quokkas with a West Coast Eagles stubby holder.

The Persian Rugs by Aeschylus: this laugh-a-minute comedy by the ancient Greek master features a bizarre attempt by Tony Sadler of Wembley to furnish all the island accomodation with colourful throws and kilims.

Cloud Nine by Caryl Churchill: the nuances and paralells between colonial and sexual oppression are explored in this innovative drama, which starts in a 1906 drunken orgy in the Governor of WA's party and finishes with a private schoolboy sodomised by peacocks wearing ranger regalia.

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (adapted for stage by Harold Bishop): the Ramsay family and their visits to Rotto in between being the slum landlords of the popular TV soap Neighbours is a skilful manipulation of temporality and psychological exploration and tragedy of the highest order.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

shame about the name

Shame about the name? So says a commenter on a blog that went to Rotto recently.

pantone801 spent a recent day on the beautiful island. Their YouTube is amusing, despite the cheesy background music.

"Rottnest is stunning, one of the most gorgeous places I have visited", they say.

We also liked this Flickr spread: Landscape Urban. From graffiti to lighthouses to signs that have fallen down, Rotto has it all.

Friday, October 02, 2009

whale of a time

Apologies for the absence. We were down south (and admiring the Rottnest-like clarity of the water at Prevelly) and then it was back into the vortex of the working week.

Things about the beautiful island kept happening in our absence. Troublemaking The Worst of Perth blogger The Lazy Aussie had an all-too-brief stay: these pics are his.

Our island-loving associate Fremantlebiz snagged a stay yesterday when one of his associates snuck down to the wharf. The first of the month is an opportunity for Rottnest lovers.

The RIA is plugging away on Facebook: Hey guys, check out the latest page on our website. Every Wednesday we will be updating it so you can see what days in the following two months still have accommodation remaining. Especially handy in the summer period! The days are ranked as having either 'ample', 'adequate' or 'some' accommodation. It makes it easy then to just call Central Reservations, tell them the day you want and see what we have available!

And then this, a few minutes later: Sorry guys, the below message should have read 'ample', 'adequate' or 'none'!

It's a mere 11 days until Rotto Bloggo is there. Four nights of bliss.