Thursday, December 31, 2009


You don't see many dogs on the beautiful island - but dogs look at Rottnest all the time.

A new book has a couple of views of Rotto: I, Cott Dog has about 315 photos of dogs photographed in glorious Cottesloe.

David Hocking took the photos between 2005 and this year and says they all say one thing.

“They tell no tale other than the love that exists between friends and fellow clan members in a place whose heart is indelibly linked to the sky and sea that surrounds it,” he said.

The most-photographed breeds are “little fluffy white things” and golden retrievers.

Many of the photos were taken by Beaches Cafe on Marine Parade, from which you can see the majesty that is the Rottnest outline.

Only 10 people refused to have their photos taken with their dogs.

David is a keen supporter of the Dogs' Refuge Home in Shenton Park: part-proceeds from the $45 book will go to the not-for-profit organisation.

“Activities are motivated by the fundamental understanding that dogs are entitled to the same love and respect that they unconditionally give to us,” David said.

“The Home has a no-kill policy, which ensures that no dog will be euthanised on economic grounds.

“Every year they take in many hundreds of dogs that have been abused, neglected or simply no longer wanted.”

David currently has no dog and lives in Fremantle.

The book's cover features Tara, a Rottweiler just out of the North Cottesloe surf.

“She's a gem because she thinks the sun comes out of the sand, which is not exactly untrue, scientifically speaking,” David said.

The book is for sale at Beaches, Collins bookstore in Cottesloe, The Lane Bookshop In Claremont and the newsagency in Swanbourne.

It can also be bought online at

It's a snip at $45 and David only printed a thousand - get in quick.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

rich in environment

Our post on the feeble Forum language was popular - and we've found some more connected with the beautiful island.

We didn't mean to, but we're reading Don Watson's Bendable Learnings (subtitle: The Wisdom of Modern Management).

The introduction is a superb rant against learning centres and having to be accountable and fetishising diversity and going forward - then Don gets stuck into mission statements.

"A company without a mission statement is like an evangelist without the cross or a shaman without her spirit animal. The same goes for any other business, including government departments..."

And lo, here is the Rottnest Island Authority's mission statement: "Rottnest Island is conserved and enhanced as a unique island destination rich in environment, culture, and heritage, offering a relaxed holiday experience for Western Australian families and other local, interstate and overseas visitors."

Then Don hops into vision statements. Thankfully we can't see one for the RIA.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

modern medusa

Our grumpy post about the raft-up last week has been vindicated - but we got it wrong.

You'll recall we likened a raft-up to conditions on one of the notorious sheep ships: bodies packed together, hot hot hot, distressing noise...

There's an excellent report in today's West on a Boxing Day raft-up at the beautiful island's Parakeet Bay: "WA Police have expressed grave concerns about the safety of "raft-ups" - when boats are lashed together for a party - after an event involving hundreds of revellers on Rottnest Island descended into drunken chaos and caused several injuries."

Hundreds of pissed punters on about 30 boats - it's a powder keg, as our favourite Rotto policeman was paraphrased as saying (yes, you can have a powder keg on water).

Where have we heard this terrible tale before? A tragedy of a mass of seething humanity on a hurriedly-constructed raft...shocking things happen before the rescue...those who survive endure starvation, dehydration, cannibalism, and becomes an international scandal...

The waves of the bay gently rock the makeshift raft...some of the men stare into their Lemon Russkies in utter young woman holds back the hair of another who was her bridesmaid only last week...bodies litter the poop deck...the is Gericault in the West Aussie sun.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Some funny writing has happened on the way to the Forum.

Not so much funny as dreary. The Australian Institute of Company Directors are spruiking their "iconic" Rottnest Forum - the big event happens in March.

The blurb is exactly how we imagine a tired company director writes as s/he attends to the last task of a busy day.

How many cliches, punctuation and spelling errors can you see?

Your readership is important to us, so going forward we should include the fact the Forum is a bargain at $340 for non-Institute members.

"The iconic Rottnest Forum has been etched in the calendars of the Perth business community since it was founded some 30 plus years ago.

"With members and guests travelling to the island on a flotilla of boats, this event blends the naturally relaxed pace of the island with a keynote address and member fellowship during morning tea and lunch overlooking the pristine Thompson’s Bay.

"The 2010 Rottnest Forum will feature Mr Cameron Clyne, Group Chief Executive Officer of National Australia Bank as the key-note speaker who will share his business life in this unique setting.

"Numbers are limited for this event so please register early to avoid disappointment."

Sunday, December 27, 2009

world bikini capital?

In September last year we expressed mild frustration at not knowing more about Brad Ness' Rottnest accident.

The frustration has been washed away - mostly - thanks to this report in The National Newspaper.

We don't see TNN often - it's in Abu Dhabi - but reporter Robert Philip has lots of details.

Last year Brad was quoted as the accident being like a chef chopping through a carrot - but in this "when the ferry moved out the rope snapped tight and sliced off my right foot as cleanly as a cheese wire cutting through a chunk of Cheddar."

Read and enjoy, but wonder: did the trip back to the mainland take 90 minutes? Is the beautiful island really "the bikini capital of the world"?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

how satisfied?

We followed up this week on a survey we did in June on the ferry coming back from the beautiful island.

It had 24 questions: the ones we were interested in were 19-21: what is the single most enjoyable thing about Rottnest Island, what is the one thing on RI most in need of improvement, what one thing could be added to improve the visitor experience?

The RIA's 08/09 annual report says 1411 people did the survey: 85 per cent were "satisfied" with the "general facilities and services" and 86 per cent were "satisfied" with recreational and holiday services and facilities.

Only 75 per cent were "satisfied" with the accommodation - the RIA's target was 85 per cent.

Mind you a whopping 96 per cent said their visit "met or exceeded expectations".

RIA says: "The significant improvement in overall satisfaction with recreational services and facilities reflects the RIA's focus on providing improved accommodation, greater variety of recreational activities and a more desirable mix of retail service providers."

Thursday, December 24, 2009

hurting but

Stef was stiff after her sojourn on the beautiful island this week.

A sibling seemed sickly, and the bike ride was fun - but a challenge:

" was extremely tiring, there was like so many uphills and I srsly have no energy left so I push the bike up :D, well my parents did it as well >>"
it was about 12/13 km man ._. I cycled so much, my but hurts like crap cuz the bicycle seat was so amn hard, and on the way we saw a quokka , its actually really cute :D".

The flies were monstrous, but the Dome lunch was satisfying and there was fun on the beach.

Paul's experience of Rottnest was a little disquieting.

There are "views to the Rottnest Island" from where he was, and his view is "only a stoner throw away" from a park - but I'd rather not have read about "Matti's Virgin Camping Experience".

Merry Xmas - see you after the faux-turkey.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

view from the hill

The beautiful island has never looked so close and yet seemed so far away.

Today's pic is taken from the top of Buckland Hill in Mosman Park: why look at the rooftops of this southern western suburb when you can gaze at Rottnest?

Our viewing interregnum was a welcome tonic in between rushing around from story to story like a blue-arsed fly - we tell you, we've been busier than Kevin Rudd's travel agent.

Get this quote...follow that thing up...what is this POI doing...we love it of course, but we love it even more when we know there's a countdown to when we next step off the Rottnest Express boat.

Back to the salt mines.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Lordy: we saw a link to this on a Fairfax site.

It's called Raft Up: "Perth best DJ’s, only the best bikinis (or lack of) and the best crystal blue waters of Rottnest. Raft Up 2009 will once again be a day to remember."

Free apostrophe abuse included.

Some of the pics show bright young things crammed onto boats tied together. Not our cup of Dilmah. Kind of like a human version of a sheep ship.

"Tickets will be announced shortly and includes all alcohol, lunch on the boats (as requested more salads than last year) local entertainment and the best trip to and from Rotto you’ve ever had."

Bullshit! The wild ride on heaving seas in 2006 was the best trip we've ever had to the beautiful island - and everyone was wearing their clothes!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Some thrilling reading today: 'Standard Form Contract For the Supply of Electricity on Rottnest Island'.

It's a white-knuckle-ride, let us tell you. Mind you, staying inside and reading documents is better than oiling the deck outside in the furnace-like heat. We can't help but compare the wilting 37 degrees or so here with the delightful 24 degrees on the beautiful island.

Sample paragraph from the contract: 'All electrical installations and equipment within the supply address premises which are fixed to the premises as chattels shall become the property of the Rottnest Island Authority in the case of termination of the Customer’s supply, and in accordance with any lease or other agreement between the Rottnest Island Authority and the Customer.'

That's how you can tell it's a contract: it uses a word like chattels.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

haze days indeed

The Perth sky has been hideous this week: the smoke from the fires down south meant the sun resembled - to paraphrase Michael Herr describing the moon in Vietnam - a fat sweaty chunk of malevolent cheese.

Indeed, when Rotto Bloggo stumbled outside on Tuesday we thought the aftermath of our herring binge was worse than usual. For a moment we thought we were on Tatooine, and another fearsome sun was also over the horizon.

Can the end of days be far, as Teh Lazy Aussie on TWOP often asks? Does the rapture approach?

Of course it's been fine on the beautiful island. No disturbing solar filtering at the Basin. When it's been too much for us this week we've looked at the soothing images on a blog called True North Mark. He has wonderful pics of the Basin and other Rottnest delights. We'd like to reproduce one here, but Mark hasn't responded to our earnest plea.

Instead we've posted a NASA image which shows Rotto unbesmirched by the horrid haze.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

near Rotto

We've been spending WAY too much time on NearMap, but we can't help it.

We wrote a story a couple of weeks ago on this West Perth firm that claims to give Google Earth a run for its money.

They say their aerial photos are done from a lower altitude than GE - and updated much more often.

They're pretty good: fire it up and have a look at people in their Rottnest bungalow courtyards, cycling out to the West End and cavorting at the Basin.

Alas the tea trees inhibit the action on the mini-golf course at Brett Heady's Family Fun Centre.

Friday, December 11, 2009

the Freo-Rotto bridge

The iceberg is still getting help from Rottnest so we can grapple with its huge dimensions: yesterday's West said it would make a chilly 10-storey bridge to the beautiful island.

That missing paddler was found OK: Ron Clarke left Sorrento SLC early in the AM yesterday. Then his kayak was found on Rotto. Then he was located.

Those lights in Norway turned out to be a dud Russian missile: "The new Bulava missile was fired from the submarine Dmitry Danskoi, the Russian defence ministry confirmed."

We feel the world's media missed an opportunity to use more Rottnest references: some of the vision we saw clearly showed the lights having a strong resemblance to the first section of the 10th hole on the mini-golf course at the Brett Heady Family Fun Centre.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Superb context for local readers: "A giant iceberg more than seven times the size of Rottnest Island is drifting towards Western Australia has been hailed as a once-in-a-lifetime rarity for both its size and the length of its journey."

This is on the Brisbane Times: at first we were unsure if people in New Farm would know the dimensions of Wa's fabulous holiday playground.

But then we slapped ourselves: Rotto is world-famous! Everyone knows about Pinky's and The Basin and the West End and Little Parakeet!

To continue: "Australian Antarctic Division glaciologist Neal Young says the iceberg, named B17B, is 1700 kilometres south-south-west of the West Australian coast and moving north with the ocean current and prevailing wind."

How big is the chilling (but slimming) chunk of ice?

"The iceberg is 19km by 8km, equating to an area of 140 square kilometres."

That's big. We doubt you can get a snot-block there, though, or pat a quokka.

We're sure you'll agree the behemoth isn't shaped very much like Rotto...perhaps as it melts it will look a bit like it...sort of how you can see images of Che and Mao being burned on your toast as it sits in the toaster.

Monday, December 07, 2009

sleeping out to get in

This marvellous Rottnest story was in the admirable POST on the weekend.

People sleep out for AC/DC tix, for VIP seats at the Olympics - and for bungalows on the beautiful island.

As well as the pic here there were also pics of snoring people at 5.15am the day the office opened and people having a cup of tea to while away the time.

Some western suburbs identities we know secured the prize of Colebatch for later this month.

WESTERN suburbs residents’ love for Rottnest was put to the test earlier this week when holiday bookings for December 2010 opened.

People anxious to secure a cottage on the island for Christmas next year started queuing outside the accommodation office at Rottnest from the middle of last week.

By Saturday afternoon, about 25 people had brought their sleeping bags and folding chairs to settle in for three days and nights camping out on the pavement.

When bookings opened at 8.30 on Tuesday morning, about 120 hopeful holidaymakers had turned the concrete plaza around the office into a colourful camping ground.

Some brought laptops and worked, or watched movies, others brought beach shelters and folding beds to make their stay as comfortable as possible.

Power points outside the office were kept busy charging mobile phones so campers could stay in touch with friends and family on the mainland, discussing preferred dates, locations and prices for a holiday a year away.

Members of the sporting O’Connell family kept up a family tradition of three generations, securing cottages for their Christmas celebrations.

Some of the queuers joined Rottnest Society volunteers on Monday morning to paint the sea wall.
But most of the time, the campers chatted, read, picnicked, went for an occasional swim and made friends with the people they will holiday with next year.

A local primary school teacher took two days of long service leave to join the queue.

“But don’t take my picture – the parents will wonder why I’m at Rottnest instead of teaching their children,” she said.

Doctors and lawyers took time off work to queue for their families; teenagers who had just finished exams were in demand to sleep out at night while their parents retired to their cottages and bungalows.

People can only queue on the island if they have accommodation on Rottnest, but “queuettiquette” (a term coined by a happy group in the queue) demands that somebody occupies each group’s chairs and beds at all times.

The accommodation rule means that the queue at Rottnest is usually shorter than the one outside the island’s accommodation office at Victoria Quay in Fremantle.

A Rottnest Island Authority said about 70 people were in a Quay queue by 8am on Tuesday.

“People just kept coming,” she said.

And there is a good chance that those prepared to brave the elements for a few days and nights will get the accommodation they want in 12 months time.

Getting through to the Rottnest Island Authority’s telephone booking service is much less reliable.

Accommodation at Rottnest is decided by a ballot system during school holidays - but in summer, the system does not swing into operation until New Year.

One of the first groups to arrive on the island said they were welcomed by the accommodation staff.

“They told us they were pleased to see us and happy that we were so passionate about Rottnest,” one woman said.

She and her friends have been queuing for December accommodation every year for several years, but they were coy about revealing just how many times they had queued or exactly when they had arrived last week.

Many “campers” said they were unhappy with the RIA’s decision to eliminate peahens so the peacocks on the island would gradually die out.

They were visited by a friendly peacock each day in the queue, which shied away timidly if anybody shouted or waved a hand at it.

The potential of sunburn during the day and stiff limbs after nights sleeping on the ground were all worth it, as shouts of joy meant the first 20 or so people in the queue had managed to book their preferred places for another summer of fun on their favourite island.

The authority spokeswoman said 664 bookings were taken at Rottnest and Victoria Quay on Tuesday.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

get papping

About the only record of achievement Rotto Bloggo has is a 25m backstroke competency certificate from grade 3. Once we start reeling in the Walkley Awards the swimming gong will be in good company.

But even such an under-achiever as us is tempted to enter this photography competition - the prizes are dreamy.

'Enter your best images that can be truly called “Iconic Images”. This prestigious competition offers outstanding prizes for all amateur photographers,' says something called Iconic Images/(APS) competition, iconPHOTO09.

'Designed by Australian photographers for amateur photographers to promote the capture and presentation of iconic images.'

Amongst the expert tuition and other stuff for the winner, there's this:
Return flights from winner’s nearest Australian capital city to Perth (if applicable)
Full accommodation on the 50 ft. luxury sailing yacht ‘Calypso V’, off Rottnest Island
Transport to/from and around Rottnest Island.

Mouth-watering and enough to make us forget about the hideous overuse of the word iconic.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

survey says?

Rotto Bloggo has had enough admonishing and queries to be prodded back into life - we wish we'd been partying at Pinky's with the schoolies, toolies and droolies, but alas. We were marooned on the mainland.

We encourage our leaver readers - and we know they are legion - to fill out this study about their booze and drug ingestion on the beautiful island.

'The National Drug Research Institute of Curtin University are running a study that will explore alcohol and other drug use at school leavers' celebrations ("Leavers"). The aim of this project is to make celebrations like Leavers safer for young people in the future.'

No rush: you can do it as last as mid-January.

'Overall, we believe that services and policies that concern young people are improved when informed by research such as this which draws on the knowledge of young people themselves,' the survey scientists say, and they promise SSL encryption.

Big it up for Cookster, who provided the photo (which is not of a drug-crazed teenager). The little chap is high on life and Rottnest.