Friday, December 31, 2010

they love it

This from that journal of record, POST Newspapers...the ferry company announced it was doing online bookings and special deals...

Adam Wootton and Allison Chapple are the winners of the Rottnest Express family ferry ticket passes.

The POST was inundated with entries: all spoke of people's deep attachment to Rottnest.

Mr Wootton, of Wembley, wrote: “When I was young I was a Scout and we would go camping on Rottnest every year to participate in island rubbish clean up.

“While there we not only were able to help make the island a pristine example of an isolated, under- developed environment but we also got to explore the whole of the island hunting down trash that had drifted.

“These were the best days of my life and whenever I return to the island I feel young again as I associate Rottnest with these cherished childhood experiences.

“Now I have grown up and had two children of my own I hope to finally take them there to experience the joy of snorkelling in The Basin, riding across the island to the light houses or exploring the underground gun batteries tunnels whilst learning about our history.

“So to me the island is almost a fountain of youth and that is why I love it.”

Ms Chapple, of Subiaco, said it was where her children learned to ride a bike, fell down the cliffs, discovered salt water showers and experienced a TV-less week.

“All that with the joy of missing school to go on the cheap in June,” Ms Chapple said.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Thomson Bay? Pinky's? Baghdad Lake?

We wish this superb photo had more accompanying info.

Our sources thought we would be delighted with a pic of a Rotto bird - and we yield to none in our joy at a sharp image of a juvenile Banded Lapwing (aka Vanellus tricolor).

It was papped a couple of weeks ago, but the exact location is not revealed.

This is a juvenile, of course.

Even though we are marooned in a western suburb, we can shut our eyes and pretend to hear "er-chill-chaar-char".

Flickr image here: Juvenile Banded Lapwing

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

oh Aunty

We are grateful for any news of, about or near the beautiful island - but sometimes our patience is tested.

If the ABC was writing that intro, they might have said: "...our patients is tested".

The intro to this 7.30Reportland item: "An increasing number of shark sightings in Western Australia is raising alarm bells".

Clumsy! Then:

"A number of shark sightings have raised alarm bells and forced the evacuation of Perth's popular Trigg Island Beach."

Ouch! A bit further on:

"Since those attacks, there's been a spate of sightings. The site of this whale carcass feeding frenzy off Rottnest Island has only further fuelled Perth's shark fears."


Accompanying pic from this Rotto Bloggo yarn in 2008.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Long way

The beautiful island seen from the Scarborough heat haze...we know
where we'd rather be...

Friday, December 24, 2010


Rotto Bloggo wishes our army of readers a Merry Xmas.

Except those...acquaintances there right now who will be toasting tomorrow with sparkling and pulling on WC Eagles crackers.

We loves these Santa hats and strange spellings from this crowd:

'Amazing week-end with some friends ! A beautiful island as if we can’t see all. I have discovered new animals, like the cocaz, a mix between a rat and a kangourou but much more cute than a rat, and also huge pelican, but no dolphins this time. We slept on the beach looking at the stars, we have done a fire on the sand :) Awesome !!!!'

Thursday, December 23, 2010

ironing board at WT!

These auto-generated sites are poetry: this is from - "Search, Review, Reserve in Seconds".

'Rottnest Lodge nightly rates from $314.03 USD $314.03 USD lowest price guaranteed!
If you find a lower publicly available rate online for the same dates, hotel, and room category, we will match the price and refund you the difference.
Select a Room & Rate
Kitson Street |View MapRottnest Island, WT
This lodge is located in Rottnest Island. The Basin is an area attraction.
Dining options at Rottnest Lodge include a restaurant and a bar/lounge.'

There's a map, and it helpfully points out the Cohunu Koala Park is 30.2 miles away.

Need to get to a Nearby Airport? Perth Entertainment Centre (PEC) is 18.7 miles away.

'Clock radio Ceiling fan Balcony Iron/ironing board Hair dryer Dial-up Internet access Phone Television'. is powered by Mint on a Pillow.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Island graffiti

Mural at Shenton Park train station showing the view from a Freo

Saturday, December 18, 2010

agog over Gage Roads

Action, drama, intensity: no, not the WACA or Julian Assange's life or even Operation Unite: it's all happening (or allegedly happening) on the beautiful island.

"A Perth magistrate wants an independent agency to investigate the officer-in-charge of Rottnest police station after finding the off-duty sergeant was the "aggressor" in a bar melee on the island," The West reports.

The Rottnest Island Authority is looking for a new Chief Information Officer: the gig pays $95,301 - $102,144.

The man (or woman) in the hot seat will be "...required to drive and implement ongoing transformational change, including transforming business systems, infrastructure, processes and technology into an integrated platform that meets organisational and business management, and reporting requirements."

What else? Kitesurfing! That French kite bullet has done it again, according to "Alex Caizergues stormed the inaugural Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton kitesurfing, held at Fremantle, Western Australia. The 32-year-old pro kiteboarder crossed the 19km Indian Ocean course in only 24 minutes and 34 seconds, around half the time of a typical voyage on the Rottnest Express ferry at an average speed of over 20 knots."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lillee likes

"Rottnest is superb, too. It's a car-free island, a 30-minute ferry ride from Fremantle. Again, it's great for snorkelling and is very popular with anglers. Huge schools of samson (sambo as the locals call them) make the island one of the best metro fishing spots in Australia. Fishing gear can be hired or bought at Rottnest Adventure Centre, the General Store in Thomson Bay, and the Geordie Bay Store."

So says Dennis 'Drummy Tiles' Lillee - and Rotto Bloggo approves.

His boosting of the beautiful island is disturbingly more than half-way through a paean to Perth and WA - but we'll take it.

DK says this (do you reckon he really did?): "here's been an explosion of great coffee shops in the last 10 years. There's a strip of really good ones alongside Victoria Park. Epic (, on Hay Street, in West Perth, is very good. Zekka is exceptional, too. It's located on King Street in Perth's West End, where many of the boutique shops are. Zekka offers a wide variety of teas, too."

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

we can make sandwiches

"We can make sandwiches/You can be the bun/And I can be the burger girl..."

Many thanks to the Detroit Grand Pubahs for today's intro...

You have to be quick: this popped up in our Woogle Alert today...

Sandwich hand Required Rottnest Bakery
Rottnest Island, WA
Can commute We pay for Ferry or live on this wonderful island. Excellent rate of pay and up to 40 hrs a week Must be able to follow instructions and be self...
From Gumtree AU - 21 days ago email - more...

We clicked, but it seems to have vanished. Post filled?

The link said there were/are 42 bakery job on Rottnest AU - we know the peak festive season is looming, but come on...

Monday, December 06, 2010

labels food

'They say, nothing lasts forever. Dreams change, trends come and go; but friendships, never go out of style.'

Rotto Bloggo endorses the above - especially when it is accompanied by pix of food about to be eaten on the beautiful island.

Blogger 13.W.H.Y.S? has posted sharp images of various Dome meals: the eggs hollandaise look scrumptious and there is plenty of butter for everyone.

There is no text to say when this nosh was consumed (spookily reminiscent of the recent pics of the "JD Set" without a review), but judging by Boon Hun's post it could have been Saturday.

We hope they finished up with a snotblock from the bakery.

Bon appetit!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

delightful above all others

'IF YOU TELL a Perth man that an explorer William Vlaming (sic) described Rottnest Island as a “terrestrial paradise” he’s likely to say: “I don’t know about that mate, but if you want to get away from it all, don’t mind roughing it a bit, Rotto’s the place".'

We are indebted to Fremantlebiz for posting Vincent Serventy's words from a 1971 Walkabout.

'He is almost not certainly thinking of beauty, but of times he’s had there. He probably caught his first fish there; undoubtedly caught a girl. He drank his first beer there, didn’t wear a shirt, smell an exhaust fume or want to go home.'

The defunct mag, which Fre-biz acquired for a song, has accompanying Richard Woldendorp pix.

'But a memory of beauty must filter in amongst these more earthy recollections. For the island is a lovely place. Long beaches reach to grey headlands. Beyond the first is another and another, blinding white, and edged with sparkling green and blue seas...'

Saturday, December 04, 2010

in line not online

More news of the beautiful island from today's POST.

This is still on the RIA's site: "If difficulties are encountered, you are requested to call the RIA Central Reservations on (08) 9432 9111 to make your booking."

Rottnest diehards who queued for December 2011 bookings this week had the last laugh
when the island’s online accommodation system crashed.

People who slept outside the Rottnest Island Authority‘s Fremantle
office secured their holidays.

But people who tried to book via computer were confronted with a dancing quokka and error messages.

They were told to use the phone.

Pam O’Connell bedded down on Sunday night and was 14th in the queue.

“Some people arrived on Thursday and slept here six nights before bookings opened on
Wednesday,” she said.

She said the 40 people in the queue said they had made the right choice.

“In line is better than online,” one laughed.

Friday, December 03, 2010

were they there?

Clicking through photos of last weekend's "JD Set" on the beautiful island was disappointing.

There are musos, of course, but not enough Rottnest background.

We thought we saw a lighthouse - but it turned out to be the top of someone's water bottle.

The best one shows a fair expanse of blue Thomson Bay and a baffled security goon.

We like the proctology shot, too.

The site is the AU review - we were there.

The photos are there - but where is the review?

Thursday, December 02, 2010


A restful scene from the beautiful island that Rotto Bloggo is keen to acquire.

This is Ian de Souza's Rottnest Island Balcony Scene and it is just right.

The colours, the sky, the jutting buidling - marvellous.

The 1991 watercolour was in a western suburbs auction last week at $250-$500 - but didn't sell!

If we play our cards right it could be ours.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Rott lobster

The only flaw in this Fairfax Rottnest report is botching Thomson.

At least, that is the only flaw we can see in the account of yesterday's "JD Set" on the beautiful island.

"The quokkas wouldn't have known what hit them as a raunchy crowed of tattooed youths with fringe-heavy haircuts flooded Rottnest Island yesterday to see two of Australia's hottest rock bands," Fran Rimrod says.

Swearing, heat, shirtless performers, insolence to bouncers and an "unhinged crowd" follow: tremendous stuff.

The report is tied up with a narrative ribbon: "And while the quokkas slipped through the iron fence to catch a glimpse at some of Australia's finest contemporary rock music, the venue was packed, with the organisers having to turn away a lot of island hoppers who weren't lucky enough to have a ticket."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

lets make body health

We are pleased to report the tidal wave of good publicity surges on: Rottnest has fans all over the world, including Cyprus.

Lets Make Body Health With Bicycling in Cyprus has the "skivvy" on the beautiful island and it's all good news.

"Thе Western Australia capital οf Perth offers ѕο much tο thе holiday maker. Thеrе аrе historical monuments, grеаt shopping аnd dining аnd nightlife аll іn a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere," it starts.

The luminous coast, the setting sun a blaze of orange, nudist beach, wine buffs or beer tipplers - gorgeous wonderful.

Then we get to the really good stuff:

"Another treat fοr nature lovers іѕ thе small island οf Rottnest, accessible via a short ferry trip frοm Perth City, Fremantle οr Hillarys. It’s home tο thе small marsupials known аѕ Quokka.

"Known locally аѕ “Rotto”, Rottnest Island hаѕ a chequered history having bееn used аѕ a prison colony, farm, governor’s residence аnd military training zone over thе years. Nο cars аrе allowed οn thе island bυt іt саn gеt busy wіth locals especially during school holidays.

"Othеr thаn relaxing аnd enjoying nature, Rottnest Island іѕ аlѕο a grеаt рlасе fοr activities such аѕ cycling, swimming, sunbathing, аnd especially, snorkelling аnd scuba diving. Thе waters аrе сlеаn аnd thе seabed іѕ home tο coral reefs аnd shipwrecks."

It all adds up to making excellent body health!

Friday, November 26, 2010

better than bell tower

More hard news about the beautiful island from POST Newspapers.

These one-par sentences are agreeably haiku-esque.

Or are they Hemingway-esque?


Rottnest has come runner up in a major category in the WA Tourism Awards.

The island scored a silver medal in the major tourist attractions award.

Perth Zoo got the gold and the Perth bell tower got bronze.

Matilda Bay Restaurant in Crawley won bronze in the tourism restaurant and catering services category.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Our Rottnest Holiday

More literary goodness about the beautiful island!

Our Rottnest Holiday is not as long as the book we looked at yesterday: it's a mere 13 pages.

But it's just as good, and of course it has also had the full POST Newspapers treatment...

A new kids' picture book about Rottnest is dedicated to a three year old who was killed on the island last year.

Tazli Bowe's Our Rottnest Holiday is an illustrated book that shows what fun the island is for youngsters.

“It's about two kids' first island holiday,” Tazli said.

“They stay in a house right on the beach and go on a boat, ride bikes, visit the fun park and friends in Geordie Bay and build a sandcastle.”

One of the scenes was going to show their father lying in a hammock.

But Tazli changed it after last year's tragic pillar collapse that claimed the life of young Thomas Brasier.

“That was awful and so sad,” said Tazli, who has two sons: Johnny, 5, and James, 3.

“Through a mutual friend I spoke to Thomas' mum and asked if she would like to have 'In memory of Thomas' at the front of the book.

“She was happy about it and I am looking forward to meeting her at the book launch.”

Tazli's story is based on the story she told Johnny after he returned from his first Rottnest holiday.

“I put the words down in a day – but it took me a year to find an illustrator and get it printed,” she said.

She found gifted English born illustrator Tom Swift, who hadn't been to Rottnest.

“I don't think he's even seen a quokka in real life but his drawings are wonderful,” Tazli said.

The book will be launched on Thursday, November 25, from 10am to noon at 82 Redfern Street, Subiaco.

Coffee and cake will be served.

Our Rottnest Holiday costs $10 and is on sale at Subiaco Dymocks, Fun House Toys in Shenton Park, and at the Rottnest chemist and Geordie Bay store.

It can also be ordered direct from Tazli via

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bulk Goon

"One of the best books we've read this year" - Rotto Bloggo.

(And we've read a few).

See this scoop that was in POST Newspapers last week...

A year 12 student plans to import hundreds of cartons of alcohol to Rottnest Island during leavers' week.

The teenager, whose name is Bree, expects to make a big profit from her business.

“There's gunna be bulk goon everywhere,” she said.

Her boyfriend admired her entrepreneurial skills.

“In business, breaking the law and getting away with it is considered excellence,” he said...

The above is how a report about Bree and Simon might read if it was in the POST.

But the two youngsters are main characters in City Beach author Martin Chamber's latest novel.

Bulk Goon is set on Rottnest during leavers and Martin says it has wide appeal.

“It's a great holiday read for anybody who has teenage kids, who is a teenage kid, or anybody who loves Rottnest,” he said.

Goon is slang for alcohol: Bree and Simon plan to get nearly 350 cartons of TED – Tooheys Extra Dry – and other beverages to thirsty year 12s who want to have fun both in the sun and after dark.

“I'm 53 and went to Wesley,” Martin said.

“Leavers was never a big thing in my day.

“You left school, nothing happened and then you got a part-time job.”

Martin's two daughters did leavers, though: it was a concern.

“I remember being absolutely terrified at the time,” he said.

“I was thinking about booking a holiday to Alaska and taking them far away from any trouble.

“But then I talked with other parents and realised there is paranoia about leavers and it gets blown up by the media.”

Some characters in Bulk Goon express the same view.

The fiction has a perceptive and sympathetic portrayal of police on Rottnest, especially the senior sergeant in charge of law enforcement on the island.

“Lots could go wrong during leavers,” the officer reflects, “but children were more likely to die from skin cancer or falling off a bike than anything else.”

Martin said it was important to have real names in the book to help set the story's realism.

“I have used the real names of schools but that is where the fact ends and the fiction begins,” he said.

“In no way am I implying anything in the character of the schools mentioned or that the schools themselves are in any way involved.”

Writing the 30,000 word novel took Martin about 12 months.

“I started it about two years ago,” he said.

“I find things are best with writing if you forget about it for a year, come back to it and polish it.”

Bulk Goon already has its fans and detractors.

“Just like a training manual with a story,” a year 11 student says, “every school leaver should get a copy.

But a parent says: “This book ought to be banned.”

Martin is not aiming to retire to Thomson Bay on sales.

“My kayaking guide gets about $30 a year in royalties,” he said.

“Bulk Goon is a very local story.”

Bulk Goon costs $14.95 from or the Well Bookshop in Shenton park, the Lane in Claremont, the Rottnest general store, and the Chart and Map Shop in Fremantle.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

isle of dogs

Big it up for Kate 'Media Ball hostess' Ferguson: the West TV reporter has 2.19 on schoolies arriving at the beautiful island here.

Get past the 15 second ad and you'll see sniffer labradors, ferry shots, a bloke with blue hair, police searching wallets, a shot of Runciman and a whole lot more Rottnest goodness.

A long way from Korean missiles - and Rotto Bloggo is thankful.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


We were provoked into activity again yesterday after a three month holiday: that **** at The Worst of Perth commented yet again on our inactivity.

We have set up Rotto Bloggo to be able to post from the iPhone, which may make regular updates easier.

It's not as if there is a shortage of news from the beautiful island: the admirable Fremantlebiz has blogged on the hotel, too.

From tomorrow you have 11 working days to send in your views: we have pasted in Fremantlebiz's below...

Please provide comment on what aspects of the proposed hotel design appeal to you.

The project is timely, it proposes to make use of a neglected area and the selected company appears to have aesthetic values.

Please provide comment on any suggested improvements you think should be made to the proposed hotel design.

1. I feel that exotic Morton Bay fig trees shout not be included in the planting schedule, as is mentioned in the Pinctada extract.

2. The interior fireplaces depicted in the illustrations seem to be dependent on real wood for fuel. This is not in keeping with best practice in our environmentally aware society. There are attractive faux-wood gas heaters if required.

3. Perhaps there should be less emphasis on the use of the word 'hotel' which still has negative connotations for Rottnest. Resort? Retreat? Haven?

4. Unfortunately the online plans cannot be magnified, so it is impossible to read some of text associated with the drawings.

5. The 'heritage' water tanks should be adapted for some pragmatic use. For example an imaginative architectural conversion into unique accommodation.

Please provide any additional comments that you would like to make regarding the proposed hotel design.

I have some questions.

1. I understand that a low fence will be used to stop quokka entry. How will the animals be prevented from using pedestrian and vehicular access points? Furthermore the Pinctada extract claims there is a "ballooning quokka population." Can this be substantiated by up-to-date scientific evidence. I gained the impression from casual observations during visits this year that had been a decline of animals in several locations.

2. During the construction period will the builders be obliged to remove rubble back to the mainland? This includes concrete and bitumen materials which will be lifted from the old water catchment surface. I am aware that in the recent past the island authority has allowed dumping of a substantial quantity of demolition materials out of sight near the southern side of the airstrip. In my view this is an undesirable practice.

3. Will the general public be free to access any part of the grounds of the resort after completion, or is it to be maintained totally as an exclusive enclave?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

WA or too large?

Apathy-busting or too embiggening?

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Fine reporting from Nicole Cox at The Sunday Times on a dinghy being dumped off the beautiful island.

Two blokes were collected about 500m off Marjorie Bay late this morning.

At least they were there: this story earlier this week by ace reporter Geoffrey Thomas said locals were eschewing Rottnest for Asian destinations.

Rottnest has borne the brunt of the changing travel patterns and in the eight months to the end of February attracted 32,330 fewer people - a 13 per cent drop - than the 247,249 in the same period the previous year, Geoff reported.

But Rottnest Island Authority chief executive Paolo Amaranti said June visitor numbers were in line with previous years and last-minute bookings were up last month.

"The number of winter packages sold to date far outstrips those sold for the same period last year," Mr Amaranti said.

"Demand for RIA accommodation units continues to far outstrip supply during the peak summer period, with 4500 applications received for the summer ballot 2010 for a total of 1300 available units."

Friday, August 13, 2010

poor line

We loved this letter in last week's POST about idiot boxes on the beautiful island.

The correspondent, of course, wrote one of the great Rottnest books: respec'.

'Your report, “Tellies are off at Rotto” (POST, 24/7), outlined how Rottnest authorities were considering scrapping TVs.

'George Williams, a regular visitor to the island, summed up the feeling of many, saying "if I wanted to watch TV I'd stay at home".

'Mr Williams' comment brought back memories of an item in The West Australian of February 1967 which told of the poor telephone access to Rottnest after 5pm.

It concluded with the laconic footnote: "Many people visit Rottnest to escape telephones".'

Thursday, August 12, 2010

tee off

Rottnest Swim authorities are offering $500 or free entry to the epic event to the winner of a T-shirt competition.

The winning design will be on the 4500 garments produced for the swim and the artist will be in the race book.

Rottnest Channel Swim Association President Raymond Yong said a different long-sleeve shirt has been created for the event each year since 1994.

Only four colours can be used the design, it must be provided in high-resolution PDF or JPEG format, and the Association will own the copyright.

More design details are at

Entries to or PO Box 2004, Claremont WA 6010 by September 3.

The Swim is on February 26.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

trees please

There is still time to do good works on the beautiful island.

The Rottnest Society says there are still several places available for their tree planting weekend this weekend (August 13-15).

"If any of you would like to take up the places at such please contact me as soon as possible," Soc Prez Sue Folks says.

"It will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. The latest you could get there would be on the 7.30am ferry Saturday and the earliest you could return would be on the 2pm ferry."

Some of the fine print...

$20 person for accommodation on the Friday night (even if you do not arrive until Saturday morning). Payable to a Rottnest Society person once on the island...

Depending on the forecast closer to the weekend you will need to make sure you take wet weather gear, sturdy sneakers or shoes, hat, gardening gloves (they always have extras), long pants (better than shorts if the midgies are about), insect repellant, sunscreen, water and generally enough warm clothes...

Sunday, August 08, 2010

in a galaxy far, far away...

Uh-oh: someone call the Rottnest Island Authority.

A magnificent image created especially for Rotto Bloggo by outstanding blogging documenter of Fremantle, Love Freo.

A speeder would be handy for getting out to the West End...and a purple light sabre would be just the ticket for beheading and scaling herring at Pinky's.

May the Force be with you, on and off the beautiful island.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

rotto chopper ride

Barich? Subiaco? A church?

Read on - there is a mention of the beautiful island in this report from last week's POST...

Subiaco Primary School dad and Channel 7 personality Adrian Barich will host a cocktail party for the P&C on August 20.

The major fundraiser will be on Friday, August 20, at the Subiaco Church of Christ in Bagot Road.

Organisers Marina Hogan and Justine Oxley said the night would include fantastic food and wine donated by a variety of local businesses and eateries, great music, entertainment, a silent and a main auction, a raffle and much more.

"We've been really overwhelmed by the generosity of the Subiaco business community," Justine said.

Donated prizes include a pearl pendant and South-West getaways at Yelverton Lodge, Chandeliers on Abbey, Smith's Beach Resort and Loose Goose Farm Stay.

There will also be a helicopter ride to Rottnest, a VIP family pass to the Channel 7 Christmas Pageant, a signed pair of Danny Green's boxing gloves, Dockers and Eagles merchandise, a purple bra signed by Russell Crowe and a bedroom suite.

Restaurants Perugino and Third Avenue will provide the cocktail food for the party.

Tickets cost $45 and include a welcoming champagne cocktail, a selection of hot and cold food, music, entertainment, the opportunity to bid for auction items, door prizes and other spot prizes on the night.

Entertainment will feature renowned local improvisation comedians including Sam Longley from The Big Hoo Haa.

The organisers' 100% donation goal for the party has almost been achieved, apart from dressing up the venue.

"Perhaps there are one or two businesses out there that could help us with the costs of theme-ing the venue and in return get some inexpensive advertising and promotion," Justine said.

For more information on sponsoring and tickets, call Justine on 0411 257 691 or Marina on 0414 825 463.

Monday, August 02, 2010

big house


They were not very punny with their headlines at The West in 1919: here is a report from the paper on the beautiful island.

The third par is an epic by itself, too.

We are mildly confused and not as full bottle as we should be on the Rotto reformatory.

Perhaps our senior fellow bloggers - namely Fremantlebiz - can help us out.

Cabinet decided yesterday to establish a reformatory prison at
Rottnest for the accommodation of selected good conduct prisoners under the
indeterminate sentences system.

The establishment of the prison on the island is only temporary and the buildings to be erected are to be suitable for handing over subsequently to the Rottnest Board of Control.

In making the announcement yesterday, the Colonial Secretary (Mr. Broun) said that a reserve for a reformatory prison had been selected sometime back and
the idea of the Government in view of the necessity for the provision of
that institution was to make use of the reserve on Rottnest temporarily and
to erect buildings which could be readily convertible into bungalows and
handed over to the Board of Control should the necessity arise through any
decision to set the island apart exclusively as a tourists' reserve.

It was imperative that the work should be started at once as there were a number of good conduct prisoners, awaiting transfer to a reformatory prison under the indeterminate sentence system.

The men who would be sent to the prison on the island, would not be a menace to the public on the island or the tourists: they would be men of good moral character apart from the lapse which brought them within the grasp of the law and would not be men who had committed murder or offences against the person.

The erection of the necessary buildings would be carried out by the prisoners themselves under the direction of officers from the Public Works Department. This would be the most economical way of erecting them and would provide necessary work for the prisoners in connection with their training under the new Act.

Sunday, August 01, 2010


We wonder if Rottofest were fretting over the date of the election: we are sure there was a big sigh of relief when Julia went for August 21.

After you have voted and spent a week savouring Julia/Tony's success, pop over to the beautiful island for funk and funnies.

Last year sold out in two weeks, so you better get your skates on.

Merrick is emceeing Launch the Comedian, there will be screenings of short films and comedy skits...all on Rottnest!

"Due to holding an absolutely stellar closing party on the Sunday night, we highly recommend you use some of those accrued sick days / holidays and write off Monday the 30th and return that day," the organisers say.

The Scotch of Saint James will be there: "...imagine the groove of Supergrass, mixed with the dark beauty and tones of BRMC, surging with the stoner bliss of QOTSA, all smattered with the rock’n’roll dance ethic of Kasabian."

Saturday, July 31, 2010

code closed

The Minister has changed Rottnest Island Primary School into a campus of Beaconsfield Primary School. To reflect this change the Rottnest Island Primary School code in Schools Directory was closed for technical and operational reasons.

Amalgamation Rottnest Island PS & Beaconsfield PS
Closed in
Open in

Friday, July 30, 2010

mooring mope

A boatie is not happy with an experience they had last Sunday in Thomson Bay.

'landing fee - what a ripp off' is the attention-getting headline.

The intrepid sailors had problems with their designated mooring and decided not to stay at the beautiful island.

"We went to buy a 'subway' takeaway lunch for the trip back, and it was then we saw the RANGER already ON our yacht, he saw us trying to row back in the head wind, and he motored over and hassled us to move our yacht off the mooring IMMEDIATELY, and proceeded to ask us where wevwere, as he tried to call us 3 times (we informed him our mobile was on the yacht and he said I KNOW!)."

Goodness: read the whole story here.

Commenters do not seem to share the outrage.

This seems happier, but we do not understand it.

Monday, July 26, 2010

island beauty captured

More Rottnest art!

Ace reporter Linda Callaghan had this scoop in the POST.

We will be beetling down to Cambridge council post-haste.

Blow the budget and buy, buy, buy!

All hail Linda and other reporters who file reports about the beautiful island...

Glynis Morrison loves Rottnest Island, above the water and below.

Her endless fascination with the effects of light and shadow has led to her latest exhibition of oil paintings.

She is the fourth artist to exhibit at Cambridge council's Boulevard Centre, under the library at Floreat Forum, as part of a community arts program.

The collection is 60cm square oils on board.

"These paintings were inspired by annual visits to Rottnest," Ms Morrison said.

"Staying at Longreach or Geordie Bay, one is constantly aware of the huge vista of ocean beyond the little settlement of holiday villas."

Ms Morrison, who lives in Wembley Downs, said she had always painted, and completed her formal training in the early 1990s, as a mature-aged student at Claremont School of Art and Edith Cowan University.

She has previously shown work in Fremantle, Perth, Geraldton and at Chas Sturt University, New South Wales.

In 2002 Ms Morrison was first prize winner at the Broomehill Aquafest set up to promote Great Southern aquaculture.

The exhibition at Floreat runs until the end of August and the work is for sale.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


We have to go to Sydney on union business in a week or two.

Taxi, crammed into a seat on a plane, taxi, a functional hotel room, meetings - and then a taxi, flight, taxi.

Sydney has its attractions but there is not much time for seeing the sights or spotting ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS walking out of a backpackers hostel and going to their cash-in-hand cafe/restaurant job.

How different it would be if our confab was on the beautiful island: we saw this poster in West Perth on Friday afternoon.

The main options seem to be the Country Club, which has the Des Sullivan Room and the ground-floor Club Room.

Quanta costa? If you go the whole hog and get the platinum deal, it's $423 a head:

Platinum Package (2 night/3 day)
• Bus transfers from the jetty to the conference venue
• Off site lunch options at one of the Island’s restaurants to the value of $30 per day
• Bus travel to and from lunch venue
• 2 Island tours of your choice
• 2 Bedroom Unit – sleeps 1-2 people

We will suggest the next union love-in be held on Rottnest but we are not holding our breath.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

tellies off?

We apologise for the break in transmission.

Thank goodness for the POST, which is stuffed with news of the beautiful island...

ROTTNEST AUTHORITIES ARE considering scrapping televisions.

The advent of digital TV, which happens in Perth in June 2013, is behind the move.

Island holidaymakers are being asked to complete Rottnest Island Authority (RIA) questionnaires on whether there should be TVs in units and bungalows.

"As the analogue system is phased out, the RIA is reviewing its provision of televisions," the flyer says.

"In order to maintain the current service all existing televisions will need to be replaced with digital sets.

"External antennae may also need to be installed to ensure reliable reception."

Visitors are asked to choose yes or no to the statement 'Televisions should be provided to all RIA accommodation'.

The RIA would not answer questions about the survey, how much it would cost to switch to digital TVs or how many televisions are in its units.

Regular Rottnest sojourner George Williams said he welcomed the end of TVs on the island.

"If I wanted to watch TV I'd stay at home," the Mosman Park resident said. "Rottnest is a place for fishing, walking, talking to people - not staring at a screen."

Mr Williams denied watching MasterChef every night during a recent week-long stint in north Thomson Bay.

Monday, July 12, 2010

la hermosa isla

We are hoping Spain's World Cup triumph is a shot in the arm for Rottnest.

How so? The Spanish/English translation firm of choice is in Melbourne - and is called Rottnest Spanish Translations.

"We take pride in our professionalism, reliability and accuracy in every translation," says principal Glenda Lowry.

"We provide fast turnaround and meet the tightest deadline."

People who understand deadlines! Muy bien. That is what Rotto Bloggo likes to hear.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

to the lighthouse

We didn't see any members of the Ramsay family, but otherwise the trip up the Wadjemup lighthouse was amazing.

We saw the rope the keeper had to pull up every three hours to keep it turning, the curved cupboards, the lens and wondered where they kept the cocnut oil.

A bloke operated it until as late as 1990.

There are binoculars so you can have a good squizz from 80m up: we stared, agog, at a Collins submarine chugging past, cyclists and cloud shadows drifting across Narrow Neck.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

green island

No, not the delightful spot on the mainland side of the beautiful island - although we would not be surprised if some of this group made it out there.

Yet again this story is another in today's POST. How much Rottnest news can you fit into a 92-page paper?

ROTTNEST ISLAND WAS a sea of green this week as it became Kelly country.

Dozens from the extended family celebrated their 40th anniversary of getting together on the holiday paradise.

“There are 38 in-laws and out-laws here and we've been coming to Rottnest since 1970,” Brendon Kelly told the POST last weekend.

A family member even flew in from Washington DC for this year's nine-day sojourn, which also saw the celebration of two engagements.

The tradition began when Brendon's father Lou chose the island as his family's vacation destination.

“He was born in Bunbury, was a great fan of the coast and decided Rottnest was appropriate,” Brendon said.

The first idyllic holiday with wife Marie and five kids was spent in what was then called Cottage X in north Thomson Bay.

“He always preferred to stay in a north Thomson unit or villa – never a bungalow – so we always have,” Brendon said.

The Kellys usually holiday in May, although sometimes they cross Gage Roads in June or July.

Marie now has great-grandchildren: her youngest grandson aged six months was with her on the island this week.

“We used to bring our own televisions in the early days,” she said.

Marie has been an active worshipper at the Holy Rosary Catholic parish in Doubleview for 55 years.

“We painted the ceiling of the Rottnest church when it was first built, and polished the brass – before that we used to worship in the picture hall,” she said.

Brendon said organising the annual event was easy.

“The women prepare lots of food and the men handle the beer and fishing,” he said.

“Our favourite fishing spots are the basin, Pinky's and the Thomson Bay jetty.”

Marie's son Kieran he did not know why some people complained about Rottnest.

“How many kids have got off their training wheels here?” he asked.

The Kellys all wore emerald green T-shirts made for the anniversary.

“Please don't make us look like a cult,” a younger female Kelly pleaded.

The family came to WA from Ireland's west coast.

Friday, July 09, 2010

emergency landing

'Chopper in Rotto landing drama'

As you know, we were on the beautiful island all of last week - and saw (and heard) Collins submarines churning through the cerulean waters and noted planes and choppers zipping about.

So imagine our surprise/delight when we saw the POST this morning and saw the attention-getting headline above.

It all happens on (or over, or nearby) Rottnest.

A ROYAL AUSTRALIAN Navy helicopter made an emergency landing on Rottnest Island last week after the crew thought the machine was on fire.

The Seahawk chopper, from 816 Squadron in NSW, was part of a big training exercise around the island that finishes this week.

The four men on board the helicopter got a fright last Thursday morning when the fire indication light started flashing.

“The helicopter transmitted an urgency message which was subsequently proven to be a false alarm,” a Defence spokesman said.

“The helicopter landed at Rottnest Island airport as a precaution.

“Despite no indications of fire being found, the circumstances surrounding the precautionary landing will be fully investigated.”

The spokesman said there was no threat to holidaymakers from the landing.

“Navy personnel are well practised to conduct these emergency procedures
as part of their training,” the spokesman said.

The exercise – which does not have a code name – involves three RAN
Collins Class submarines, RAN Frigate HMAS Anzac, three RAN Seahawks from the Nowra-based 816 Squadron and a Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion.

“The exercise is being conducted to expose all participants to a variety
of challenging and complex anti-submarine warfare scenarios,” the spokesman said.

Photo courtesy Dept of Defence and sexy image of Seahawk is the copyright of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

help! kelp?

"Wind gusts won't reach the forecast peak of 90km until later tonight but Rottnest Island is being battered with 50km winds, gusting up to 59kmh."

So it goes on WA Today: we hope the island will still be there in the morning.

It would be much more restful - although not dryer - where this important boffin activity is happening.

An autonomous underwater vehicle is being used to examine a kelp forest on a reef near the beautiful island.

"A focus of the study will be on how kelp forests influence biodiversity and productivity by generating food for valuable resources such as fisheries," CSIRO research scientist Dr Mat Vanderklift said at

"Our observations will enable us to monitor and adapt to processes such as changes to major currents or climate change."

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


We were not surprised to see traces of Julia on the beautiful island last week.

As we ambled past the school we saw a sign...even Rottnest is being stimulated.

The official figures to date, from the website:

Total Projects: 3
Total Amount: $300,000.

Rotto kids are getting a covered outdoor learning area, a "refurbishment" (building plumbing, flyscreens, paving, windows, painting, flooring, court resurfacing) - and new walls!

Three Word Chant! We are turning the corner! Full Dinner Pail

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

back to reality

We have been back from the beautiful island for more than 48 hours but can only now blog about it - such has been the wrench back into reality.

Seven glorious nights in north Thomson and eight glorious days of fishing, reading, walking, Scrabble-playing, eating, drinking, cycling and touring.

Most of our images are not to hand: these show Mrs Rotto Bloggo greeting a curious creature and a spelling error made by an IGA shop as they parcelled up goodies for Rottnest delivery.

We would have blogged from the island but there were IT issues.

We bought $60 mobile broadband access but could not use it: once on Rotto Tesltra said the SIM card in our dongle was out-of-date, as it had not been used in six months.

"Look at your contract," the helpline wage slave advised.

We thought of trying our mobile card in the dongle but by then there were only two days to go, and the break from the screen had been restful.

We appreciated the T-Life store in Claremont refunding our money.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

one more sleep

If all goes according to our cunning plan, we will be soaking up the sun somewhere on the beautiful island tomorrow.

We can't confirm if we will gazing on a vista like this: Kitson Point Sets by Michelle Wardley could be yours for $146.

Maybe we will see Ramona at the bakery or heading back to the ferry after her night on Rottnest.

Perhaps we will see is so in since the leadership spill.

Wherever we will be, it will be a long way from the Emirates.

Friday, June 25, 2010

'Locals rort Rotto ballot'

This tremendous report in the POST: it has quotes, figures, emotion, juicy allegations and one-sentence paragraphs.

It is so good it is on the front page (er, actually page 28) and could well be the final word on the matter.

We like the data so much we will take it to the beautiful island and study it in depth over a G&T at the pub.

Contact Rotto Bloggo if you want the lowdown on your postcode luck.

A LABOR MP says western suburbs holidaymakers are rorting the Rottnest ballot system.

Regional development spokesperson Mark McGowan says there should be a quota system during island ballot time so more people from other areas get to holiday on Rottnest.

“Four or five members from a family apply during the Christmas and Easter ballots,” Mr McGowan said.

“It can result in unfairness.”

The Rockingham MP said figures given to him during recent estimates hearing in Parliament show an “overwhelming” rate of western suburbs people securing ballot accommodation.

“Many people from the outer suburbs and country apply as well,” Mr McGowan said.

“For example, 20 times as many people from Cottesloe went to Rottnest compared to my electorate – which is much bigger than Cottesloe.”

Mr McGowan suggested 25 per cent of Christmas and Easter accommodation be reserved for country people, and another chunk be set aside for those from out suburban areas.

“Those people help subsidise Rottnest as well,” he said.

But data from the last two Easter and Christmas periods show western suburbs holidaymakers have only a slighter luckier success rate than people from other areas.

In Easter this year there were 1702 applications: 767 were successful, a 45% success rate.

There were 448 applications from the nine western suburbs postcodes and 222 were successful: a 49.5% success rate.

Cottesloe and Peppermint Grove had more luck than most: a 53.8 success rate from 52 applications.

But South Perth people were luckier that Easter: a 77.2% success rate from their 44 applications.

Some of the unluckiest were those from the nine southern suburbs in the 6163 postcode: a 20.5% success rate from 34 applications.

Very few people from Rockingham applied for Easter or Christmas ballot accommodation in the last two years.

The area has a population of more than 15,000, but there were only seven applicants – with two successful – for island time in Easter this year.

In the 2008/09 summer 17 Rockingham people applied (and five were successful): in all there were 5573 applications for that period.

The Rottnest Island Authority said the ballot system was computerised and cannot be manually adjusted in any way.

“The RIA ballot process was independently reviewed by Stantons International earlier this year and concluded that the system provided a fair and secure randomised process for the allocation of balloted accommodation,” Authority CEO Paolo Amaranti said.

“Every applicant has an equal chance of securing accommodation through the ballot system.

“A higher proportion of allocations to people from a particular area is likely to reflect a higher proportion of applicants from that area.”

Mr Amaranti spruiked winter Rottnest deals, including one for $339 for two people for three nights.

He said there were still vacancies for next month's school holidays.

“Packages are inclusive of accommodation, bike hire and Bayseeker bus pass for the duration of the booking and are $185 per night for four people,” he said.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Allison and Jocelyn were given their marching orders from the beautiful island this week.

The plucky backpackers quote Seneca and Henry Miller on their blog and spent about a month on Rotto working at the Lodge before they were sacked.

"The low occupancy in the hotel was so low that there weren’t enough hours for all the waitresses. The managers needed to get rid of two waitresses, and because Allison and I were traveling together, it made it convenient for them to lay us of," they report on The Kangaroo Chronicles.

"Not only were we laid off, but we had to be off the island in 24 hours. Working as a backpacker can be cutthroat!"

They loved Rottnest so Rotto Bloggo thinks they're great.

They provided some insight into backpacker rooms, aka Donga City ("single rooms with paper thin walls all connected in a square shape, with an outdoor common area in the center of the dongas. We actually consider these housing units quite luxurious compared to some of the places we’ve stayed in Australia"), and also managed to pet a pooping quokka.

Rotto Bloggo wishes A & J happy travels and hope they got paid their entitlements.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

better battery

More scintillating news of the beautiful island from the POST...

Rottnest has won recognition for looking after a tall building.

Island people picked up a Heritage Council award for stabilising the battery observation post, even though the building is not on the state heritage list.

The post, at Signal Ridge, was built in the 1930s and was manned around the clock during World War Two.

Heritage manager Harriet Wyatt said the work took several months over winter last year.

“We had to battle some pretty harsh weather,” she said.

“There were site meetings in strong winds but we managed to stabilise and waterproof the building.”

Last week's rain tested the post but no water got in.

Ms Wyatt said Rottnest workers were committed to looking after buildings on the island.

“We don't pick and choose – just because something is not on the heritage register doesn't mean we won't care for it,” she said.

The work on the post cost more than $200,000.

Pic: Patsy Vizents, left, and Harriet Wyatt, of the Rottnest Island Authority, with Geof Mann (Myers Construction) and Kane Kelly (Safeway Contracting) by the restored Rottnest battery observation post. Photo Peter Baxendale.