mardi 21 février 2012

Rottnest Island excursion


12/02/12 : Rottnest Island

On Sunday I booked a trip to go visit Rottnest Island.

I went with some friends I had made at the backpackers we were staying at.
It is a small Island not far off the coast from Perth. 
Rottnest Island is a nature reserve, a region of natural beauty and wonder with unspoilt beaches, spectacular flora and abundant marine life and wildlife.
Public vehicles are not permitted on the Island, therefore, the only real way to explore the island is on bike.
I hadn’t ridden a bike for about 2 years, so was a bit worried I wouldn’t manage to cycle, or that I would fall off and make a fool of myself, or not keep up with the guys, but it actually all went well !
The tour we did by bike
The ferry trip to Rottnest is about 45 minutes. The ferry was a fast one. Really fast ! The sea was a bit rough going over, and the ferry would literally ‘take-off’ when it hit a wave !
The island was magnificent.
White sandy beaches and creeks. I had never seen a sea with so many different tints of blue!
The views were breath-taking.
After having cycled for a while, we stopped to have a break on a beach and go snorkelling. It was so nice to cool off in the water. Plus snorkelling was really fun !
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After our break we headed off to explore the centre off the island.
This is where we met the Quokkas.
Quokkas are funny little animals. Rottnest Island is the only place in Australia where they live.
They look like a cross between a rat and a kangaroo !
They are also rather tame. 
With one of the guys we stopped on the side of the road to wait for the others, and suddenly these littles quokkas came out of the bush !! They came right up to us and let us pet them. So cute !
After a while we said goodbye to the Quokkas and headed back to the ferry.
Funny 'no quokkas' sign on a shop door
We also got to met these enormous spiders! There were loads of them in the bushes on the island!

It was a great outing. A bit of fresh air and change of scenery from the city life we had been living for the last week.

Can't wait to see more beautiful places like this!
PS: loads of these photos I nicked from the guys! ;)


Le carnet de voyage (en français)
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lundi 20 février 2012

Australien trip : Perth

05/02/12 : Perth Airport

At Perth airport it was a bit chaotic.
About 5 flights arrived at the same time (1AM), so the queues for collecting luggage and getting through customs were monstrous.

After a long wait we were though immigration and back with our big bags in the airport .
I was however surprised that they didn’t check our luggage (I thought that in Australia they opened everyone’s bags or let dogs sniff them).

Finally we had arrived.
We were in Australia. Our epic trip had truly begun.
The weather was beautiful, the sun shining, really warm (then in the afternoon it got really hot !!)
We had loads of time ahead of us. It was about 2.30am and the bus from the airport to the city wasn’t until 6.20am.

Somehow we missed the bus, and had to wait another hour for the next one.

When we arrived at the backpacker hostel I had booked, we couldn’t get our room straight away (check in wasn’t unti 2pm).

They kept our bags and we went to discover Perth.
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Discovering Perth and getting things sorted out

We settled down at the Coolibah Backpackers Hostel. It was a great choice. Right in the middle of Northbridge, only a short walk from the centre of Perth. It was really clean too (I had been warned that many backpacker hostels were real dumps).
We only stayed a week, but met so many nice people. I will definitely stay there again if ever I come back to Perth.

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The first couple of days we spent in Perth were mainly getting paperwork done. Getting a phone, opening bank accounts, getting a tax number…
Not very exciting, but it did give us a chance to discover the city though.

Perth, situated on the Swan River, is a rather small calm contemporary city.
Not too many big sky scrappers, not too much traffic, lots of parks, nice shopping centres, sandy beaches…
Everywhere in the city is so clean; no dog poop on the pavements, no litter… a real difference compared to Morrocco!
Made out of plastic baskets!

We also had a wander around Kings Park. We had to climb up 242 steps; but it was worth it. The view over Perth was magnificent.

We also arrived in time to see the festival of Perth!
One awesome performance we watched was the 'Place des Anges' (in fact french performers). They were dressed like angles and thought feathers from the sky!
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Everything is also very expensive over here in Australia, it’s around 3$ for a can of coke. Alcohol and cigarettes are way out of price.

During that frantic week, we did find some free time to relax on a beautiful sandy beach at Cottesloe (a few train stops away from the center of Perth). The water here is so clear and bright blue.

See ya!!! (as we say in ozzie) ;)



Le carnet de voyage (en français)
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