Wrote this back in January with the best intentions of finding the photo, inserting, posting. Now it’s March….
It has been more than four years since we last visited WA’s favourite holiday island, Rottnest. The main reason for this is my tendency towards extreme sea-sickness.
Our daytrip just over a week ago was something that would have fit my friend Hazel’s criteria for a debacle.
First up, we missed the ferry. Not intentionally, of course. Even seeing it leaving Northport as we pulled into the carpark did not ring alarm bells. I was convinced we were booked on the Saturday 10.30am boat and that we had half an hour to spare. In fact, we were booked on the 10am, due to arrive at Rotto at 10.30am. Oh well, no cream buns from the bakery.
I booked the tickets online at Rottnest Express taking advantage of the summer deal of a family of four for $130. The night before leaving I printed out the details and popped them in my bag. But when I got to the express counter it was nowhere to be found, having fallen out in the boot of the car on the drive to Freo.
Either way the booking was located and a ticket printed for the next boat, an 11.30am ferry from C-shed. The helpful staff said they would make an announcement at 10.30am and drive us around on their shuttle.
Just after 10.30 they made the announcement especially for us, since we were, they were fairly certain, the only bozos (my words not theirs) to have missed the boat.
We all had a laugh, walked over the shuttle, only to discover it had gone without us! Thankfully they radio-ed and sent it back to get us.
So, we made it to Rotto in time for lunch and with healthy appetites, headed for the revamped Hotel Rottnest (formerly the Quokka Arms), having been unable to work out where the fish and chip shop was located in the main Thomson Bay area (there was one years ago near an amusement arcade or maybe I am just going mad and confusing it with Geordie Bay?).
The hotel revamp is as good as we had read about – it’s like a smart inner city pub, located right opposite sparkling blue waters.
There’s a big bar inside where you order food and drinks, plus a bar outside catering to the drinkers and people who want to laze around on the astroturf soaking up the sun and views.
Actually, I think you’d get a view of the boats and bay no matter where you sat.
The service was efficient and fast considering it was a Saturday lunchtime. Menus were located on some but not all tables and seafood featured heavily – fish and chips, crayfish and an ice bucket of prawns. Served with fresh bread and seafood sauce for about $32 it seemed to be very popular.
Wait staff were smartly dressed in black shirts and shoes and managed to find the tables (you get a number from the bar when you order) to deliver food and cutlery with ease. In fact one waitress came back with a fourth set of cutlery for us without us needing to ask (we had ordered three meals between four of us) – a rarity! It was such a pleasant change to see smiling and helpful wait staff with no attitude or surliness.
Anyways in keeping with my obsession with taking food photos, here’s a pic of the main serve of fish and chips.
fish and chips, Hotel Rottnest, Jan 2009
After lunch we loaded up on supplies from the bakery (now featuring a gelati bar) and walked to The Basin for a dip, spotting surprisingly few quokkas along the way.
A plesant afternoon was followed by a rough trip back, during which the air-conditioning did not seem to be working quite as well as it should have (they did say they were having some issues and I don’t know if they resolved them – my sweat could have been caused by heat or nausea).
And like all trips to Rottnest seem to end for me, I managed to lose my stomach contents between C-shed and Northport and again after we disembarked.
So, I guess if we ever go back, I’ll need something other than Travacalm, Rescue Remedy and the Vicks stuff I was sniffing and sucking on 😦
Pictures are all to the right in my Flickr photostream.