Stand anywhere along Perth’s turquoise coast, look west and you’ll see the shimmering silhouette of Rottnest Island on the horizon. Home to 20 bays, 63 secluded beaches and an endemic population of probably the friendliest marsupials in Australia, Perth’s car-free getaway has been put firmly on the map by a man with an uncanny ability to corral quokkas.
If you’ve never heard of the quokka, or their island paradise off the coast of Perth, then here’s the ultimate lowdown in ten little known facts – compiled with animal whisperer, adventurer and the official Quokka Dundee himself Allan Dixon.
The quokka is a marsupial that has been labelled the happiest animal in theworld.
“I think Rottnest has by far the best beaches in the whole of Australia. I’m serious! There are too many to count, like paradise postcards and if you cycle out of the settlement you can have them all to yourself.
Quokkas are the main reason I keep going back to the island. At least thirty times now and they’ll always put a smile on your face.
It’s hard to describe the feeling of seeing a quokka in person. You’re awestruck because your brain cannot comprehend that such an animal exists. Too cute to be real, but they’re real!”
Steadily adding to the already established scene, each of Perth's leafy urban precincts offers varying proportions of contemporary restaurants, gastropubs, cafes, cool bars in heritage buildings and old theatres. Some even have dedicated festivals and pop-up farmers’ markets.