Fan Girl Friday – Rottnest Island with Rachael Johns

the lighthouse

the lighthouse

So, when the fabulous Paula asked if I wanted to appear on her new segment FAN GIRL FRIDAY I immediately replied with an enthusiastic “yes”, but then I looked around wildly for something to write about. Over the next few weeks, a few obvious things came up – Diet Coke (almost everyone knows about my love of the stuff), Trolls (I used to collect them in high school and am still rather fond), cats (love them) and KONGA (a crazy exercise thing I do once a week that no one seems to have heard of in other parts of Oz). In the end, I’ve decided to go with ROTTNEST ISLAND – a place I consider one of the best holiday spots on the planet.

one of the many cheeky quokkas on the island

one of the many cheeky quokkas on the island

Rottnest is a small island off the coast of Western Australia, just 19 kilometres from Fremantle (which incidentally happens to be where RWAus’s next conference is happening). I haven’t been to Rottnest nearly as many times as I like but the times I have been there have all left me with fond-memories.

I went there as a child with my Mum and grandparents, had the most awesome ever year seven camp, went back for a day just after I was married and then took my kids there for a week a couple of years back. There are so many awesome things about Rottnest:

  1. The transport on the island (bar a few service vehicles) is solely bicycles. You can bring your own on the ferry or hire a huge variety of different types once you get to the island. With all the walking and riding you do, you can enjoy holiday goodies guilt-free.
  2. my kids playing out the front of the Rottnest Pub one evening
  3. Quokkas – all over the island you’ll find these gorgeous little marsupials called quokkas. My sons were besotted by them, even after one of them got bitten on the finger.
  4. my kids playing out the front of the Rottnest Pub one evening

    my kids playing out the front of the Rottnest Pub one evening

    Food – you can cook for yourself in the chalets or camping grounds, but there are a zillion (well almost) other choices, most of them kid-friendly. There’s a delicious bakery that also sells yummy ice cream and the pub has a fabulous outside area for kids to run around.

  5. Safety – if you ignore the fact a head was recently found there, Rottnest has that awesome safe feeling that makes you feel as if kids can roam the island and not come into harm.
  6. Beaches/Swimming – The Basin area to swim at is one of the most magical swimming spots I have every encountered.Lighthouse – what island would be complete without a lighthouse? Rottnest’s is gorgeous and not too hard to get to by bike or foot.
  7. Family Fun – there’s a fun park with mini golf, trampolines and other stuff, as well as a movie hall that shows family favourites in the busy holiday seasons.

Honestly, whether you’re five or a hundred and five, Rottnest has something to offer for everyone. I’m feeling relaxed and happy just thinking about it now.

But I’m curious… what’s your favourite holiday spot and why?

Man Drought bookpageStandInStar bookpageRachael has two brand-spanking new books out this month: Man Drought (Harlequin Australia and currently only available in Aus/NZ territories) and Stand-In Star (Carina Press).  Visit Rachael via her website, blog, Twitter and Facebook.

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8 comments on “Fan Girl Friday – Rottnest Island with Rachael Johns

  1. Thanks for guesting on my blog, Rach! I’ve only ever been to Rottnest once with my family, and it was such a gorgeous island. I remember biking around it and squealing with delight at the quokkas 🙂

    As to my favorite holiday spot? Any place that has room service and a pool is fine by me 😀 But for sheer awesomeness, you just can’t beat Europe – Santorini, Innsbruck, Madrid and Paris were all unique and breathtaking. I also loved the US – Las Vegas rocked! Also been to Bali a few times and it would be great to go back to Ubud and relax for a week with cocktails and massages…

  2. Hi Rach and Paula. Haven’t ever been to Rottnest but I should remedy that some time. It sounds gorgeous! Favourite holiday spot. Hmmm, in impecunious times it’s camping somewhere on the Darling River. It’s so iconically Australian and conjures Tom Roberts and Arthur Streeton to mind. When the bank balance is healthier, then Paris. I just love it 🙂

  3. Hi Rachael and Paula. I love Rottnest. First visited in my teens and then again with the kids a few years ago. Loved it both times particularly that you have to walk and cycle everywhere. My favourite place…hmmm…I do love Europe. My dream is to up sticks and live over there for a while. Would love the kids to learn another language.

  4. HI Rachael & Paula,
    Would you believe that in all my *9 years I’ve surf-catted from Hilaries, around Rotto and back to the mainland (accompanied for MUCH to long by a grey nurse that overhung our 16′ cat at both ends – I truly know the feeling of “We need a bigger boat”). Fished off the island I don’t know how many times but I’ve NEVER set foot on it – shameful hey? As to my favourite holiday spot I would have to say Louisiana, especially the French Quarter, although I agree with you Paula – Vegas ROCKS! And Bali is special too. Dammit! I have too many faves LOL

  5. Paula – the quokkas are so deliciously cute!! I have to restrain myself from stealing one for a pet 🙂

    Lou – you’ll have to remedy not going to Rottnest later this year, before or after the RWA conf! I’ve never been to the Darling River, so will add that to my must-see list!

    Oh Jen – I totally share your dream!!! Would love to widen the kids’ global experiences.

    Natasha – that is TERRIBLE. How could you be SO close and not have a squiz!

  6. I haven’t been to Rottnest in 37 years. I loved it, but boats and I don’t mix. My fav spot is Margaret River. Love visiting the wineries, the great food, the scenery, the beach…everything. I’d retire down there 🙂

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