Up relatively early today. Went outside and took some black and white pictures of the wonderful cottages which epitomise the accommodation which has been on the island for decades.
They are not flash but have everything you need. It is a very relaxing and an easy place to stay.
Before I headed out to the salt lakes I went north to see the lovely lighthouse. It’s not particularly special, it just looks nice. It looks well built and solid. The white walls contrast beautifully against the blue, blue sky. It never gets old for me, this classic shot.
Later in the morning, I ventured out, on the chariot, towards the salt lakes to photograph birds and habitats around there.
I found a small group of Pied Oystercatchers,
There are Bridled Terns and Welcome Swallows, zooming around so fast, I can’t photograph them. Some Welcome Swallows roost in our eaves in our accomodation here on Rottnest Island.
I also saw a Rock Parrot near the settlement.
There are also Ravens and Seagulls throughout the settled areas.
They are great scavengers and the seagulls, are ruthless. They ‘take no prisoners’.
A family of Mountain Ducks, and Fairy Terns.
For lunch we decided to go to Geordie’s. Cycled to the settlement and parked my bike in a rack near the general store. We caught the bus to the north side of the island to Geordie Bay. We ate lunch at Geordie Bay Cafe and Gallery. I shared fish and chips, and marinated Fremantle octopus.
Very yummy and the other dish was a sweet potato salad with grilled chicken – there were three eating!
Well here is a quirky, interesting and warm and friendly venue for eats, nostalgia, sculptures, prints, and art both new and old. The yard is filled with relics of the past and objects of great importance once – like a typesetting machine, an old till, a sculpture full of plastic from the sea. There is machinery so big, it makes one wonder how it was put where it was.
We usually book, in the winter, near the very efficient and comforting pot belly style firebox.
The whole place is interesting to look at and the staff are friendly, polite and well trained.
The food is reliable and tasty. We had the ‘carnivore’ this time and shared it for $23.90 Good value for two – plus a lovely pot of tea for two.
Once I was there when there was an Ella Fitzgerald fan, playing some of her music which was a wonderful sound to listen to during our meal.
Taylor’s has been there awhile and its owner and namesake Jude Taylor is renowned for her artwork depicting Western Australian wildflowers.
There are pictures, cards, clothes and other nick knacks laid out around the old house.
There are some wonderfully quirky things at Taylors, like the water tank around one of the tables, and the lovely door handle on the outside door where the toilets are.
Worth a visit if you are in the Swan Valley, and there is Whistler’s Chocolates next door. Also, the wineries for which the Swan Valley is famous, in Western Australia.
The life here is slow and peaceful. There are plenty of places to eat and a day trip really doesn’t cut it. You should stay for a few days and really enjoy the peace and quiet. You cannot drive cars or other vehicles here. The only vehicles here are those used for work or the bus transport – The Explorer – around the island. You can get a hop on and hop off bus pass which does a continual loop all day from 8:30am until the last route @ 3:00pm returning at 4:00pm. There is a Shuttle that goes to and from accommodation on the other side of the island and to the Airport, and Kingston Barracks. You can drive ‘gophers’ and segways on tours. However, most enjoy the bicycles available for hire. Or if you’re a local you can bring your own bike to the island. Bikes for hire come in a range of styles. Electric. Manual. All are solid well made bikes which can handle the use they get. It’s a very slick and easy system to hire your bike from #pedal&flipper.
There is a plethora of birdlife on the island and due to the 15,000 visitors who come each year, they are not flighty and can be observed or photographed easily.
Life on the island is wonderful, mostly. During the day when the ‘day trippers ‘ arrive there is a growth in the population and it is not all good. Some of the population is uneducated when it comes to a Class A Reserve. The animals here need to be left alone and observed. There is an on the spot fine of $150 fine for feeding the quokka. I would love to see that enforced.
There are a lot of different species of birds here and I will add some photos when I have taken them.
There is a ‘settlement’ with a bakery, pizza shop, subway and clothing. There are historic buildings, some built by prisoners held here and a museum housing the historic records of the island.
The #Rottnest_Bakery is renowned and is often the first place people go on arrival.
There are several eateries, like Dome, and the Rottnest Hotel or pub is affectionately called the #Quokka’s_Arms.
We ate at Rottnest Hotel yesterday and I had a pumpkin and beetroot salad with goat curd and pepitas. It really was lovely. There was a lot of spinach and rocket but the rest with quinoa on the pumpkin was very nice. Also a Lime and Soda – very refreshing.
One word of warning for those eating outside at the pub, Seagulls! They will go for your food at the most unexpected moments. It seems they love it when you look at your phone – they swoop and steal any food they can. Chips are a favourite. Also its a good idea to tell the wait staff when you are leaving, because the birds attack as you leave. We covered our leftovers with napkins and put a couple of glasses down on top – so they weren’t knocked over. Oops, left a glass standing up and it crashed to the ground when the birds arrived – we kept walking. There was nothing we could do.
My suggestion to management are buttons, blue tooth, battery operated – whatever – on the tables with corresponding numbered lights on a display board, where the staff are, and when you are leaving you push the button – light comes on – staff come to your table and collect plates etc to avoid bird breakages.
The local Pizza joint is Frankie’s on Rotto. Haven’t been there but it is well presented and looks spacious and inviting.
There are all sorts of choices, vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options at The Lane Cafe.
Another is Geordies Cafe and Art Gallery, I’m hoping we can go there for breakfast tomorrow. It is rated 3rd on Trip Advisor for restaurants on Rotto.
The weather has been great so far. Predicted rain today, it came and went very quickly. Yesterday was 21C and sunny. Gorgeous.
The Ferry ride over was with Rottnest Express – excellent – no dramas – 30mins. Amazing.
They deliver your luggage to your door too. We arrived before the cottages were available so went straight to the pub for lunch. I collected a very cool electric bike and rode down to the accommodation centre to collect the keys.
Once we had moved into our accommodation – we realised we were short two towels. So I jumped on my bike and rode back to get some. It is so quick with the ‘assisted’ control.
As I was about to return with towels in a bag, I moved the gear lever on my bike and the chain dropped off – it may have been on the way down but the pedal just went round and it had come adrift. So I slowly backed it back to release the chain. That did not happen so I parked, and fiddled and eventually released the stuck chain and refitted it onto the large front sprocket from whence it had come. But, as a result of my being so capable, my hands and fingers were covered in grease. So I returned to the accommodation centre (Rottnest Island Accommodation) and as I walked into the reception area I raised my hands, asking for tissues or something to use to wipe off the excess oil.
Out came the paper towels and later some hand sanitiser which cleans quite efficiently. The lovely staff at the RIA were brilliant. None thought it was strange that a woman my age would be replacing a chain on a bike.They must meet a lot of very capable women on this island.
Went for a few walks yesterday with camera in hand and found some amazing scenes of tranquility and feverish foraging.
Today was a ‘wild and woolly’ day. The sea was rough and the wind strong, blustery and constant. It made standing on the beach hard for taking photographs.
The breakfast was great. The outside section of the restaurant was closed today, and it looked like a terrible move financially. The manager/owner turned away about 8 potential tables while we were there, due to the space not being available.
The food was good, the service could have been a little better but on the whole all our needs were met. We chose this particular restaurant because it was in our Entertainment Book – which is a book of discounts. The choice was a good one.
The prices were good, and the food tasty. The triangular toastwas fun and a novelty. The hash browns were soft mashed almost potato inside long triangular wedges. Now, I love potato any way you want to cook it, but those hash browns were nice, but not what I call a hash brown or a potato rösti.
This is the hash brown. We shared between two THE Swell breakfast, below. Plenty each.
The venue was new, clean and attractive.
I ordered a black tea and this time, that’s what I got. I would say 80% of the time I get milk too. Now, I’m ok with drinking milk, on its own, but I don’t have it in my tea. It would be good if all places could ‘hear’ the order and bring what has been asked for the way Swell did today.
Took a drive to Umina Beach and Woy Woy and back today. The motorways are fast and efficient when not crowded, but the trucks can be very intimidating! And the engineering involved in creating the motorways, is awe inspiring.
Once I arrived in Umina Beach I went to visit my 93 year old Aunt, who is astounded that I bother to see her. As I assured her, a trip to Sydney must have a visit to her, or it would not be a trip to Sydney. I have a cousin of my mother’s who also turned 93 this year who lives in Sydney who will have a visit on Friday. So looking forward to seeing him too.
Today I have driven east to the coast and will meet up with my cousins for lunch. It is a beautiful day at the moment but by 1pm there are forecasts for thunderstorms- I hope they are wrong – make it 4pm – I’ll be safe at my digs by then.
I was early, as usual, so proceeded to the beach to see the surf at Freshwater Beach.
It really does look inviting. Lots of grommets out and about and older surfers. It is a moving tide of black rubber covered humans with long wet hair – in some cases -and a board under their arms. Not a bad way to spend your time.
Today we visited one of the first farming properties in Australia. In 1799 Joseph Foveaux was granted 980 acres which, in addition to other purchases, he sold to John Macarthur in 1801. John Macarthur enlarged this through additional purchases until it comprised around 2,000 acres. John and Elizabeth Macarthur farmed sheep on this property in addition to their properties at Camden and Parramatta. For much of the time that the Macarthur’s owned this farm John was overseas and it fell to Elizabeth to manage the various Macarthur properties and flocks.
The farm is being restored and maintained and it is used for a range of activities and community happenings.
We left our first home of three days and drove east towards the north shore.
Well now we are on the north shore of the city in a leafy suburb called Chatswood. It has huge numbers of retail outlets in the streets and in the malls. Westfield, Chatswood Chase and stores all around them. Eateries are everywhere. Very Asian influence around here with heavy emphasis on Korean. This morning we wandered down to #Crazy_Uncle_Frankie’s where we had a lovely breakfast between us with the addition of an orange juice, tea and coffee.
It was a birthday breakfast – did you see the candle?? We ate at Crazy Uncle Frankie’s 1/405-419 Victoria Ave, Chatswood. Terrific service and food. We were welcomed warmly and we ate at an outdoor table.
After breakfast we watched children chase bubbles on the expanse of green outside the Chatswood Library under the only tree in the vicinity, but a good one.
We then ventured off into retail land through the doors of the Westfield shopping complex.There are some great stores and some great décor.
After the walk through and a couple of useful purchases, we returned to our apartment and readied ourselves for a 20 min drive to see one of my cousins who is 93 and thoroughly warm and amazing man, who continues to live life to the full, working 3 days a week at the office of the firm, established by his father Edward (Ted) way back 1929 with his brother Hector (Bob). My cousin joined the Law firm with his brother in the 1950s.
Poached Eggs with bacon and hash browns. The presentation was magnificent. The attention to detail was marvellous. The Hash browns were the best I have had, and inside in the soft mashed potato, I happened upon mustard seeds’throughout the soft white deliciousness. The sprouts on the eggs were a nice touch, and the bacon was beautifully crispy. The meal wasn’t the hottest, in fact the eggs were a little cool, but the yolks were golden and the food was scrumptious. I really enjoyed the meal, completely.
The restaurant was not very full when we arrived at about 7:40am. It filled quickly and the sun shone through the large windows on the north side. The seating was good, right height for the tables and the noise was abated with clever wood and fabric around the large room. It was cosy in our area without being cramped. There were different height tables which added interest and the casual nature of the venue lends itself to a relaxed atmosphere. The staff were very good and attentive, but I did notice a pair beside us went and got their own menus.
Overall we had a terrific time and stayed almost two hours. A beautiful morning, great food, terrific service and a nice vibe. We will be back.
The Hardware Store is one of my favourite places to eat. I have not had an evening meal here but have covered most others several times.
The vibe here is contemporary and trendy. Not pretentious but fun. The water jugs are watering cans. The cutlery is housed in toolboxes, and the sauces in an old fruit box. The staff are young and friendly and do their job well. The food is delicious and brought quickly and with a flair for decoration. The fresh fruit juices are served in the currently fashionable jars with handles.
The building is part of a group of shops which has been in Brighton Road Scarborough for probably more than 50 years. This particular space was – along with the now Patisserie next door, a hardware store for all of that time before it became a cafe.
It was a terrific place with the owner, knowledgeable and with all the stock required. You could come to him with a nail, screw or piece of tubing and he would say – which tray it was in or take you to it. The doorway which has now been bricked up, took you through to the paint section. The original floor has been covered by aged wooden floorboards which rises up in a ramp at the doorway beside two walls covered with white tiles – the style (subway tiles).
The tables are too high, I always get sore shoulders writing here, and I like to write here. There are pallets on top of regular tables, with a sheet of glass on top. They look great, but they are too high. In between the wood panels of the pallet the menus are stored.
The choices are fresh and interesting. My favourite is the smashed avocado. Will see if I can get it for lunch today. Fingers crossed. But if that is not available the Zucchini and Sweet corn Fritters are beautiful – it’s the tomato salsa that makes that dish.
We had a full day today but in a good way. We went to the buffet breakfast and got our money’s worth. After breakfast we walked a few blocks to catch the bus to the Al Moana Shopping Centre. It’s hot here – 27-32 degrees due to the hurricane in the north east and this is creating “Vog” – not sure what it is but it comes from the Big Island and sweeps west. It looks like thick cloud or fog. But I dont know why it is Vog yet. Have investigated but not answer yet.
Took a few pics today around the hotel and found a few patterns in the buildings.
We went to the Al Moana Shopping Centre – and found a huge range of shops and label shops. Beautiful stuff.
Then it was lunch in the food hall and a bus back to our hotel. Sleeps in the afternoon overrode the need for a swim. Its Monday – Labour Day and the hotel is not full but there are a large number of guests. About one third of them will leave tomorrow so I expect the pool will be less crowded. We are visiting the Pearl Harbour memorial park tomorrow.
Saw the site of where the boat left from in the Gilligan’s Island series.
Beginning to unwind more now. The jet lag is subsiding and I am getting used to the heat. Didn’t bring enough T-shirts – oh, dear, I may have to buy a couple of tops – such a shame. hahaha. Not a bad place to visit, Hawaii. Mohala for reading my blog. Feel free to comment.