We arrived in Perth to a welcome of rain and the comfort of my sister and brother in laws home in Cottesloe – it rained all night and we were really glad to be in bed with a solid roof over our heads. The children were ecstatic to see their cousins and went to bed very late amongst much giggles and fun.
The next day we woke early, loaded the 9 bicycles and a trailer bike into our cars plus the four adults and six children – being our family and my sisters family of five. We decided to catch the 930am ferry across to Rott Nest Island to make the most of our overnight stay. On the ferry we were most impressed with the distance that Anna, Tim and their team had swum in the Fremantle to Rott Nest swim. It is a long way to swim in the ocean and they did well to get as far as they did in swell and poor conditions. Luckily for us the ferry ride was smooth despite the rain and nobody got sea sick.
Once on the island we sorted the bikes and slowly rode around the east side of island and enjoyed the water views and lunch at a café. Aaron Holly and Bianca were excited to have their first quokka encounter. They are very tame sweet looking little mammals which happily let the children pat them although I suspect they are looking for food. The cousins were less enchanted with the quokkas as they have an annual family holiday to Rott Nest.
In the afternoon we checked into our accommodation at the ‘governor’s quarters’ which we all thought sounded rather impressive…when we arrived the house of bunks was not quite up to our expectations – clean but basic. The kids loved it.
We went for a swim on the beach just a sand dune away from our house and the water was warm despite being a little cool and overcast.
We went out for dinner and back to the house. It was time for bed. There was a boys bunk room and a girls bunk room but the two adult couples drew straws for the room with mattresses on the floor or the lounge with mattresses on the floor. Andrew and I got the lounge room and as we closed our eyes I said to Andrew I was a little worried about being at floor level. My worst fears were realized when I awoke to little mice munching sounds from the kitchen. Luckily only for one night.
We all packed and headed out early on the bikes wearing our rain coats. We planned a large loop around the south west side of the Island but cut it short as we were riding in light intermittent showers that developed into full on rain.
The kids were all great and showed real spirit finishing the ride with the promise of hot chocolate and cooked breakfast before the ferry ride home.
After breakfast we went to the museum and Rott Nest is a beautiful Island holiday destination now however it has a sad history of convict and aboriginal incarceration that resulted in poor treatment of many indigenous Australians as well as other poor convicts. The convicts were used to build much of the old infrastructure buildings and roads on the island.
Back in Perth we did some local sight seeing and the highlight was the Perth Mint. Australia has three mints which have made the coins and other currency used across the nation – these are located at Perth, Melbourne and Canberra. We were really impressed with the Perth Mint and would recommend it for a visit with a 1 tonne 99.99% pure gold Kangaroo coin on display – the BIGGEST coin in the world currently worth approx. $56M AUD although legal tender value of $1M. – No photos allowed (see post cards) the coin was made as a bit of a competition with a Canadian Mint that tried to make a big gold coin and had it crack in the final stage of production. The Mint had some other fun and interesting sights including a operational old fashioned gold smelter which they used demon straight pouring a gold bar. The kids also loved attempting to lift a gold bar and a scale which measured their weight in gold! Aaron was worth $1.69M at todays gold price – I was worth over $4M but I would be far happier if I was worth a lot little less.
Here are postcards of the worlds biggest gold coin 1 Tonne and a big gold nugget that is on display.
We visited Freemantle and the ‘Little Creatures Brewery’ for lunch and the Round house at Freemantle where criminals and convicts were held in the late 1800s. We also saw a statue of the rock and roll legend Bon Scott from AC/DC the legendary Australian Rock and Roll band – it turns out he migrated from Scotland to Australia as a teenager before finding fame as a rock and roll star.
The sunshine started to break through just in time to get all our washing done, buy some last minute items, pack the car and head onto the next part of our adventure. The children were all sad to say goodbye to their cousins until next time.