The Sunday Post (Inverness)

Go Down Under to

- By Murray Scougall

I arrived in Australia I’d been told many times I would never see anywhere else like it. And, in only my second day, standing on a secluded and rugged bay overlookin­g the shimmering blue water of the Indian Ocean, I couldn’t help but agree.

We were on Rottnest Island, a truly unique beauty spot just a half-hour ferry ride off the coast of Fremantle in Western Australia. Artefacts found on the island date back tens of thousands of years, making it of special significan­ce to Aboriginal communitie­s. Today, it is a holiday paradise offering world-class beaches, walking and cycling trails, water activities and alfresco dining.

We spent a sun-kissed Sunday afternoon here, but it could easily have been a longer visit. We made the most of the time we had by taking a bus tour round the car-free island, every turn in the road revealing another incredible vista.

As beautiful as it is, there is something even more special about Rottnest Island. It comes in the form of the adorable quokka, a cat-sized marsupial with kangaroo-like limbs and one of the cutest faces you’re ever likely to stumble across.

And with around 10,000 of these little guys running around Rottnest, stumble across them you will.

It’s hard to avoid getting up close to the pint-sized roos and the wee posers have been known to appear in a selfie or two. Back on the mainland, Fremantle must be one of the most laid-back cities in the world. Even its truncated name, Freo, sounds suitably chilled.

It was the perfect place to relax and recharge, fuelling up on sourdough toast and vegemite in one of the many bustling eateries or taking a walk along the beautiful Bathers Beach.

The compact city centre, a mix of nostalgic and bohemian, is a delightful mish-mash of architectu­re housing all manner of independen­t shops and bars. But the focal point of the city is the Fishing Boat Harbour.

It’s Australia’s largest small boat harbour, built in 1919 and still base to a wide range of commercial fishing vessels. It is also home to dozens of restaurant­s and pubs, including the popular Little Creatures Brewery, as well as a museum and numerous sculptures by the renowned Greg James which represent and celebrate the city’s fishing heritage.

There is one particular Greg James statue that, as music fans from Scotland, we were most interested to see. The sculpture of Bon Scott, the late AC/DC singer from Kirriemuir who emigrated to Fremantle at a young age, captures him in his

 ??  ??
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom