Photography obsessed writer and urban explorer. Lover of nature, art and long weekends. Adelaide, South Australia.
Get a #QuokkaSelfie
It's Australia's most photogenic marsupial and named "the happiest animal in the world" - it's the cute as a button Quokka! And to celebrate this adorable little animal, the Western Australian government is giving the iconic Quokka its very own birthday party and you're all invited!
Birthday celebration events will happen on the weekend of 13th to the 15th of September. Baby Quokkas are born between February and April and begin to leave the pouch in spring. Joeys stay close to the mothers for a couple of months, so September is a great time of year to see the little ones as they start to explore the world around them.
Ferry fares and Island admission will be free for children under the age of 12 and adults can buy a return trip ticket for just $50 per person. For those who wish to escape the city and stay on the island for the weekend, there are some accommodation bargains on offer too - I'd say that you would need to be very quick to snap up one of them!
The Quokka's fame began relatively recently. It was in December 2017 when tennis star Roger Federer snapped a selfie with a Quokka when he was in Perth for the Hopman Cup. A half a billion people read his post about his visit to Rottnest Island and since then, the tourists have been flocking to the Island. It's been dubbed "the Federer Factor". Google searches increased by more than 400% and in 2018 the island had a record 660,000 visitors - most of whom travel to the island to grab their very own #quokkaselfie
The weekend will be packed full of fun and free activities which will include walking tours, a quokka detective scavenger hunt, movie screening and tips from the experts on how to take the perfect Quokka selfie.
The Quokka is the only native mammal on Rottnest Island and is found just about everywhere - particularly in the village where tourists eat and socialise. There are approximately 12,000 of them on Rottnest. While mostly nocturnal, the little animal can be seen in great numbers throughout the day, all year round. They're pretty cute and are very curious. They'll approach you if you sit still on the ground and they'll try and jump into your bag if you leave it lying around. They will most definitely steal your food, so zip your bags shut and carry hand sanitiser. It's important to note that while on the island, visitors are asked to refrain from feeding or touching the Quokka.
Because of habitat destruction due to development and the threat of predators and bushfires, the Quokka is now listed as Vulnerable to Extinction on the IUCN (2014) Red List of Threatened Species and is a protected animal under the Rottnest Island Authority Act 1987.
Rottnest Island (known as Wadjemup to the local Noongar people and locally known as Rotto) is located 18 kilometres off the Western Australian coast. It's a popular holiday destination with daily ferry services from Perth and Fremantle. The island has a permanent population of approximately 300 people.