Western Australia’s Rottnest Island Is The Best Place To Get Your Quokka Selfie
East Coast Aussies are luckier than West Coasters in some regards – touring music festivals, a “normal” time-zone, and it’s easy for them to fly to other states (as theirs don’t take up almost half the country, like Western Australia). But East Coasters are severely lacking in one truly adorable thing: quokkas.
Quokkas are seriously adorable marsupials. Their small arms, chunky mid-sections and long tails make them look like tiny kangaroos and they seem to always be smiling. Hence, people went wild taking pictures with them, and hence, the “quokka selfie” phenomenon was born.
Look how bloody cute they are!
Quokkas are native to Western Australia and only a small collection live on the mainland at the nature reserve at Two Peoples Bay. Your best bet would be to hook it over to Rottnest Island near Perth, or Bald Island further south (though Rottnest is more accessible).
As they’re marsupials, quokkas like to spend most of their days sleeping, eating and resting in shady spots (don’t we all), so look for them in areas of dense vegetation.
It’s important to note it’s actually illegal to touch quokkas due to their “vulnerable” status on the IUCN Red List of endangered species. While touching and cuddling is a huge no-no, they are mighty friendly, so getting close enough to take a selfie shouldn’t be too difficult, just be careful not to touch.
Fun side note: When Dutch settlers first arrived on Australia‘s west coast, they assumed quokkas were just wild cats. A couple of years later in 1696, the Dutch sea captain Willem de Valmingh assumed they were actually giant rats and consequently named the island he spotted them on “Rotte Nest”, which translates to “rat nest”.
Check out the guide to the best of Perth while you’re nearby.