Rottnest

Named after what Dutch sailors thought were giant jumping rats, Rottnest is a small island 12 miles off the coast of Perth. Once a prison colony for Aborigines, filled with scrub, smeared with salt lakes, and is supposed to be a kind of worker’s Club Med but ends up being Peasantland for the elite. Aside from that it’s tops.Everything about the island is designed to make you focus on the the edge just as the void in the centre of a donut makes you appreciate the golden fried lightly dusted with sugar doughy ring that little bit more. The edges are made up of small bays filled with rocks and reefs rewarding anyone with flippers and goggles. I bought mine and could have snagged a couple of crayfish had they not been unaccessible physically (wedged under ledges) and legally (in craypots). All in all the beaches are stunning, especially with high 30C weather, all I could really want for was a bastard big boat just moored off the bay.

The food is standard restaurant coastal with no local specialties. With the cutesy factor of koala, combined with the unpleasant factor of a large rat, I can’t see anybody doing anything with the quokkas. I was pretty happy to see a scallop fried with the roe included and the wedding dinner was as good as I’ve had anywhere. Also notable was a sparkling shiraz a friend of mine brought, as tasty as it was poorly named- Rumball – in close running with Swagman’s Kiss.