Consider yourself a regular David Attenborough? Perhaps you just really, really love the thrill of meeting weird, wonderful, and downright cute animals? Well, then visiting The South West Edge should be high on your bucket list. From taking a dip at an island full of the world’s smallest penguins to getting down on all fours to greet the smiling quokkas, the region has an abundance of incredible animal encounters for the animal lover.
Snap a Quokka Selfie
With their chubby cheeks and friendly smiles, quokkas are arguably WA’s cutest little critters. Rottnest Island (Wadjemup) – a scrubby island just 25-minutes by ferry from Fremantle – is home to the largest known population of quokkas. There’s somewhere between 10,000-12,000 of them bounding around the 19km2 island at any one time, so you don’t need to do much to encounter one. Simply sit down for lunch at Hotel Rottnest and watch them hop about beneath the tables (please, don’t share your pizza with them), or head into the town centre where they’re almost always happily lazing about under the trees. If your quokka seems content enough, you can even join the likes of Chris Hemsworth, Rafael Nadal, and Margot Robbie, and snap yourself a famous ‘quokka selfie’.
Watch the Whales
It’s possible to whale watch almost anywhere along The South West Edge, right the way from Perth to Esperance. If you’re more comfortable watching them from land, take a seat in front of the Bathurst Lighthouse on Rottnest Island. You can watch the humpbacks frolicking in the water between the island and the mainland from the slightly elevated vantage point. Further south, you can head to the purpose-built whale watching platform at Point Ann in the Fitzgerald River National Park.
For those with an affinity for the sea, you can jump aboard a whale-watching boat in Esperance, Busselton, or Albany and cruise along to find the humpbacks and southern right whales. If it’s an orca you want to see, you’ll have to head to Bremer Bay. The Bremer Canyon along the continental shelf is the only place you can glimpse the feeding black and white beauties in WA.