The Governor with Trevor Walley, Rottnest Island
The Governor arriving to Rottnest Island and greeted by Trevor Walley.

The Governor and Ms Annus visit Rottnest Island

As part of his continuous promotion of Western Australia, the Governor visited ‘Wadjemup’ (meaning place across the water where the spirits are) also known as Rottnest Island on Tuesday 27th and Wednesday 28th October 2020. The Governor met with Rottnest Island Authority (RIA) staff and board members who briefed him on upgrades to the island, the challenges they are facing post COVID-19 and the exciting initiatives for the future.

Rottnest Express Ferry


Rottnest Express provided the best seat in the house as the Governor headed over to the island.

The Governor riding up front with Rottnest Express
The Governor riding up front with Rottnest Express

Welcome and traditional Aboriginal Sand Ceremony


On arrival, Trevor Walley greeted the Governor and Ms Annus along with Angie Davis – RIA Manager Marketing. Escorted down to the beach, Mr Walley performed a welcome and traditional Aboriginal sand ceremony with dreamtime stories about the cultural significance of Wadjemup to Noongar people.

The Governor with Ms Annus and Trevor Walley
Trevor Walley performing a sand ceremony and explaining about ‘Wadgimup’ Rottnest Island to the Governor with Ms Annus

Tour of Colonial building of Thomson Bay


The Governor and Ms Annus were hosted by the Rottnest Voluntary Guides Association and were taken for a leisurely stroll through the historical settlement to hear stories of those who lived and worked in these buildings.

The Governor meeting with Mr Ellis Griffiths and Mr Neil Young
The Governor meeting Mr Ellis Griffiths and Mr Neil Young for a tour of the historical settlement

The tour included the first and second Governor’s Residence, Lomas Cottage, Military Barracks and the Salt Store.

As part of the tour, the Governor was told of how Aboriginal prisoners constructed a large number of buildings and other structures including the Quod, Seawall, heritage cottages in the main settlement, the museum, churches,  lighthouses and other heritage listed infrastructure, mostly under the supervision of Superintendent Henry Vincent.

First and second Governor’s Residence, Rottnest Island
First Governor’s Residence, Rottnest Island

Most of the development took place in Thomson Bay, including the Quod which was constructed as prison accommodation for the Aboriginal prisoners.

Pinky’s Beach Club at Discovery Rottnest Island


The Governor sat down with the Rottnest Island Authority at Pinky’s Beach Club to discuss the Defence Heritage Implementation Plan and plans for future re-developments for the Island.

Oliver Hill Gun and Tunnel Tour


Arriving at Oliver Hill, the Governor and Ms Annus were given a tour by Mr Neil Young from the Rottnest Island Voluntary Guides of the restored World War II 9.2 inch guns which is a nationally significant defence heritage site.

H1 9.2 inch gun, Rottnest Island
H1 9.2 inch gun, Rottnest Island

Oliver Hill, named after a prison warder posted to Rottnest in the 1860’s, is home to a Battery which is believed to be the only remaining example of an underground complex of H1 guns in the world.

The Governor and Neil Young inside the firing room of the H1 9.2 inch gun, Rottnest Island
The Governor and Neil Young inside the firing room of the H1 9.2 inch gun, Rottnest Island

The tour also incorporated the maze of underground tunnels and military infrastructure at the Oliver Hill site.

The Governor looking at equipment used during WWI
The Governor examining equipment used during WWI

Cathedral Rocks


The Rottnest Island Authority then took the Governor and Ms Annus on a driving tour of the West End, Wadjemup Hill, City of York Bay and Cathedral Rocks.

New Zealand Fur Seal
New Zealand Fur Seal, Rottnest Island

The island is lucky to have a colony of New Zealand Fur Seals that lives at Cathedral Rocks. Throughout the year, fur seals live in colonies at particular haul-out sites (places where the animals leave the water).

Rottnest Island’s unique natural attractions, fun family activities, network of walk trails and amazing tours make it Western Australia’s premier island destination all year round.

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