Sunday, November 2, 2008

Rottnest Island Horse-drawn Tram

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away there was an island that was full of rats.
No, seriously the native quokkas were mistaken for rats (easy error, made the boo-boo myself a few times as they were rooting around in my wardrobe) and the Dutch called it Rottnest Island.

The hoi polloi were attracted to sea travel, the bracing sea air and watching the queer rats quokkas gambol and romp about the lump of sand just off the Westralia coast.
Now, despite it being a prison, tourists were popping over to Rottnest Island at an alarming rate in private boats from the early 1900's until some clever clogs worked out how to make it pay for them and thus began the ferry services in 1902.

Shortly after this tram tracks were gracefully plonked in the sand with a horse-drawn tram collecting the tourists and transporting them to other parts of the isle.
You can see a picture HERE of the horse-tram to prove I'm not making this up, or had wild dreams from eating gherkins after 10pm.

Sadly the motor vehicle invention replaced the sedate horse-trams in 1925, with most of the original track being recycled at the Perth Zoo.
But they did leave a few little sections which you can hunt out next time you pop over to watch the rats quokkas playing by the seaside.


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