Quokka Smiles

Quokka (Face to Face with the World’s Happiest Animal)

The world’s happiest animal?

Hit google, and the results would most likely be quokkas. To know why they are the happiest animal, you have to meet with one!

Quokka and Naomi Meet
Face to face with a quokka

And the good news?  You can get real close, and meet them face to face on Rottnest Island in Western Australia.

Rottnest Island
Rottnest Island – Just off the coast from Perth

Quokka Pronunciation

How to pronounce quokka?


When we found out about quokkas from a friend, we decided to bring our kids to Australia during their term break last June. It was definitely the highlight of our trip.

But first, what’s a quokka? It is an animal unique to Australia , just like kangaroos and koalas. Without a doubt, quokkas are much much much cuter!

Quokka Smiles
The quokka’s distinctive smile makes it the happiest animal in the world

About the size of a domestic cat, quokka looks like a cross breed between a kangaroo and a squirrel.

The way it moves is similar to how a kangaroo crawl walks using its long tail for support. Yet, it’s furry and has a dainty face like a squirrel.

View of sea from Rottnest Island

When we arrived at Rottnest Island, our kids were so excited to meet the quokkas straightaway. Unfortunately, they won’t be at the port to welcome you.

Anyway, we headed towards the Visitor Center to grab some pamphlets before venturing further into the island.

Getting around the island

There are several ways to get around the island. You can explore by foot,  bring your bike or rent one or ride the Rottnest Island Explorer bus.

Quokka Sky Island
Exploring Rottnest Island

Since it was a half day trip for us, we decided to hop on the Rottnest Island Explorer bus to get around faster. It costs us $50 for a family bus pass with unlimited rides. 

Locating quokkas

There were hardly any quokkas in sight. If any, it is usually alone or with another foraging. Then we found out that they are nocturnal, meaning they are only active at night. So during the day, most of them are probably snoozing away in their hideout.

Luckily, we had a bus driver who was helpful to point out the stops where the quokkas would gather, usually at their feeding grounds. We also spotted some at Thomson Bay and along the walking trail towards Bathurst Lighthouse.

Quokka Side Profile
Always ready for a photo with its perpetual grin

The world’s happiest animal is not shy at all. So far, the quokkas we had encountered did not dash away as squirrels do. It was so easy to get a photo with to them. Not to mention the perpetual grin means they are ready for a picture anytime. 

Having said that, the quokkas are considered endangered. It is against the law to feed or touch them. 

How to get to Rottnest Island?

Rottnest Island is easily accessible via sea and air. The most common mode of transport to the island is the ferry. 

Rottnest Express
Departs from Fremantle, about 25 minutes ride, and Perth City, about 90 minutes ride

Rottnest Fast Ferries
Departs from Hillary’s Ferry Terminal, about 45 miuntes ride

SeaLink Rottnest Island (We used this ferry company)
Departs from B Shed Fremantle, about 25 minutes ride

Quokka Bathurst Lighthouse
Bathurst Lighthouse

A great day out for the family!

Just Angel

Life has taught me to cherish every moment, and I capture memories with my iPhone. Amidst my busy lifestyle, I enjoy going on holidays with my family and binge on anime now and then.

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