ROTTNEST ISLAND: KINGDOM OF THE QUOKKA gets 6.5/10 The school of hard Quokks

Directed by Peter Moers, Leighton De Barros

Starring William McInnes


There’s more to Quokkas than just a selfie. These cute, plump, furry critters live surprisingly hard lives in what is an unexpectedly harsh environment. For us it’s a holiday destination, but for the Quokka, Rottnest Island may be their home, but the lack of fresh water, the low nutrient plant life, and the harsh extremes of weather, all become a challenge for survival.

Rottnest Island: Kingdom of the Quokka closely examines this harsh life, and the wealth of life in the surrounding waters and islands. From the Tiger Snake filled Carnac Island to the Little Penguins of Penguin Island, this documentary gives us an intimate look at creatures that are very close to home. Central to this is the cuddly Quokka. This cute marsupial may be in such abundance on he island to have given Rottnest its name, but it is still a vulnerable species that is found almost nowhere else. We follow a year in the life of this animal, seeing how it overcomes the differing crises that the seasons throw at them.

It’s easy to see the National Geographic origins of this special, in the voice over and the occasional repetition of information. However this is forgivable considering the benefits Kingdom of the Quokka has going in its favour. Seeing such spectacular wildlife on the big screen vividly brought to life with crisp and clear cinematography really is a unique experience. It is also one that we will never see, even if we are in the region. It shows us footage that’s painstakingly captured, of events that are unusually rare. Aerial shots of whales playing with dolphins in the waters off Rottnest, a young joey sticking their head out of their mother’s pouch for the first time, an Osprey diving for a fish and shaking itself dry in flight – these are wonders in our own region, yet something we are unlikely to experience without films such as this.

A visually stunning look at a unique ecosystem at our own back door.

Rottnest Island: Kingdom of the Quokka is showing at the The Backlot Studios Perth on August 10, 17, 24, 31. Check here for details and tickets.