How to capture the perfect quokka photo
Get ready to snap the cutest quokka photo with these top tips.
By Amy Fraser
Dubbed the 'happiest animal on Earth' because of their adorable smiles, encountering a quokka on Rottnest Island is one for the bucket list. With their friendly nature and photogenic poses, these small marsupials make for the cutest pictures and, with no surprise, have become social media superstars. Get your camera ready — here are six top tips for capturing an epic quokka snap.
1. Give them space
Quokkas don’t just have a friendly reputation for their smiles; they’re also highly inquisitive and will often come over to say g’day. If you spot one, get down to its level and wait for it to come to you. It’s this magical moment that’s easy to get caught up in, but remember, as cute as they are, quokkas are still wild animals. Be sure to give them plenty of space and avoid touching them at all times. To capture that perfect shot, try using a selfie stick or a wide-angle camera for an extra dose of cuteness without getting too close.
2. Aim for early evening
Quokkas live in a hot climate, which means they tend to catch their beauty sleep during the day – usually somewhere with plenty of shade. The trick is to get your camera ready for 4pm to 5pm when they begin to wake up in search of breakfast. You’ll spot these fuzzy marsupials around dawn and dusk too, so don’t be surprised if you’re interrupted while watching the sunset.
3. Keep your eyes peeled
With around 10,000 quokkas on Rottnest Island, spotting one isn’t a difficult feat. They live all around the island, so you won’t have to walk far to capture one gazing up at you with a smile. For your best bet, head to the settlement’s grassy area – one of their favourite hang-out spots – or hire a bike to explore the island. There’s no doubt you’ll spot at least a few while enjoying Rottnest’s collection of beautiful beaches and bays.
4. Capture them munching leaves
Quokkas are unique in many ways, but their smiles are what make them irresistibly cute. You’ll see it when one looks up towards you curiously, or mid-meal when they’re munching on their favourite leaves. Wait for these moments to capture your photograph, and never offer quokkas any food (whether part of their natural diet or otherwise).
5. Be quiet
As much as you might want to shout ‘aww’ from the top of your lungs when you spot a quokka, they can get spooked easily, so try to be as quiet as you can. The more peaceful you are, the better chance you have of a long, smiley encounter – perfect for the ultimate quokka photo. When you’ve got your shot, put your camera away and enjoy the moment.
6. Visit during the breeding season
If you think one quokka will tug at your heartstrings, just imagine seeing a mother and a joey (newborn marsupial) together! Time your visit during autumn (April and May) and you could get lucky enough to witness a baby quokka peeking out from its mother's pouch. Capture what could be the sweetest photo ever, but remember to be extra cautious. These two will need plenty of space.