A Guide to Rottnest Island, Perth
Rottnest Island is an island off the coast of Perth, Western Australia and is an underwater paradise for snorkellers and divers with its crystal clear waters and reefs which also make for great surf. It is most famous though for the little creatures that inhabit the island, one of the only places in the world you can find them.
What is a Quokka?
Quokkas are small marsupials living on Rottnest Island. They are only found on one or two other small islands in Western Australia. Quokkas are herbivores, nocturnal and are around the size of a cat and hop around on their back legs like wallabies and kangaroos. Nicknamed the “happiest animal in the world” as they look like they are always smiling when photographed. They aren’t afraid of humans, in fact are quite curious and some may even come up to you and check you out if you’re patient.
How to get around
By bike Rottnest is a car free island so it is so easy and safe to get around by bike. The sun can be quite harsh and it can also get very windy, make sure to pack plenty of sun protection. This is my preferred way to get around the island as you can cover loads of the island and it is so much fun!
By foot There are many walking trails around the island and a few shops around the main town you can easily walk around.
By bus A free shuttle bus takes you to the main areas like Henrietta Rocks, Porpoise Bay, Parker Point, Little Salmon Bay and Salmon Bay. There is also a tour bus called the Island Explorer Bus which works like a hop on/off bus and costs $20 for the day.
What to do
Cycle around the island
Bring your own or hire a bike and make your way around the island, it is perfectly safe as there are no cars on the island. The roads are fairly smooth and easy to cycle along but be prepared for some hills!
Snorkel the reefs
There are many great places to snorkel at Rotto but a few of my fave would be Little Armstrong Bag, Parker Point, Fish Hook Bay and Eagle Bay. Again, you can bring your own snorkel gear or hire a set.
Swim at many of the beautiful bays and beaches
With over 63 beaches and 20 bays the chances are you’ll have a beautiful beach all to yourself! Some popular choices include the Basin, Geordie Bay, Little Amstrong, Little Parakeet, Salmon Bay, Parker Point and Parakeet Bay.
Surfing & SUP
Rottnest has some of the best surfing conditions and most consistent breaks in Western Australia. Strickland Bay, Salmon Bay and Stark Bay are popular breaks for surfers, body boarders and stand-up paddle boarders.
Explore by foot
There are many walking trails around the island and guided walks run by volunteers. Visit the Rottnest Voluntary Guide Association’s website for more information on the walks.
The Wadjemup Bidi is a 45km of trails made up of 5 sections. “Bidi”in Noongar means “trail”or”track”. The Whadjuk Noongar are the traditional owners of Rottnest Island.
There are so many peaceful, secluded places around the island to roll out your mat and take in all of the stunning scenery Rottnest offers.
Need to know
There are two companies you can choose from, Rottnest Express that leaves from Fremantle and Perth or Rottnest Fast Ferries leaving from Hillarys. The ferry fare with Rottnest Express will cost you $61 plus the admission fee to the island of $18 which is a contribution to the conservation of the island and upkeep of the facilities.
Rottnest has a range of accommodation types to suit different budgets, styles and size of groups including campsites, bungalows and heritage cottages. I personally love camping and at $37 per night for up to 6 people it is great value. Book your accommodation with Rottnest Island.
Taking your own
You can easily take your own bike across on the ferry at a cost of $15 per bike( Rottnest Express).
Hiring a bike
Pre book your bike hire with either ferry company or hire when you arrive with Pedal & Flipper.
Rottnest Express Bike Hire (ferry not included)
1 day $30
2 days $43
Rottnest Express- Ferry and Bike Hire Combo (1 day) from $99 ex Fremantle
Rottnest Fast Ferries- Ferry and Bike Hire Combo (1 day) $105.50
Pedal & Flipper
1 day $30
2 days $45
Minimum bond $50
Bicycle helmets are required by law; these are supplied with all equipment hired.
Take your own gear to save some money but if you don’t have a set you can easily hire from the ferries of Pedal & Flipper.
1 day $20
Rottnest Fast Ferries
1 day $15
2 days $22
Additional days $7
1 day $20
2 days $35
Bond of $25
Have you been to Rotto? I’d love to know what you love about it too?