About Rottnest Island
Rottnest Island gets its name from the quokkas, a small native marsupial found in very few other locations, an early Dutch visitor to the island mistook the cute balls of fur for large rats, naming the Island “Rattennest”, Dutch for “Rat’s Nest”, the name was then later adapted to what we now know as Rottnest Island.
The island is located 18 kilometres west of Fremantle covering 19 square kilometres with a permanent population of 334 people. Extensive reefs and crystal clear waters surround the island boasting an abundance of snorkel spots as you make your way around:
- The Basin
- Parakeet Bay
- Parker Point
- Little Salmon Bay
- Little Armstrong Bay
Rottnest Island offers the most consistent breaks in Western Australia, perfect for jumping on a surfboard with Strickland Bay being ranked in the top 50 breaks in the world.
The size of Rottnest makes it perfect to explore on a bicycle. The full loop of the island is 22km and has tarmacked roads throughout with only a few hills. There is a shorter 10km loop which loops inland after Salmon Bay, however this does mean you miss the island’s resident colony of fur seals at the new Cathedral Rocks viewing platform.
Rottnest Island Tours
Rottnest is an A-class reserve, the highest level of protection afforded to public land, the island is also home to a number of native and introduced bird species making it a designated Important Bird Area.
The reef supports an abundance of marine life such as bottlenose dolphins, humpback whales, southern rights, blue whales, Australian sea lions, and New Zealand fur seals.
Rottnest Island tours travel itinerary and things to do:
- Grab a selfie with a quokka
- Go beach hopping
- Grab a refreshing cocktail at Pinky’s Beach Club
- Relax on the white sands of Porpoise Bay
- Take a tour up Wadjemup Lighthouse
- Checkout the view from the sky with a scenic flight or sky dive
- Take a shipwreck dive
- Explore the island’s unique flora and fauna by taking a stroll along the West End Boardwalk
- Watch the nesting ospreys at Fish Hook Bay
- Stroll around some of the island’s salt lakes, such as Pink Lake.
With so many amazing stops not to be missed on the island the 1 day Rottnest Island Ferry & Bike Package- Rottnest Express will kit you out with your bike hire helmet and security lock, meaning you don’t have to join the queues at the bike rental. The package also includes a Swan River Cruise, guided walking tour transfers from your hotel.
Rottnest Island Things to consider
Quokkas are famously extremely tame and friendly so you can get up close and personal for that perfect quokka selfie-without the flash! However, it is illegal to feed or touch the quokkas with on the spot fines of $150. They are a very rare and vulnerable species and without this protection they would most definitely become extinct, so if you come across one of the more camera-shy fellas, don’t try to coax them with food or water. The best time to catch these critters doing their thing is in the early evening, they are nocturnal, but you will find a few scattered around the camping grounds throughout the day.
There is no drinking water or food available outside the Thomson Bay and the Geordie Bay settlement areas, so don’t forget to take plenty of water, food and sun cream!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you get to Rottnest Island?
Rottnest Express, Sealink and Rottnest Fast Ferries are the 3 ferry companies that’s operate between Rottnest and Perth, departing from Perth City, Elizabeth Quay, North Fremantle, Fremantle and Hillary’s. In off-peak season ferries depart around 6 times a day increasing to 10-12 times a day in peak season.
Is Rottnest Island expensive to visit?
We recommend bringing a well-stocked packed lunch to the island. There is only one location to buy supplies, located by the ferry port and yes, they are pricey!
How long does the ferry take?
Between 30minutes to an hour depending on the route you chose.
How much does the ferry cost?
The three ferry operators vary slightly in price. The cheapest route leaves from Fremantle, with the same day returns averaging at around $70. There are charges for additional large items such as surfboards etc at approximately $15.
How long does it take to cycle around the island?
Anywhere between 3 to 5 hours depending on how many stops you make and how long you spend there.
Can I fish on Rottnest Island?
Spearfishing is prohibited on the island and all recreational fishing must be done within designated areas. There are information boards all around the island indicating if fishing is allowed.