Australia Guide: Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island also known as Wadjemup is the perfect place to go for a day trip from Perth to get away from the city. Located a 90 minute ride away on a ferry from Perth or a 25 minute ride on the ferry from Fremantle. On the island there is a permanent population of approximately 300 people who work there as they are the only people allowed to live on the island. The name Rottnest Island was earned in 1696 when a Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh mistook a quokka for a common rat due to resemblance. To the locals of Rottnest Island the island has the nickname Rotto.

Thomson Bay is the main hub for the island where you are able to find the ferry port. Ferries to and from Rottnest Island can be booked via Rottnest Fast Ferries, Rottnest Express or Sealink Rottnest Island. 

You are able hire a bike on the island to explore around the island which is the most popular way to explore the island. If riding a bike is not for you there is the option to do the Discover Rottnest bus tour which costs $49 for a 90 minute bus tour of the island. The tour includes two stops at the Wadjemup Lighthouse and the West End boardwalk as well as commentary about the island from the driver. Another option to tour the island is the island explorer bus which is a hop on hop off bus running at 45 minute intervals with 19 different stops. 

Rottnest Island is home to colonies of Australian sea lions as well as Southern fur seals. The island is a protected nature reserve where you are able to find white sandy beaches as well as secluded coves. There are 63 beaches and 20 bays around the island. Bays include Strickland Bay which is known for its surf breaks as well as Radar Reef where reef breaks occur.

 An activity available for visitors is whale watching as you are able to see humpback and southern right whales. Whale watching cruises are a seasonal activity available late August to November as the whales return from the Indian Ocean to Antarctic with their newborn calves due to the protected waters. If you are  wanting the chance to see the whales on the island there is a possibility to see them from the West End boardwalk. Other activities available across the island include underwater snorkelling at Little Salmon Bay or Parker Point. Visitors are able to climb up Wadjemup Lighthouse for views across the island. 

As an island Rottnest Island is well known for having quokkas which are part of the wallaby family. Quokkas are both cute and photogenic but are not traditionally found anywhere else in the world but there is one at Taronga Zoo. Quokkas can be found roaming around the island they will not be afraid to come near humans but it is illegal to touch them or feed them. 

Rottnest Island is an island I would recommend visiting as it is an island which is breathtaking. There is a limited choice of eateries on the island, whilst visiting the island I went to Rotto’s where we enjoyed pizza. 

Is Rottnest Island somewhere that you would like to visit?


At the time of this being posted we are in the middle of a pandemic, please remain safe and abide by any travel restrictions. Any further information on travel restrictions can be found on the government website. 

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