Rottnest Island, locally known as Rotto, is an Island approximately 18kms off the coast of Fremantle in Perth, Western Australia. The island covers 19 square kilometres in land area, and hosts a diversity of native flora and fauna, including the famous Quokker,a native Australian marsupial found only on Rottnest Island. This is a guide on things to do on Rottnest Island.
Things to do on Rottnest Island
Rottnest Island’s unique natural attractions, fun family activities and amazing tours make it Western Australia’s premier island destination.
With 63 beaches, superb snorkelling sites, friendly quokkas, 6,500 years of history to discover and 50 kilometres of roads to explore on a guided tour, bus or bike, you’ll be spoilt for choice of things to do on Rottnest Island.
Rottnest Island Beaches
Any beach on Rottnest Island will be pristine, but some of the most popular beaches include:
- Little Salmon Bay
- Cape Vlamingh
- Fish Hook Bay
- Geordie Bay
- Little Armstrong
- Little Parakeet
- Parker Point
- Ricey Beach
- Salmon Bay
- Stark Bay
- Strickland Bay
- The Basin
- West End
Snorkeling on Rottnest Island
The diversity of fish, coral species and shipwrecks in the waters surrounding Rottnest Island make it one of the most fascinating snorkelling destinations in Perth. Popular snorkelling spots include The Basin, Parakeet Bay, Parker Point, Little Salmon Bay and Little Armstrong Bay.
Snorkel sets can be hired from Rottnest Island Pedal & Flipper, located just behind Hotel Rottnest.
Explore Rottnest Island by bike
Hire a bike from Rottnest Island Pedal & Flipper (located behind Hotel Rottnest) and experience the beauty and isolation of the Island. Rottnest has over 50kms of road and cycle paths to follow.
Walk Rottnest Island – Wadjemup Walking Trail
The Wadjmup walking trail is currently being developed, and will eventually be a 50km walking trail around Rottnest Island. Some completed section include:
The Bickley Bay Walk: This section traverses the south-east corner of the Island – Thomson Bay to Oliver Hill. Approximately 9.4km in distance, you’ll explore the remnants of Coastal Defence systems installed during WWII.
The Lakes Walk: Starting from Thomson Bay Settlement and heading west out of Digby Drive, this section meanders through the lake systems including a magical stroll along the Lakes Boardwalk which provides the façade of “walking on water”.
Salmon Bay Walk: You can now walk from Oliver Hill to Wadjemup Lighthouse along the newest section of trail! There is also a link from Oliver Hill to Salmon Bay, where the Rottnest Rangers are currently constructing a new beach access!
You can find maps like below all around the Island.
From the lighthouse, there are perfect photo opportunities with 360-degree views of Rottnest Island and crystal sapphire Indian Ocean. You can walk or ride your bike to Wadjemup Lighthouse.
Surfing on Rottnest Island
Rottnest Island is a hot surf spot for locals with some of the best surfing conditions and most consistent breaks in Western Australia. The most popular surf spots include Strickland Bay, Salmon Bay and Stark Bay. In fact, Strickland Bay has been ranked in the top 50 breaks in the world.
Hire a Stand Up Paddle Board on Rottnest Island
You can hire SUP boards from the Just 4 fun water park near the Ferry. Hire is $20 for one hour.
Just 4 Fun Aqua Park
Fun for the kids, and the big kids out there (me included). Cost is $20 for 1 hour, but just quietly, you could jump the rope and go in for free.
And finally…. The Quokker. My 1 thing to do on Rottnest Island is to search for adorable Quokkers.
Getting to Rottnest Island
You can get to Rottnest Island by ferry, plane or your own boat.
The most common way to get to Rottnest Island is using either one of the two ferry operators, Rottnest Express or Rottnest Fast Ferries. Both operators have ferries departing North Fremantle (Rous Head), Fremantle (Victoria Quay) and Hillarys Boat Harbour in Perth’s north. Rottnest ferries take approximately 25 minutes from Fremantle, 45 minutes from Hillarys Boat Harbour, or 90 minutes from Perth’s Barrack Street Jetty. The cost is between $30 to $50 one way.
Rottnest Air Taxi offers flights for around $120 per person.
Places to stay on Rottnest Island
Search for accommodation options here.
Book a tour on Rottnest Island
Disclosure: This post on things to do on Rottnest Island contains affiliate links!