A summer island beckons, without private vehicles, with a free ride-round-the-island courtesy bus, and lots of bicycles, cute quokkas (like tiny wallabies) and no fewer than 63 spectacular beaches.
Well known to Sandgropers, particularly those hailing from Perth, Rottnest Island is a unique summer playground, just 19km off the port city of Fremantle.
“Feel free to walk right up to the black swans on Rotto. They’re totally harmless, and love it when visitors pat them on the head.”
– Greg Barton
The island is famous for its spectacular swimming spots, with rocky shores, turquoise shallows and crescents of white sand giving it that Crete-Down Under look and feel.
Snorkelling and scuba diving are popular, as is sailing around its beautiful shores and circling the island on your bike, a round-trip of 24km all told. The best time to go is shoulder season: no flies, and no high school graduates on Schoolies’ Week.
Did you know?
Rottnest is one of only three places where quokkas are found (two colonies in southwest WA). The quokkas gave the island its name, with Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh mistaking the place for a “nest of rats” in 1696. “
How to get there
Qantas and Virgin Blue have regular flights to Perth from most major cities in Australia.
Rottnest Air-Taxi offers transfers between Rottnest Island and Perth City (Jandakot Airport). Prices are set per aircraft so the cost per person will vary depending on how many people are travelling.
Rottnest Island Ferry Services offer daily trips from Perth and Fremantle to Rottnest Island.
Best time to go
Official website of the Rottnest Island Authority
** This is our original 100 Things to Do Before You Die. First published in 1996. There is an updated 100 Things To Do In Australia Before you die, published in 2011.