Rottnest Island, just off the coast of Perth, Western Australia, is one of the most amazing islands I have ever been too in my life! With it’s raw and rough beauty and home to unique animals that only live on this island, a day trip(at least) is an absolute must for visiting this part of the world.
It has been one of the most popular ‘holiday at home’ destinations for Western Australians. With its many charms and attractions, this islands attract a whole variety of people and therefore it is immensely popular.
Whether you stay for one day or five, Rottnest will enchant, inspire and recharge your batteries for weeks to come. And when you are on that ferry on your way home, you will have wished you booked some more nights on this spectacular island.
In the post underneath, I will show you where to go, what to see and how to make sure you can get the elusive selfie with the worlds happiest animal ( YES IT IS THAT CUTE!)
HOW TO GET THERE
The easiest way to get to Rottnest Island is to take one of the ferries. The ferries book up fast in popular seasons so be sure to book well in advance.
There are several pick-up points for the ferries:
- Perth City (Barrack Street Jetty) – a 90-minute journey
- Hillarys Boat Harbour – a 45-minute journey
- Fremantle (Victoria Quay) – a 25-minute journey
- Northport Rous Head Harbour, North Fremantle – a 25-minute journey
For my trip, I used the Rottnest Express.
Rottnest Express currently departs from three conveniently located ferry terminals. Each has different benefits to offer – making it easier to select a departure point that suits your needs.
When you depart from Perth city you also get a ‘tour’ of the scenery, which is very informative and fun to listen too whilst traveling. It would be quite a long boat trip otherwise. You pass some very expensive houses(dreaming) and some other interesting things along the way.
MEET THE QUOKKA
For most people (Especially tourists) meeting and taking pictures with the Quokka is the main reason they want to go to Rottnest Islands.
The Quokka is the only mammal which is native to Rottnest Island and can be found almost everywhere on the Island. It is mainly nocturnal, meaning that it is most active at night, preferring to rest or sleep in the shade during the day. However, don’t you worry, you will see plenty active during the day as well.
The Island habitat supports the largest known Quokka population and is essential for the survival of species. There are around 10,000-12,000 of these animals living on Rottnest – WOW! see what I mean, you will definitely see one.
The Quokka is a marsupial the size of a hare or domestic cat and is the sole representative of the genus Setonix. As with other marsupials, such as the kangaroo and wallaby the females suckle their young in a pouch
Because these animals look like they are smiling constantly they are called the happiest animals in the world.
While quokkas are incredibly cute, it’s important to remember that all plants and animals on Rottnest Island are protected by law. Wildlife should not be disturbed, rather observed from a reasonable distance. So when taking a selfie, please respect the animals.
When I was taking the picture I used a selfie-stick and I made sure I moved slowly. If the animals did not want to be near me, I left them alone. I honestly got very lucky and some of the first pictures I took, the Quokka looked straight into the camera and ‘smiled’ (gush) YAY!
However, the quokkas are incredibly used to tourists and are very curious little critters. You will find them coming up close to you, to take a better look at what you’ve got in your bag so keep your bag zipped shut and any food sealed because just like us all they love their tucker! haha… once again please be mindful and show respect for these gorgeous creatures at all times.
TOP TIP: If your main goal is to get a selfie with these animals then I suggest your first stop on the island should be near the restaurants and bakery.
A large group of quokkas hangs out in that area(they know where it’s at ;). That is where I took my selfie’s as well.
I found that these are the most relaxed and not bothered by humans. The quokkas that I saw during my bicycle ride on the island seemed a lot more timid.
OTHER THINGS TO DO ON THE ISLAND
Believe it or not but there is a lot more to see and do on the islands besides stalking the quokkas.
Cathedral Rocks is home to a group of New Zealand fur seals. From the viewing platform, they can be seen chilling and playing around, so cute.
Cathedral Rocks can be accessed by bike or by jumping off the Island Explorer bus.
CHECK OUT A LIGHTHOUSE
Of the two lighthouses on the island, only the Wadjemup Hill lighthouses is open to the public. The Lighthouse tour commences daily at 10am and runs every half hour until the last tour at 2.30pm.
Lighthouse tour prices:
|Extra Child||$ 2.00|
With 63 beaches, Rottnest Island is a great destination for water sports, including swimming, diving, surfing, fishing, and snorkeling. It is home to some amazing beaches, which are a must see in summer.
Not only is the island home to some of the cutest creatures in the world, it is also a perfect location to see humpback and southern right whales as they make their annual migration along the Western Australian coastline.
They can be spotted in April on their way to the feeding grounds and from late August to November when they return with their newborn calves.
One of the best places to view the whales is from the newly constructed West End Boardwalk, which is accessible by bike or the Island Explorer bus.
With no cars allowed, Rottnest Island enjoys a tranquility like no other. But what are the best ways of getting around?
Exploring Rottnest by bike is probably the most popular option. You can rent a bike when you book your ferry ticket, or you can get one on the island itself.
When you rent a bike from Rotness Express, a bike costs as follows:
|Model||Wheel Size||Suit Age||1 day||2 days||3 days||4 days||5 days||6 days||7 days||8 days||9 days||10 days|
|Child Bike||20″||4 to 7||$15||$20||$30||$40||$50||$60||$60||$60||$60||$70|
|Adult Bike (inc baby seats )||26″||14+||$30||$43||$58||$68||$78||$88||$88||$88||$88||$103|
Rottnest is a pretty petite island, but it’s a long way if you’re planning to walk or bike it. You will see the most of the island by bike, cause you can stop whenever and wherever you would like.
But if you are not well enough or would prefer not to use bike along the island, or you have children then I would advise catching a bus.
Island Explorer Service bus – This bus makes continuous circuits of the entire island so you can jump off at each point if you like to take a quick look.
The buses run every 30 minutes and cost $50 for a family of two adults and one child.
Tickets for the bus can be booked online, from the Visitor Centre or Main Bus Stop vending machines.
WHERE TO STAY ON ROTTNEST ISLAND
While I took a day trip to Rottnest Island, there are a lot of accommodation choices, should you wish to stay longer.
Alternatively, you can look on wotif for more options and prices.
WHERE TO STAY IN PERTH
I stayed at…
|221 Adelaide Terrace, Perth WA 6000|
|Phone Reservations : +61 8 9221 1200|
Cost 129,00,- AUD
Breakfast Not included
Wifi Included, because I am a Novotel member
I stayed for a few nights in this hotel/, which was located just outside of the town center. The hotel room was absolutely fine and the location was ok. Within walking distance of the Barrack Street Jetty and the train station.
The only downside is that there is a pub downstairs next to the hotel and you do have some noise issues from there. I also had some guests throwing a party in the room next door to me, which the hotel staff did nothing about. But it wasn’t too bad, and my overall stay was pleasant.
Time Zone: UTC +8.
Electricity: Flat three-pin plug. Electrical power in Australia runs on a cycle of 50hz, and a voltage of 230 Volt.
Currency: Australian Dollar ($).
Tipping: In Australia, you don’t have to tip – ever. But you can if you want to.
Weather: January is the hottest month in Perth with an average temperature of 76°F (25°C) and the coldest is July at 55°F (13°C) with the most daily sunshine hours at 13 in January. The wettest month is June with an average of 140mm of rain.
A Rottnest Island day trip is an easy way to see a bit of everything the island has to offer. While there is most definitely enough to see and do for a few days (especially in summer) if you’re time poor like me, then a day trip is still plenty of time to see a bit of everything, of this amazing island.
PLANNING TO GO TO AUSTRALIA SOON? THEN CHECK OUT SOME MORE TRAVEL GUIDES HERE:
- Sydney city guide
- Melbourne City Guide
- Perth City Guide
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