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Some of the best swimming and snorkeling beaches on Earth, in a day trip from Perth.

Spend a day on Perth’s island playground, Rottnest Island, or ‘Rotto’ as it’s affectionately known – just a short ferry ride from the city. Once you’re on the car-free island, you can explore the 63 white-sand beaches, 20 clear bays, top snorkel trails, surf breaks, and unique plant and animal life of this Class A reserve by bus, bike or on foot.


Highlights:


Rottnest Island, best toured by bike

Rottnest Island is best toured by bicycle

Morning: Perth to Rottnest

Hop on a morning ferry from Fremantle (25-30 minutes), Hillarys Boat Harbour (40-45 minutes) or Perth's Barrack Street Jetty (one hour Swan River cruise and change at Fremantle). Rottnest Express operates from Perth and Fremantle and Rottnest Fast Ferries will get you there from Hillarys.

Or you can arrive in style by helicopter, air taxi, or on your own boat.

When you arrive at Rottnest, head to the end of the jetty and get yourself orientated by grabbing a guide to the island at the Rottnest Island Visitor Centre in the Thomson Bay Settlement.

Choose your preferred method of Rottnest transport – bus, bike or on foot. This itinerary suggests hiring a bike which you can do either on the island or at the ferry terminals in Perth, Fremantle or Hillarys, but you can also reach many of the destinations and attractions on the Bayseeker Bus.

At only 11 kilometres long and four and a half kilometres wide, Rottnest Island is easy to explore on two wheels in a day. Find out more about Rottnest bike hire.

Before leaving the Thomson Bay Settlement, stock up on water and picnic supplies at the island’s bakery, cafes or general store.

Head up to Oliver Hill, following Digby Drive through the salt lakes, or take Parker Point Road along the coast and stop at Little Salmon Bay along the way.

Keep a look out for Western Australia’s cutest marsupial, the quokka. They tend to stay under the shade of the trees during the day, but they are easy to spot.

When you reach Oliver Hill, you can opt to explore some of Rottnest’s military history with a one-hour walking tour of the restored World War II 9.2 inch gun and maze of underground tunnels, or just sit and take in the awesome island panorama.



Quokkas on Rottnest Island

Meet Rottnest Island's resident quokkas

Afternoon: Rottnest to Perth

Cycle north from Oliver Hill and take Bovell Way east to Little Parakeet Bay, a pretty little spot for a swim or snorkel.

Return to Thomson Bay Settlement via Geordie Bay and head to the cafés for a well-earned afternoon tea – or the bar for a long cool drink – taking in the view of Perth’s city skyline on the ocean horizon.

Head back to the jetty to catch the afternoon ferry back to Perth, Fremantle or Hillarys.



Trip Details


*Distances quoted include travel from Perth-to-Port by road and Port-to-Rottnest by ferry.

**Rottnest Island is a Class A reserve which means it's car-free. Distances marked with ** and shown on the map are based on travel via bicycle.


START: Duration: REGION(S):
Perth 1 day Perth & Surrounds

Distances:

Perth to Rottnest (via Barrack Street Jetty)*

38 km

Perth to Rottnest (via Fremantle)*

39 km

Perth to Rottnest (via Hillarys Boat Harbour)*

52 km

Thomson Bay Settlement to Oliver Hill (via salt lakes)**

5 km

Thomson Bay Settlement to Oliver Hill (via Little Salmon Bay)**

8 km

Oliver Hill to Little Parakeet Bay**

3 km

Little Parakeet Bay to Thomson Bay Settlement**

4 km

Find out more about
PERTH & SURROUNDS
Head to the the Experience Perth website for more itineraries and further information on things to see and do in the region.
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THE EXPERTS
Visitor Centres
Make the local Visitor Centre your first port of call as you travel around Western Australia.
  
Rottnest Island Visitor Centre
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Rottnest Island
Rottnest Island
Famous for its laid back atmosphere and beautiful beaches, Rottnest Island lies just 18 kilometres offshore from Perth surrounded by the sparkling Indian Ocean.

Quokkas
Quokkas
Rottnest Island's famous marsupial, the quokka, is discovered in this informative walking tour.

Little Parakeet Bay
Little Parakeet Bay
Located on the northern side of Rottnest Island, Little Parakeet Bay is about three kilometres from Thomson Bay.

Geordie Bay
Geordie Bay
Geordie Bay located on the northern side of Rottnest Island has one of the largest and most popular sandy beaches on the island.

Oliver Hill Battery
Oliver Hill Battery
The Oliver Hill Battery is a significant heritage site and an icon of the home defence of Australia during World War II.

Little Salmon Bay
Little Salmon Bay
One of the most popular bays on Rottnest Island, it is a favourite spot for families as it is sheltered and calm and is also a great spot for snorkelling.

Bathurst Lighthouse
Bathurst Lighthouse
Bathurst Lighthouse, on the northern edge of Rottnest Island, was built in 1900 to support Wadjemup Lighthouse following the City of York shipping disaster in 1899, where 11 lives were lost.

Cape Vlamingh
Cape Vlamingh
Cape Vlamingh is the western most point and most exposed area of Rottnest Island. There is no solid landmass between this point and Madagascar, 6,436 kilometres away.

Fish Hook Bay
Fish Hook Bay
Fish Hook Bay, located on the western part of Rottnest Island, is known for its distinct shape, a fish hook.

Parker Point
Parker Point
Parker Point, located on the south-east end of Rottnest Island, is sure to take your breath away.

Salmon Bay
Salmon Bay
Located on the southern part of the island, Salmon Bay boasts a lovely stretch of coastline, comprising white sandy shores and crystal clear water, sure to take anyone’s breath away.

Strickland Bay
Strickland Bay
Located on the western part of the island, Strickland Bay has been ranked in the top 50 breaks in the world and is a popular spot for surfing and boogie-boarding for both tourists and locals.

The Basin
The Basin
This unique swimming spot is a favourite with holidaymakers and each year friendships are made and renewed on the white, sandy beach at The Basin.

Stark Bay
Stark Bay
Some of the best surfing conditions in Western Australia are found around Rottnest Island. Stark Bay in particular, is a popular spot with surfers and body boarders, looking for a thrill.