Some of the best swimming and snorkelling 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. The 63 white-sand beaches, 20 clear bays, top snorkel trails, surf breaks and unique plant and animal life of this Class A reserve are just a short ferry and cycle ride from the city.
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.
Get yourself orientated at the Rottnest Island Visitor Centre (at the end of the jetty) by grabbing a map and a guide to the island.
You’ll also need to choose your preferred method of Rottnest transport – bus, bike or on foot. This itinerary suggests hiring a bike, but you can 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 and bike hire is available on the island or through the ferry companies. 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.
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 Thompson Bay Settlement via Geordie Bay, drop off your bikes and head for 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.
| Perth|| 1 day|| Perth & Surrounds|
Perth to Rottnest
Fremantle to Rottnest
Hillarys Boat Harbour to Rottnest
Thomson Bay Settlement to Oliver Hill (via salt lakes)
Thomson Bay Settlement to Oliver Hill (via Little Salmon Bay)
Oliver Hill to Little Parakeet Bay
Little Parakeet Bay to Thomson Bay Settlement
PLEASE NOTE: Rottnest Island is a Class A reserve which means it's car-free. The map above indicates suggested time and distances by bicycle.
Find out more about
Head to the the Rottnest Island website for more itineraries and further information on things to see and do in the area. Find Out More