A shimmering vision 18 kilometres offshore, compact Rottnest Island is Perth’s favourite holiday haven. A playground paradise with 63 beaches, 20 beautiful bays, superb swimming, snorkelling and surf breaks – not to mention its famous residents, the impossibly cute quokkas.

There are three ferry options to get you to "Rotto" - from Fremantle (25 to 30 minutes), Hillarys (40 to 45 minutes) or historic Barrack Street Jetty in downtown Perth (1 hour). Is luxury more your style? Take a helicopter, air taxi, or charter a yacht and set sail for Thomson Bay, the island’s main settlement.

Rottnest Island is blissfully carefree and car-free, so you get around on foot, by bus or by bike. With just a day to play, you can cover plenty of terrain. Make your way up to Oliver Hill Gun and Tunnel – passing inland salt lakes or turquoise-tinged Little Salmon Bay on the coast. Here, you can look across the island and learn about Rottnest’s fascinating military history.

The day’s warming up: cool off with some beach time. Little Parakeet Bay, The Basin, Geordie Bay and Pinky Beach are top spots for swimming and snorkelling; while Strickland Bay, Ricey Beach and the Rotto Box offer slow-peeling Indian Ocean surf.

You’ll see plenty of wildlife en route - birds and amphibians are everywhere, plus the island’s star attraction, the quokka. Get ready to fill your camera roll with selfies of you and the happiest marsupial on earth. Sprinklings of wildflowers, headlined by the Blue Rottnest Island Daisy, colour the island’s dune-scapes between September and March.

Before the ferry ride back to Perth, kick back in a Thomson Bay cafe or bar and gaze across the water to the Perth skyline.