Thomson Bay is your introduction to Perth’s idyllic car-free and carefree island playground, Rottnest. It’s also where you could get a selfie with the cutest mini marsupial, the world-famous quokka.

Rottnest Island sits just 19 kilometres off the coast, and ferries depart regularly from Perth's Barrack Street Jetty, Fremantle and Hillarys, arriving in Thomson Bay. You can even cruise across in your boat.

The sweeping stretch of white sand in Thomson Bay is one of 63 stunning beaches and 20 beautiful bays in this Class A reserve, and the only one with a roped-off swimming area, making it very popular with young families.

Just behind the beach sits the main settlement, where you can pick up maps, book tours, join free guided walks, grab coffee or lunch, get tickets for the Bayseeker Bus or hire surfboards and bikes.

Many of the grand buildings and quaint cottages commissioned by Perth's Governor in the mid-1800s are still standing there, including the Salt Store and Lomas Cottage. The restored Hotel Rottnest, colonial cottages and old barracks now offer accommodation for visitors.