Welcome to Perth Western Australia! Rottnest Island is a must see for almost all free travellers. The transparent and clean water quality, abundant water activities, beautiful scenery, and the happiest in the world Baby kangaroos, such as the “quokka”, are all reasons that make this Australian island famous. Today I want to share my experience about the super star, ferry transportation to Rottnest Island and transportation on the island, itinerary arrangements, and travel notes to attractions, regardless of whether you plan to take a day trip, a two-day trip, or even many days trip. I do recommended for 2 days trip as the island is quite big so one day is not enough if you want to explore all distinct in the Island but it is your choice.
Although Rottnest Island is not very big and it has 63 beaches. It can be said that there are beautiful scenery everywhere around the island where is pretty good.
First of all, Rottnest Island is an island on the west coast of Australia which located just 18 kilometers from the West of Fremantle. Rottnest Island is a very popular holiday destination, with ferries between Perth and Rottnest Island. The resident population of Rottnest Island is only about 100 people, but about 500,000 tourists visit Rottnest Island every year. Because their ecology on the island has not been destroyed, short-tailed kangaroos have their own nests; occasional tourists also always feed them, and they never need to worry about clothing, food, housing, transportation and so on.
Around the dining area, northeast and southeast are places to stay. Although there are not many places to stay on Rottnest Island, there are many options for youth hostels, restaurants, camping, etc…
Quokka – Super Star
The first to discover Rottnest Island was the Dutch. When they landed, they found that the island was full of Quokka. They mistakenly recognized Quokka as a big rat (Rotte), so they called it Rotte nest (Dutch in squirrel nest), and then slowly evolved into Rottnest.
Quokka short-tailed dwarf kangaroo, the only kind of kangaroo in the genus Dwarf kangaroo, it is a small kangaroo that is about the size of a domestic cat. Short-tailed kangaroos, like other marsupial mammals, are herbivores and often move at night, with small families as the activity unit. A Quokka weighs about 2.5 to 5 kilograms, a fat and cheeky face, and a cute face that always looks like a smile, so it has the title “the happiest animal on earth”
Quokka only eats plants, do not feed Quokka, he will get sick! Once found it is a fine of $150! Quokkas can only digest plants, other types of food can result in illness. Anyone who deliberately interferes (including feeding) wildlife will be fined $150. Due to the very limited distribution of Quokka (mainly on Rottnest Island and a small island in Albany), it is included in the vulnerable species. In the mainland Australia, they are threatened by hunters such as foxes, so dense surface vegetation is needed for shelter. Large-scale felling of trees and agricultural development have led to a reduction in their habitat, which has led to a decline in the number of this species. In addition, Quokka usually gives birth to a baby, and successfully raises a baby kangaroo every year. The small number of litters in one litter, combined with the limited range of activity and the threat of hunters, make this little kangaroo very rare in mainland Australia.
How to get to Rottnest Island
There is 2 options for you to catch transportation to get to the island. They are ferry and private jet. I will definately recommended you to catch ferry instead of catching the jet. As a tourist and student, it is good to experience both such as catch the ferry to the Rottnest Island and then catch jet return back to Perth. Both are good to try but if you are local or residents, it is good to do Ferry as the jet is very costly.
By the way, It is mainly reached by ferry and there are currently three main shipping companies, each departing from different ports. Regarding to the three shipping companies, it is the cheapest to take the ferry departing from “Fremantle” by “Rottnest Express” and “SeaLink Rottnest Island” on weekdays. Round-trip tickets on the same day are slightly cheaper.
In addition, “Rottnest Express” has the largest number of sailings and it is the only shipping company that departs from “Perth City” and “Fremantle” but of course depart from Fremantle is closer to the island which will take 25 minutes to get there. If you catch the Rottnest Express from Perth City, it will take 90 minutes to reach your destination. If you want to depart from “Hillary” in the North District of WA, only “Rottnest Fast Ferries” have a ferry and this will take about 45 minutes to reach the island.
The “Fremantle” port is a little special which divided into “Northport” and “B Shed” ports, but almost all are mainly “B-Shed”, which can be reached by walk from the Fremantle Train Station while catching train from Perth Train Station.
Perth city – Rottnest Island (Rottnest Express) = $103
Fremantle – Rottnest Island (Rottnest Express) = $64
Fremantle – Rottnest Island (Sealink Rottnest Island) = $64
Hillary – Rottnest Island (Rottnest Fast Ferries) = $86.5
Please note that these fares is weekdays fare, weekend ticket would be different price but it is not a big different. Adult tickets fare listed above. Kids price are almost half price with adult fares. These are with return tickets. It is up to you whether you wanted to add-on for hire a bicycles or snorkel equipment rental. There is a package option which is cheaper than buy everything separately.
Catch a private jet from Rottnest airport to Perth will be take around 20 minutes to arrive Perth. Mainly reason of taking the jet from the Island to return back to Perth is just want to explore around the beautiful and nice view island from the sky. The jet only fly when there is minimum of 2 people per jet. It is very costly and not worth it but very good experience. It has been many years ago so I can’t remember how much i have been paid for this jet but i remember it is approximately $250 per person. However, there is a combo fare for both ferry and flight which mean one way ferry and one way flight for you to experience.
Public Transportation throughout the Island
There is a number of transportation you could have options to choose. As for the transportation on the island, Rottnest Island cannot drive, so it is not possible to “rent a car” and so on. There are three main modes of transportation on the island, namely “bicycle”, “bus” and “train”. But some people prefer to walk to explore the island to save some money. Yes, walk is good but walking is very tiring throughout the island as island is quite big and you won’t be able to manage to walk the whole island.
Bicycle – Most of the tourists prefer to use bicycles to move around the island or even around the island, which is why the three major shipping companies provide bicycle reservation services. There is also the only bicycle rental shop on the island, called “Rottnest Island Pedal & Flipper”, which is just next to the port within the walking distance. But in my personal opinion, buses is better than bicycles. Why do i said that? It is reasonable as riding a bike is pretty slow so you won’t be able to see everything in the Island. Bus is worth than bike because bus ticket is $20 per person per day which you can have enough time to explore everything in the Island. But if bike, it is cost $30 per person daily fare basis. And bike only can explore some part of island.
Bus and Train
Island explorer bus is the best options because this will take you to all attractions in the Island but this will be your choices whether you want to get off or not. It is hop on and off basis. The bus is running every 5 minutes which is perfect. Rottnest Island has totally 19 explorer bus stop.
For the trains, i never try with train in the island but i will share some details of it. There are 64 locations on the scenic train, which will only reach the World War II memorial site in Oliver Hill. You can see the underground tunnels, gun wreckage, etc….but it may take a long time and the frequency of the trips may be difficult to arrange. It cost $11 per person for one way. If it is not at least on the island for 2 days, it is not recommended to experience.
Attractions in the Rottnest Island
There is 63 stunning beaches on the coast, 20 beautiful bays and many coral reefs and shipwrecks invite you to enjoy some of Australia’s best swimming spots, snorkeling trails and surfing spots. On the dry ground, you will encounter cute mini marsupials, world-famous short-tailed kangaroos (Quokka), and many unique animal and plant species that can only be seen in Western Australia.
Of course, it is necessary to introduce the attractions on the island. Most people will play around the island so i am sharing all part of the Island. Basically the Rottnest Island is divided into 5 districts, namely East, South, West, North, and Central with different gameplay and features, so that everyone can quickly understand the attractions in each area. Let’s go for Awesome adventures 🤔
EAST Districts – “Thomson Bay” on the east side of Rottnest Island is the port and the most lively area on the island. Visitor services centers, various restaurants, supermarkets, restaurants and hotels are all concentrated here, making it the most convenient for dining and shopping.
In Thomson Bay, you can find more family fun, such as golf, tennis, shopping and guided tours, as well as cafes, restaurants and takeaway options.
The land and sea travel itinerary will provide an unforgettable experience, from the contact experience of wild animals such as short-tailed kangaroos, seals, osprey and whales, to historical and cultural tours, vividly reproduce the colorful ocean of Rottnest Criminals, colonies and World War II heritage.
SOUTH Districts – The southern area of Rottnest Island is mainly a place for beaches, snorkeling, and diving. It is a place where you can enjoy the beauty and water. It is a dive site recommended by many Australians. It’s a Little Salmon Bay. It’s okay to spend an afternoon here leisurely!
Henrietta Rocks is a very beautiful attraction in the island and it is very interesting due to the Shark Wreck that is visible and very close to shore. There were a few snorkellers there checking it out on the day where I visited, and if I have been better planned, I would have walked out to see it as well. It’s very close to shore which is pretty convenient.
In general, parker point is located between South and East of the Rottnest Island. It is one of the best Attractions in the Island. The most popular activities in the Parker Point are included Scuba Diving, Snorkelling and Swimming.
In fact, there are some attractions on the south side of Rottnest Island, such as Green Island, Oliver Hill, and Wadjemup Lighthouse. The route is a little simpler than the north side, but If you want to go to Oliver Hill or Wadjemup Lighthouse, there are many uphills. These two are Rottnest, The highest point of the island, Oliver Hill is the highest point on the island.
The well-positioned Oliver Hill was a defensive place during World War II. There is an oversized battery (Oliver Hill Battery, 9.2-inch cannon) defending the coast of Perth. If you ride a bicycle, you can only park in the parking lot below and walk for about 15 minutes. Anyway, you don’t want to ride up. It’s really steep, lazy people can actually take a small train (Captain Hussey train), the scenery is not bad! As for the Wadjemup Lighthouse, many people really feel that they don’t need to go there. Many of them just ride there and ride back. I don’t know what are people doing.
After leaving Oliver Hill, I wanted to go to Little Salmon Bay, but time may not be enough. Fortunately, I returned to the ferry at about 16:00 and successfully ended the day trip to Rottnest Island.
Continue to move down and pass the Salmon Bay, Green Island, Mary Cove and other places. I can only say that the scenery on Rottnest Island is too satisfying!
WEST Districts – Compared with other areas in the West of Rottnest Island, there are fewer places suitable for snorkeling and water playing. The biggest feature at West Districts is whale watching, dolphin watching, and the terrain is slightly different. Rocky terrain that you can see are totally different scenery.
The total length of the island is about 22 kilometers, which sounds good, but it still takes a lot of time and energy to come to the Western District. There are many ups and downs along the way, but it is worthwhile to see these beautiful scenery! Every year from the end of August to November, it is the time for 35,000 whales to move from the Antarctic Circle to Rottnest Island. At this time, it is very easy to see whales appearing in addition to the West End. There are many bays that are also very beautiful and there are many small ferries. This kind of life is really comfortable and enjoyable.
NORTH Districts – Rottnest Island’s northern and southern areas are very similar in the gameplay. They mainly experience snorkeling, diving, fishing and other water itineraries. There are their lovers on both sides. In short, if you want to relax on the beach and enjoy the island. The clean water quality of South and North are very highly recommended places! The most popular in the Island is the Lighthouse. There are 2 lighthouses in the Rottnest Island. One is located in the Southern of Island and another one is located at the North sides. The North District Bathurst Lighthouse and the surrounding seascapes are the best and this island is really beautiful! How to move along the northern coastline, you can pass through Longreach Bay, George Bay, Little Armstrong Bay and other attractions, almost all are safe waters where you can play water. Whichever you like, you are ready to go to the water anytime!
When i visit rottnest, i was very hurry to catch the bus to explore around the island so I do highly recommended you to have your lunch before you go for the explorer bus. Otherwise will be like me very hungry at the end 😂
CENTRAL Districts – The main area of Rottnest Island is the three main attractions, namely World War II Memorial (Sightseeing Train Terminal), Pink Lake and Wadjemup Lighthouse. Among them, the lighthouse is the least recommended spot on the island. In addition to all the way uphill, the scenery is also more ordinary, if time is not enough, you can give up first.
Here we go Pink Lake 😍
Pink Lake is also called a Salt Lake. You should try to touch the pink lake water. When i was touching the pink lake water, the water is very sticky with weird smell and it’s kinda weird but i find that was very interesting.
Skydive at the Island – Leap from Height
Are you a skydive lover? Play skydiving on the turquoise beach of Rottnest Island and get a panoramic view of the magnificent coast of Western Australia. While enjoying the exciting thrill of blood, while enjoying a bird’s eye view of the stunning scenery on the island from an unparalleled perspective. After landing on the ground, you can even savor a free drink to celebrate your accomplishment in a lifetime. Skydive Geronimo’s team of skydiving instructors is professionally trained and experienced. After ensuring you feel comfortable and safe, you will be challenged to the unique island skydiving experience throughout Western Australia. Skydiving is very costly but it is worth to try once in awhile. Their cost is depend on how many ft you choose for skydive.
The end of my story
My story is just all about an introduction to the Quokkas, transportation, accommodation, attractions, and itineraries of Rottnest Island. I believe that everyone can understand this island better and it will be more helpful for the itinerary. “Segway” and other projects can also create their own classic gameplay! Stay tune on my next blog. Please follow me by click the follow button on this site. Thanks 😊