The Ultimate Travel Guide to Rottnest Island

Travel Guide to Rottnest Island, Australia

White-sand beaches, secluded coves, and fun outdoor activities: Just a 25-minute ferry ride from Perth lies the protected nature reserve, Rottnest Island. Having been to Rottnest Island on each of my trips to Perth, I want to share with you why I love Rotto (this is how the locals call it) so much – and what you should know before you visit.

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Top tip: The famous Quokka is native to Rottnest Island. Don’t miss out on taking a picture with the small wallaby-like marsupial. I’m sure his friendly face will make you smile.


Buy a Ferry ticket: You will reach Rottnest Island via ferry departing from Fremantle. We booked our tickets online in advance to secure special rates. Going on a weekday is also cheaper than on weekends. Check out the Rottnest Express for all fares and deals.

No Drones: Drones are not permitted on Rottnest Island as it has a small airport. We tried flying our drone but the signal interference is so strong that it wouldn’t allow us to lift off.

Bring your Swimsuit: Make sure to bring your swimming gear (even snorkelling if you like). With its many beautiful beaches, Rottnest Island is the perfect place to swim. Some beaches are so remote that you will be the only one there.

Sunscreen: Don’t forget to bring sunscreen. The sun is quite intense in Australia and you’ll catch a sunburn very easily.

Jellyfish & Sharks: Beware of dangerous jellyfish and sharks in the ocean. Unfortunately, there are way too many unlucky encounters with those creatures in Australia. Some 5-meter sharks have been sighted at the shores of Perth and Rottnest Island.

Check out my article on top things to do in Perth. 


Tour de Rotto: Beloved by the locals, the Tour de Rotto is an activity you shouldn’t miss when you’re visiting the island. Cycling is the best way to explore Rotto. There are plenty of bike rental shops close to the ferry terminal.

Restaurants: There are not a lot of dining options on the island. However, there are 2 restaurants I can recommend. For lunch, you can walk or cycle to ‘Geordies Cafe and Art Gallery’ restaurant which is next to one of the island’s small supermarket. For dinner, you can stop by the Thompsons with direct views onto the ocean. It’s only a five minutes walk from your ferry terminal – a good way to end your day before heading back to Fremantle, Perth.

Beaches: All of the beaches are beautiful on Rottnest Island. Just beware that on the Southern/Western part of the Island the waves are larger and the bays are less protected from the wind.

Flights and Skydive: Breathtaking flights over Rottnest Island can be booked with “Scenic Joy Flights” starting at $65 for 1 adult. If you are more adventurous try tandem skydiving with “Skydive Geronimo Rottnest”, starting at $329.

FishingFishing is a big thing in Australia. If you have your own rod, you should bring it to Rottnest Island. There are many cliffs and beaches, promising great catches. You should try it for a few hours or so- you might even catch yourself dinner.  Good to know: the Rottnest Supermarket sells fresh bait.


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