Rottnest IslandAustralia

Photo provided by Tourism Western Australia
Photo provided by Tourism Western Australia

4/5Top Destination

Romantic Rottnest Island awaits: its island views, beaches, food, and more!

Visit Rottnest Island to swim in pristine waters, see fish and coral, stroll over white-sand beaches and see unique wildlife. This popular beach destination was once home to Aboriginal tribes and British colonizers and their prisoners and military.

The island sits 11 miles (18 kilometers) off the coast and is surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. It only measures 6.8 miles (11 kilometers) by 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) at its longest and widest points, but has dozens of beaches, secluded bays with fur seals and many walking and cycling tracks.

Rent a bicycle or take the shuttle bus near the ferry stop to explore the key destinations. The farther you go from the main settlement around Thomas Bay, the fewer people you’ll see. If you are cycling, it’s worth the journey to the more secluded beaches.

You’ll find excellent swimming spots wherever you go. Snorkelers can see colorful coral and fish waiting beneath the surface. Go shore diving, or book a boat dive from the mainland, to see nurse sharks and rays in the limestone formations around the island. Jump aboard a glass-bottom coral viewing boat if you want to stay dry. Surfers can catch top waves at Strickland and Stark bays.

More than 13 ships struck the island’s outer reefs and onshore plaques indicate where the wrecks are. Head up to the Bathurst Lighthouse for 360-degree ocean views.

You may spot quokkas, small marsupials which are found only here. Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh, who landed here in the 17th century, thought they were rats and called the island “Rats Nest.” However, Aboriginals had already lived on the island for 6,500 years and they called the animal wadjemup. Visit the Rottnest Island Museum to learn about the island’s indigenous history, its discovery by the Dutch, its settlements by the British and its role as a military outpost.

To get to Rottnest Island take one of the pedestrian ferries from the docks in Fremantle, the jetty in central Perth or Hillarys Boat Harbour. Book your accommodation well in advance if you want to spend the night on the island.

Known for

Dining, Beaches and Islands

Top Hotels in Rottnest Island

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Karma Rottnest
Karma Rottnest
3 out of 5
Kitson Street, Rottnest Island, WA
$165/night
Sep 18 - Sep 19
3.7/5Good! (410 reviews)

Situated by the ocean, this spa lodge is within a 5-minute walk of Rottnest Island Salt Lakes and Thomson Bay. The Basin and Longreach Bay are also within 15 ...

3.7/5Good! (410 reviews)
Wonderful!

"I loved this hotel! The staff were friendly, the location was great, and the room was clean and quiet with a beautiful waterfront view. I hope to stay here again soon!"…"

Reviewed on May 26, 2019

Karma Rottnest
Image for Discovery Rottnest Island
Discovery Rottnest Island
3 out of 5
Strue Road, Rottnest Island, WA
$141/night
Sep 18 - Sep 19
4.1/5Very Good! (23 reviews)

Situated in Rottnest Island, this beach hotel is within a 10-minute walk of The Basin, Longreach Bay, and Rottnest Island Salt Lakes. Thomson Bay and Geordie ...

4.1/5Very Good! (23 reviews)

"Cleanest, most modern and nicest beach on the island."…"

Reviewed on Aug 13, 2019

Discovery Rottnest Island
Image for Rottnest Island Authority
Rottnest Island Authority
3 out of 5
Vlamingh Way, Thompson Bay, Rottnest Island, WA
$86/night
Oct 10 - Oct 11
4/5Very Good! (144 reviews)

Offering direct access to the beach, this Rottnest Island resort is next to a golf course and within a 10-minute walk of Rottnest Island Salt Lakes and Thomson ...

4/5Very Good! (144 reviews)

"Reasonably priced and well appointed self catering on a beautiful island. Not luxurious but everything you need for a family holiday. Close to the centre and all amenities."…"

Reviewed on Aug 13, 2019

Rottnest Island Authority

Popular things to do in Rottnest Island

Kings Park and Botanic Garden
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Kings Park and Botanic Garden

4.5/5 (80 Ratings)

Wander through native scrubland, learn about plant species, have a barbecue or find a spot on the grass to enjoy the view of the Perth skyline.

Cottesloe Beach
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Cottesloe Beach

4.5/5 (29 Ratings)

Ride the waves, swim in the clear water or have a picnic on the terraced lawns overlooking the ocean at one of Perth’s best family beaches.

City Beach
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City Beach

4.5/5 (31 Ratings)

Nothing says vacation like spending a lazy day at City Beach, a popular beach in City Beach. Wander the waterfront or discover the area's coral reefs.

Perth Mint
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Perth Mint

4.5/5 (14 Ratings)

See the biggest gold coin in the world, watch the pouring of pure gold and tour the interesting exhibits at this historic coin-producing facility in the city center.

SCITECH Discovery Centre
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SCITECH Discovery Centre

3.5/5 (3 Ratings)

Discover the workings of the universe and wonders of planet earth at Western Australia’s fun and fascinating science and technology center. The kids will love it!

Hyde Park
Image for Hyde Park

Hyde Park

4/5 (16 Ratings)

Explore the great outdoors with a trip to Hyde Park, a popular green space in Mount Lawley. Experience the entertainment choices or attend a sporting event in this walkable area.

Top activities in Rottnest Island

Discover Rottnest Island Day Tour from Perth & Fremantle
Image for Discover Rottnest Island Day Tour from Perth & Fremantle

Discover Rottnest Island Day Tour from Perth & Fremantle

$83

Cruise over the Swan River to Rottnest Island—affectionately dubbed Rotto by locals—to tour this idyllic paradise by bus and on foot. Gaze out at dolphins from the West End lookout, learn about the island's stint as a penal colony, and get up close to its tiny, native kangaroo—the quokka.

Rottnest Island Adventure Boat Tour from Perth & Fremantle
Image for Rottnest Island Adventure Boat Tour from Perth & Fremantle

Rottnest Island Adventure Boat Tour from Perth & Fremantle

$96

Zip over the waves in the high-speed Eco Express, circling the whole of rugged and remote Rottnest Island. Cruise over the cerulean waters as you pass quiet bays and watch for native wildlife. Dolphins, quokkas, and birds from rock parrots to turquoise sacred kingfishers all thrive here.

Rottnest Island Bus Tour with Ferry & Train Ride Package
Image for Rottnest Island Bus Tour with Ferry & Train Ride Package

Rottnest Island Bus Tour with Ferry & Train Ride Package

$123

Hit all of Rottnest Island's must-see locations as you cruise around the island on a comfortable bus tour. Ferry over from Perth and hop aboard a bus to visit hotspots like the Wadjemup Lighthouse, Oliver Hill Battery, and Cape Vlamingh.

Rottnest Island Day Trip by Bike from Perth & Fremantle
Image for Rottnest Island Day Trip by Bike from Perth & Fremantle

Rottnest Island Day Trip by Bike from Perth & Fremantle

$70

Beautiful Rottnest Island, a low, sandy isle just off the coast of Perth, is a dream to visit by bike. Cars aren't allowed on the island roads, meaning you can cruise along in peace and quiet, stopping off at secluded beaches to swim, snorkel, and sunbathe at your leisure.

Full-Day Bicycle Hire & Rottnest Island Ferry Trip
Image for Full-Day Bicycle Hire & Rottnest Island Ferry Trip

Full-Day Bicycle Hire & Rottnest Island Ferry Trip

$73

Let out your adventurous side for a day of exploring the beauty of Rottnest Island at its best. With a ferry ride from the coast of Western Australia and the use of a bicycle to explore at your leisure, you can see the unique wildlife and spectacular views on this remarkable piece of nature.

Rottnest Wild Seafood Banquet Cruise
Image for Rottnest Wild Seafood Banquet Cruise

Rottnest Wild Seafood Banquet Cruise

$139

Itinerary Swim or snorkel if willing whilst lobster is cooking Duration: 1 hour Location: Parakeet Bay, Cockburn, Rottnest Island, Western Australia 6161 Australia