Rottnest Island Overview

Rottnest Island is a small island formed on a base of aeolianite limestone located off the coast of Perth. It is one of the popular places to visit in Perth for its beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and unique wildlife. Rottnest Island is home to a number of interesting Perth attractions, including the Rottnest Island Museum, and the Wadjemup Lighthouse. The island is also home to a number of walking trails, which provide access to the island's natural beauty and wildlife.

Rottnest Island is a popular holiday destination located in Western Australia, around 19 km away from the Perth coastline. It is believed that the island was created as an aftermath of sea-level changes. The place has become famous over the years for its pleasant weather, finest soft sand beaches, picturesque scenery and the salt lakes and this is one of the best places in Perth.

The salt lakes are an integral part of Rottnest Island and you would find a number of permanent lakes along with surrounding beaches. Pink Lake, Lake Negri and the twin Pearse Lakes, which become dry and appear similar to salt flats in summer are some of the must-visit lakes here.

Apart from the beaches and salt lakes, there is another thing that has made the place famous all over the world - the quokkas, a rat-looking animal. The island actually derives its name from these rat-like rodents that in the eighteenth century were often mistaken to be rats.

You can enjoy the mellow weather of the island while visiting during the springs or autumn. It offers a number of activities to its visitors like a bicycle tour, whale watching, snorkelling, fishing and many more. People can also enjoy capturing the beautiful daisy fields and quokkas while roaming around all through the island.

Apart from these, they can also visit the 14 Osprey nests in the Fish Hook Bay, at the western part of the island, which can be a thrilling experience for them.


• Rottnest Island is known for its stunning beaches and crystal clear waters, which make it a perfect spot for swimming, snorkelling, and diving. The island is home to a number of beautiful beaches, including Pinky Beach, Salmon Bay, and the Basin, which offer a variety of activities for visitors.
• It is home to a number of unique and interesting animals, including the quokka, a small marsupial native to the island. The island is also home to a diverse range of bird species, including seabirds, shorebirds, and waterbirds.
• Rottnest Island has a rich history and cultural significance, and a visit to the Rottnest Island Museum is a must for anyone interested in learning more about the island's past.
• In addition to the beach and water activities, Rottnest Island also has a number of walking trails and other outdoor activities, including bike riding, fishing, and boating.
• The Island is a great Perth tourist attraction for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and relax in a beautiful natural setting.

How To Reach

This is how we can reach Rottnest Island from Perth Airport

By Bus: Take a bus (40) from Fauntleroy Av After Dunreath Dr to Victoria Park Transfer Stn Stand E and then another (960 or 220) to Wellington St Before Forrest Pl. From there reach Perth Stn Platform 7 and take the Fremantle Line to Fremantle Stn Platform 2. A 30-minute ferry ride will take you to the island from Fremantle. The entire trip takes 2 hours and 44 minutes.

By Taxi: Get a taxi from Perth Airport (PER) to Hillarys Boat Harbour. A car ferry from the harbour, available three times a day, will take you to the island in an hour. The entire trip takes 1 hour and 27 minutes.

Best Time To Visit

As Australia is situated in the southern hemisphere, you will find here a moderate Mediterranean style climate. Summer here runs from November to February and it is the best season to visit Rottnest Island.

The humidity is minimal in summer and the temperature varies between 30 and 40℃. In addition to this, Rottnest Island is a little cooler than Perth. So, visitors can easily enjoy swimming in the sea and other activities at this time.

However, visitors, who might not want to visit Rottnest Island in summer, the recommended time for them is in Autumn or Spring. In autumn or the months of October to early November, the temperature ranges between 11 and 20℃. The sea is also found calm where you can experience a lot of water sports and a swim.

Besides autumn, April to May in spring is also a preferable time to visit the beaches. The temperature starts falling from the month of April to an average low of 13℃. 

Other Essential Information


Rottnest Island is located just off the coast from the city of Perth, in West Australia. It lies 18 kilometres or 12 miles to the west of Fremantle. It is 45 minutes from Hillarys Boat Harbour in northern Perth if you take a ferry or 25 minutes from Fremantle by ferry as well and is a 90-minute ferry ride from the Barrack Street Jetty.

The first ferry leaves for Rottnest at around 6:30 in the morning from Northport Fremantle and many more are available throughout the day until 5:15 in the evening. Return trips can be availed anytime between 8:30 am and 7:30 pm. It is advised that passengers reach the terminal, for the ferry to the islands, thirty minutes before the assigned time for departure.

-Entry fee:
Visitors need to pay a landing fee or Government Admission Fee which is collected as a part of their ferry fare, on behalf of the Rottnest Island Authority, by the various ferry companies of the island.

The fee for an adult is AUD $19 (during the day) and AUD $25 (overnight), for children between four and twelve AUD $7 (during the day) and AUD $8.5 (overnight) whereas groups comprising of two adults and two children are required to pay AUD $45.5 (during the day) and AUD $56 (overnight). 

-Distance from Perth Airport:
Rottnest Island is about 42 km from Perth Airport (PER).

History of Rottnest Island

About 7000 years ago, the Aboriginal people were the only inhabitants of the Rottnest and were believed to have stayed there since 30,000 years ago. During European colonisation, between the years 1838 and 1931, Rottnest was operated as an Aboriginal prison.

The prison’s abolition was announced after years of prisoner escapes, cruelty to inmates and even death due to epidemic.Under the Permanent Reserves Act, Rottnest Island became an A-class reserve (crown land with the status of most highly protected) in May 1917.

The military history also includes attempts to defend the Fremantle port, a major Allies navy base in the Indian Ocean, at the time of the Second World War by putting down two 9.2-inch guns at Oliver Hill close to the middle of the island, and two other 6-inch guns at Bickley Point. Any attacking ship could be destroyed right from Rottnest before it could reach the range of the port.

In terms of administration, after the formation and modification of several authoritative entities, finally, in 1988 the Rottnest Island Authority became the main operating body of the island.

Eat and Drink at Rottnest Island

Visitors can get several favourite eating options on the island. Most importantly, amid the beach, with beautiful scenery, these eating options will surely make them reconsider visiting the place again.

1. Kalli’ on Roto:
Located at the Wadjemup Lighthouse, this cafe is a classic caravan where you can sit and enjoy the complete view of the island while relishing mouthwatering ice cream.

2. Rottnest Bakery:
Do not forget to sneak in this popular Bakery during your visit to Rottnest Island. The freshly baked items served by using the native ingredients is a must-try for all the tourists.

3. Lexi’s on Roto:
This cafe is situated in the West End of Rottnest Island where you can sit and enjoy delicious snacks and a cup of coffee.

4. Good Cartel Coffee:
Different from all the usual cafes, this place has a lovely ambience. Far away from the hustle and commotions, the Good Cartel Coffee offers the best coffee and excellent service within an affordable rate.

5. Dome Cafe:
Just after getting off the ferry, take a short walk and visit this Cafe to savour a pancake or just to sip a warm cup of coffee. The picturesque view of Thomson Bay and the tasty snacks would not disappoint you at all.

6. Simmo’s Ice Creamery:
The ice creams being served here are a tasty dessert prepared by using the fresh local ingredients and a bit of Simmo’s secret imaginations. Serving more than 60 different ice creams, this small ice creamery has a beautiful ambience to offer you.

7. The Lane Cafe:
Satisfy your taste buds with a burger and a smoothie or choose anything from the wide range of snacks and drinks options of the Menu. The Lane Cafe will take care of all your cravings. From breakfast to lunch, this cafe is ready to serve you at any time and with any of your preferred bites.

8. Pinky’s Beach Club:
This club is quite popular because of its amazing location which offers a breathtaking view of the island. Serving plenty of dishes and snacks, Pinky’s Beach Club provides the best services to their guests.

9. Frankie’s on Rotto:
Situated amidst the busy settlement, this restaurant is a perfect place to taste the dishes while chit chatting with your friends. Flaunting a casual and family-friendly atmosphere, your kids would love the extensive range of pizza, pasta and salads.

10. Gov’s Sports Bar:
This bar is the ideal place to rest after a tiring day of the venture in the islands. It offers a wide range of beers and drinks along with live music for the entire week. Darts, pool, quizzes and comedy nights, Gov’s Sports Bar is the classic place to spend some exciting time.

11. Riva Restaurant:
The restaurant offers a variety of dishes and wines which will satisfy all the demands of the guests. From a varied range of cocktails to freshly cooked pizzas, Riva Restaurant is all set to serve your needs.

Accommodation in Rottnest Island

Most of the tourists choose Rottnest Island for a one-day trip. However, you can also make a plan for two or three days to this place. To stay, there are a number of options available on the island. Some of these are listed below.

1. Karma Rottnest:
From Rottnest ferry terminal, it will take just five minutes to Karma Rottnest. From both the long-standing Bathurst Lighthouse and Pinky Beach, the hotel is a nine minutes walk. The rooms of the hotels are decent enough to stay in.

The room services and free breakfast are also included in the package. The tourists will have a Mediterranean restaurant having a terrace to enjoy the scenic beauty of the place while having a meal at this place.

2. Hotel Rottnest:
If one lands on the Thomson Bay’s tranquil beach, the adult-only hotel is just four minutes away through walking from Rottnest Island ferry terminal. The air-conditioned rooms are provided with coffee and tea making facilities. There are flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi too.

3. Quest Fremantle:
This contemporary apartment hotel is set in the corner building having red brick facade. You have to walk for four minutes to reach from Fremantle train station, but the time increases to eight minutes if you start from the iconic Fremantle Markets. The hotel is provided with a gym, a rooftop terrace, a business centre, a courtyard, coin-operated laundry facilities and meeting space.

4. Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges:
The hotel is present on the former prison’s site. It is just 1 km away from Fremantle Prison museum and Western Australian Maritime Museum. While from Esplanade Park it is 2 km away.

There are upgraded rooms having balconies, while some of them come with whirlpool tubs and dining/entertaining areas too. Speaking of the amenities, the hotel has upscale and casual restaurants, an outdoor pool, an old-world pub and a fitness centre.

Tips for Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island is a unique natural place having turquoise waters and pristine beaches that you must have in your bucket-list. The summer is the best season to visit the island. The following tips will be helpful while touring the place.

-Take plenty of drinking water as you will be very thirsty roaming around the island and there are not so many drinking stations on the island.

-Besides water, pack some light snacks as food is only available in the main village.

-Apply your sunscreen lotion on your exposed body area before touring the island.

-Last and most important tip, never try to feed or touch the quokkas.
Read More
Day Wise Timings
Open Today
Normal Timings:
Open 24 Hours
Normal Timings:
Open 24 Hours
Normal Timings:
Open 24 Hours
Normal Timings:
Open 24 Hours
Normal Timings:
Open 24 Hours
Normal Timings:
Open 24 Hours
Normal Timings:
Open 24 Hours

Tourism Board Alliances

Rottnest Island FAQs

Can you take alcohol to Rottnest Island?

Yes, you can take alcohol packed in your luggage to Rottnest Island. Although you cannot board any vessel to Rottnest in a drunkard state. Moreover, there is a general store on the island where you can find drinks as well as foods, in case you forgot to take them with your luggage.

Can you take your car to Rottnest Island?

Unfortunately, a car is not allowed on Rottnest Island. The other ways to wander around the island are either by bus or bicycle. You can find several hop-on, hop-off buses that roam around the island. The one-day adult pass for the buses is AUD $20 and for children, it costs AUD $15.

However, if you are not comfortable with a bus and want to explore the island on your own, you can do it by bicycle. You can take one from the rental shops on the island, which costs around AUD $30 for one day.

How long does the Rottnest ferry take?

There are three ferry services operate between Perth and Rottnest Island. You can take a ferry from several places, such as Fremantle Victoria Quay, North Fremantle, Perth City, Hillary’s Boat Harbour and Barrack Street Jetty Elizabeth Quay.

Depending on the place where you are taking the ferry, the time of the journey varies about 30 mins to one hour. The most convenient one is from Fremantle B-shed, which takes 25 mins to reach Rottnest Island.

What is Rottnest Island famous for?

The island is the best-known home to the extinct animal, quokkas. Initially, the quokkas were mistaken as big rats from which the name ‘Rottnest’ actually comes. It was ‘rotte nest’ in Dutch, which means ‘rat nest’ in English. You can see this small adorable marsupial in abundant roaming around the island freely.

However, feeding or touching the animal is illegal. Besides, Rottnest Island is also famous for pristine beaches, stunning sceneries, swimming spots, snorkelling and fishing.

How long does it take to ride a bike around Rottnest Island?

Depending on how many places you will make for sightseeing, a bike ride takes around two to five hours to cover the whole island. Visitors can make it for a one-day trip, two days or three days. Nevertheless, it is always recommended to visit The Basin and Pinky’s Beach while taking a tour to the island.

What is the best time to visit Rottnest Island?

The best time to visit the island is from November to February. Try to avoid the island during the celebration time of “Schoolies Week” in mid-November. You should also avoid the beaches during public holidays, such as Rottnest Channel Swim in February and Port to Pub Swim in March.

If you want to feel the tranquillity of the sea relaxing on the beach in your holidays, weekdays between November to February will be ideal. The peak season is late October or late March, as the weather becomes pleasant in these times. However, the beaches will be found crowded at these times.

Why Choose Thrillophilia