Discover the best things to do on Rottnest Island
Affectionately known as ‘Rotto’ by the locals, Rottnest Island is Perth's closest island paradise. Though this tiny island is situated just 19 km off the coast, it seems a world away.
Surrounded by sparkling turquoise waters, Rottnest Island is home to the happiest little animal on earth – the quokka. The only native mammal on Rottnest Island, quokkas cannot be found anywhere else on earth.
Best things to see and do on Rottnest Island
This amazingly diverse location packs a lot into its small size. Just 11 km in length and 4.5 km in width, the island is jam-packed with exciting activities for adventure seekers. Snorkelling, cycling, exploring on foot, surfing, fishing and even sky-diving are some of the most popular ways to enjoy time on this island paradise.
Ferry to Rottnest Island from Fremantle or PerthDepart from either Fremantle or Perth to Rottnest Island in style with SeaLink. Travel along the stunning Swan River and learn about its history before arriving at beautiful Rottnest Island. Spend the day exploring the pristine, tropical beaches, getting a Qu…
Snorkelling spots around Rottnest Island
Don a mask and grab a pair of flippers to set off on an underwater exploration. Thanks to crystal clear water, over 400 species of fish and even a shipwreck, snorkelling is a hugely popular activity on Rottnest Island. Popular snorkelling spots include The Basin, Parakeet Bay, Parker Point, Little Salmon Bay and Little Armstrong Bay. At Henrietta Rocks, you’ll find the ‘The Shark’ shipwreck making it an interesting and history-laden snorkelling experience.
At Parker Point, the water is protected by a sanctuary zone. You can spot pink coral, limestone rocks and an array of marine plants and animals. Salmon Bay acts as a nursery for juvenile marine life. Watch out for the crayfish, starfish and more.
Tip: Explore the island in a clockwise direction as the southern beaches are often best in the morning and the northern beaches most sheltered from the afternoon sea breeze.
Bike HireHiring a bike is one of the best ways to see Rottnest Island at your own pace. There are no private vehicles on the island so it’s safe for people of all ages. See the sites you want to see and stop at the beaches and bays you want to swim at. You will want a…
BaySeeker Package TourThis experience takes you on an expert-guided tour to see the unique flora and fauna and the many striking beaches. You will learn about the history of Rottnest Island visiting the must-see spots such as the Wadjemup Lighthouse, Henrietta Rocks, the majestic …
Whale watching on Rottnest Island
From September to November, come see the whales off Rottnest Island. There’s no better way to experience the majesty of these beautiful animals as they glide through the blue waters than on a whale-watching cruise.
Snap an ethical selfie with a Quokka
The Quokka is the only native mammal on Rottnest Island and is unique to the island. It’s a drawcard for people visiting the island who want to snap a selfie with these cute little smiling critters. Although they seem to have no fear of people and don’t mind it if you get up close when taking a photo with them, it's important to not touch or feed them.
The island's wetlands are home to many of Rottnest Island’s other animals. A large variety of birds and frogs inhabit the salt lake ecosystem.
Adrenalin Rush - skydiving
Are you a thrill seeker looking for a truly breathtaking and unforgettable experience while visiting Rottnest Island? Take to the air for an adrenaline-fuelled Rottnest Island skydive adventure. It's the most unique way to see the island!
Rottnest Skydive PackageHave you experienced the incredible rush of free fall? Your adventure experience begins with a warm welcome at the Rottnest Island Airport, followed by a briefing with your qualified and friendly Skydive instructor. After a quick goodbye to family and friends…
Take a ride to the Rottnest Island lighthouse. Originally built in 1849, a replacement tower was constructed on the same site in 1896 to become Australia’s first rotating-beam lighthouse.
Stunning Natural Beauty
Rottnest Island has 63 beaches and 20 bays to choose from. You are spoilt for choice when it comes to swimming, surfing, snorkelling or diving amongst amazing marine life and limestone reefs. With many sheltered bays, Rotto is ideal for young families to safely dive in and explore this underwater playground. If you get tired of sparkling blue oceans, you can detour to see Rottnest Island’s pink lakes for a change of scenery.
The Wadjemup Lighthouse and Oliver Hill Battery on Rottnest Island will appeal to history lovers. For stunning natural beauty, add Henrietta Rocks, Cape Vlamingh and the majestic Cathedral Rocks to your sightseeing plans.
Best places to eat on Rottnest Island
Delight in the flavours of fabulously fresh, locally caught seafood for a real taste of the ocean.
Looking for seafood heaven? Head to Lontara, where you will find Rottnest Island scallops, Fremantle Octopus and soft shell crabs on the menu. Soak up the sun and devour the Western Rock Lobster, a local delicacy at Pinky’s Beach Club. Served with smashed cucumber and green goddess dressing, it’s a must eat from their menu. If you’re looking for some early morning grub, head to The Lane. The menu here is all about modern-Australian comfort food.
Luxe Seafood CruiseBlend two of Western Australia’s best attractions − Rottnest Island and the Western Rock Lobster – on this ultimate luxury adventure. You’ll have the finest vantage point to see the island’s stunning coastline, dotted with beautiful beaches, bays and reefs as…
Historical sites – Oliver Hill Gun & Tunnel
For history enthusiasts, a guided tour of the Rottnest Island tunnel system and Oliver Hill Gun Fortification is an absolute must. This military infrastructure played a crucial role in Australia’s defence during World War II. At Oliver Hill, marvel at the maze of underground tunnels or jump on board the Captain Hussey trolley train, which will take you from Settlement Railway Station to Oliver Hill.
The best way to discover the indigenous history and culture of Wadjemup / Rottnest Island (meaning "place across the water where the spirits are") is on a guided aboriginal tour with Go Cultural Tours. You’ll learn about the local Noongar people, hear a Dreamtime story and hear the Noongar language as you explore the island over. Tours include a Welcome Smoking Ceremony which is a truly unique experience.
Getting Around Rottnest Island
When on Rottnest Island, bike hire is the easiest way to explore the sights. To ride around the entire island (22kms) you would need between 3-5 hours, alternatively there are shorter routes available. If cycling isn’t your thing, catch one of the regular hop-on, hop-off buses. Rottnest Island segway hire provides another fun option to zip about in style and explore the breathtaking scenery and hidden island treasures.
Guided Segway ToursGuided Segway tours offer a unique way to see Rottnest Island. Glide along the safe beachside paths to explore the pristine bays and beaches, including The Basin which is one of Rottnest Island’s most picturesque swimming spots. Stop off at some of Rotto’s fa…
Electric Bike TourTake in the amazing views of the beaches and bays on a 35km eco-electric bike tour. Over 4 hours you'll visit key locations including Kingstown Barracks and the West End. This tour provides a commentary on the natural environment and landforms, including info…
Rottnest Island Camping and Glamping
Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the opportunity to set up a tent at one of the Rottnest Island camping sites. There’s a great selection of options from basic unpowered sites, to the more glamorous Rottnest Island glamping deluxe tents, complete with kitchenettes, ensuites and king-sized beds. Enjoy the island's simple pleasures - quality time with family and friends, sunshine, swimming and serenity in a natural environment.
Rottnest Island Glamping EscapeGlamping Short Break Take time to discover the natural wonders, scenic beauty and friendly wildlife on one of Western Australia's most famous islands - Rottnest Island. Made famous for its friendly locals - the quokka - you will also learn about the history o…
Current Special Discounts and Deals
Start planning your next brilliant holiday to Rottnest Island, by checking out the special discounts and deals with SeaLink Rottnest Island.
Best time to visit Rottnest Island
The island has a lovely Mediterranean climate similar to Perth on the mainland. However it is sometimes a little cooler in Summer, with slightly warmer Winters compared to Perth. Between October and April is the best time to visit the island, when the weather is perfect and the seas are calm enough for snorkelling or other water sports.
Looking to explore more of Australia's beautiful island destinations? Here are the 8 best islands to visit in 2023.