Located just an hour and a half off the Perth coast by Fast Ferry, Rottnest Island is another incredible Australian gem with quirky perks such as having no cars or seeing very cute and furry little creature: the Rottnest Island quokkas!
Taking advantage of spending a few days in Perth, I could not miss the Rottnest Island day trip and truly made the most of it in just about 7 hours! Discover below how to visit Rottnest Island, what to see, where to spot Quokkas and how to come back with the ultimate Quokka Selfie!
Have you seen my Rottnest Island Video? If not watch here!
Where is Rottnest Island and how to get there
Rottnest Island is a small island just off the shore from Perth in Western Australia. The only ways to get there are to either take the Fast Ferry (Rottnest Island Fast Ferry or Sealink ferry) from Elizabeth Quay in Perth or Fremantle near Perth, to get with your own motorboat or sailing boat, or to get a small plane to Rottnest Island airport.
I opted for the Fast Ferry early in the morning from Elizabeth Quay, which took me a nice one hour and a half to reach Rottnest Island. I had also good commentary and beautiful views all the way. And then opted for the way back from Rottnest to Fremantle so I could hang around Freo for a few hours in the evening.
The total price for me to get a return trip to Rottnest Island + bike hire - more on that below - was about 120 dollars which is quite expensive but definitely worth it. I also booked it a day before so probably didn’t get the best rate! Keep an eye in advance for better rates and offers.
What to do on Rottnest Island and how to get around
Rottnest Island has an incredible variety of things to do for all ages and all tastes! Whether you are staying a few hours or a few days, you’ll definitely get a good glimpse of the island.
There’s something you need to know: there is no car on Rottnest Island! And this is truly awesome. You’ll see maybe one odd car needed for maintenance around the island or the local police. But the main ways of transportation of Rottnest Island are either: cycling or the only tourist bus going from stop to stop! So no worries if you are not totally fit to cycle for a day, the bus is also a good option.
On Rottnest Island you can: cycle, sightsee, relax at the beach, discover incredible landscapes, eat and drink, stay over for the night or a few days, snorkel, surf, sail, swim (from port to pub - very famous swim), spot quokkas, fish, spot whales, dolphins and more…
I chose to cycle around the island for the whole day and did about 12 kilometres on that day! I did most of the island except the pointy bit thinking I might get too tired and might not have enough time.
My favourite beaches were Little Salmon Bay and Salmon Bay with incredible blue water and white sand, and I also spotted dolphins! This is easy to get to if you are only there for a few hours. I also wish I explored more of the Basin with nicer weather on the other side. Overall it’s worth going around the island and inside as well to see a bit of everything. You can do it all in one day but you’ll have to be pretty fit to cycle so much and have lots of hours ahead of you.
About the cycling: I thought it was totally manageable but I also cycle to work quite often with lots of hills. I would recommend for everyone to try at least the small circle and see a bit of the island this way. Also, no locks are provided unfortunately so keep an eye on your bike or bring your own!
Where to spot Quokkas on Rottnest Island and how to get the ultimate #QuokkaSelfie
This is the ultimate questions when on Rottnest Island: WHERE ARE THE QUOKKAS?! Well luckily, they are very easy to spot and very easy to approach. On the map provided by Rottnest Island, you’ll get some spots for Quokkas sightseeing. They do approach the humans a bit for food in the more touristy areas and definitely don’t feed or touch them but you can still get quite close. I recommend keeping an eye on bushes and more remote areas near the road and you’ll definitely see some!
And yes, they are the cutest animal ever! They are so just happy and friendly, it’s incredible. They have no predators on the island so they are very trustworthy of others and should be truly protected.
How to get the ultimate quokka selfie? Be patient and be ready to get to the ground! It’s totally fine to get a selfie as long as you are respectful and patient with the animal. Western Australia and Rottnest Island tourism boards are even encouraging it! Just don’t touch or feed them, get on the ground and get ready to take about 1000 pictures before getting THE ONE! It will make your day, week or every year really!
Are you planning a visit to Rottnest Island soon or have you been? Tell me your stories in the comments below!