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Rottnest IslandAustralia

Enjoy the beautiful waters, the stunning wildlife and the rich heritage of this fascinating island just off the coast of Perth.

Lying less than 20 kilometres from the mainland and set in the mesmerising waters of the Indian Ocean, Rottnest Island is a popular destination with holidaymakers who come to see the local flora and fauna, go for a swim, and laze under the sun on its white sandy beaches.

A small island of just 11 kilometres by 4.5 kilometres at its longest and widest points, it nonetheless has plenty to offer. You can get around the island by renting a bicycle of taking the shuttle bus from the ferry stop and see the key destinations dotted around. The main settlement is built around Thomas Bay, and the further you tread the quieter and more secluded the island becomes.

There are so many ideal spots to swim all around the island. If you’re a keen snorkeler you can delve into the water to see the coral and fish. You can also go shore diving or dive off a boat and see the nurse sharks and rays in the waters around the island. Surfers can also ride the waves at Strickland and Stark Bays. Or for a marginally drier experience, get on board a glass-bottom boat to see the coral at its finest.

Among the wildlife unique to the island are quokkas, small marsupials which the Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh discovered here back in the 17th century. Thinking they were rats, this is what led him to name the island 'Rottnest', or ‘Rat’s Nest’. The Aboriginals, However, who had lived here for the better part of 6,500 years before the Dutchman arrived, called the island 'Wadjemup'. You can find out more about all this and the island’s history and discovery by European settlers at the Rottnest Island Museum.

For a great view of the ocean you can climb up to the top of the Bathurst Lighthouse. Several ships have struck the island’s reefs over the years and sunk; on the shore you can see plaques dedicated to them and signalling the wreckages.

You can reach Rottnest Island by boarding a pedestrian ferry from the docks in Fremantle, the jetty in central Perth or from Hillarys Boat Harbour. If you’re planning to stay over to explore more of the island, make sure you find somewhere to stay in advance.

Top hotels in Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island Authority
Rottnest Island Authority
3 out of 5
Vlamingh Way, Thompson Bay, Rottnest Island, WA
The price is AU$139 per night from 25 Oct. to 26 Oct.

Offering direct access to the beach, this Perth resort is next to a golf course and within a 5-minute walk of Thomson Bay and Rottnest Island Salt Lakes. The ...

4/5Very Good! (166 reviews)
Great place

"Great place, old but clean and well equipped with everything you need."…"

Reviewed on 20 Mar. 2020

Rottnest Island Authority
Karma Rottnest
Karma Rottnest
3 out of 5
Kitson Street, Rottnest Island, WA
The price is AU$250 per night from 22 Oct. to 23 Oct.

Situated by the ocean, this spa lodge is within a 5-minute walk of Rottnest Island Salt Lakes and Thomson Bay. The Basin and Pinkie Beach are also within 10 ...

3.7/5Good! (490 reviews)

"Nice location, near the jetty and amenities. Friendly and helpful staff. Food great, even breakfast. Dinner is the restaurant was very good. Not so good is noise from the pub till late on certain nights."…"

Reviewed on 12 Mar. 2020

Karma Rottnest
Discovery Rottnest Island
Discovery Rottnest Island
3 out of 5
Strue Road, Rottnest Island, WA
The price is AU$318 per night from 4 Nov. to 5 Nov.

Nestled on the beach, this Perth hotel is within a 10-minute walk of The Basin, Pinkie Beach and Longreach Bay. Rottnest Island Salt Lakes and Thomson Bay are ...

4.4/5Excellent! (100 reviews)

"The Glamping Tents are a Fantastic unique experience! The whole Family throughly enjoyed our time at Discovery. Had a great night's sleep. Pool area was Awesome. Could not fault the Resort. Only thing i would suggest, would be Pancakes/ Waffles on the Kids Breakfast menu. Breakfast was a nice ..."…"

Reviewed on 10 Oct. 2020

Discovery Rottnest Island
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Holiday Rentals in Rottnest Island

Be. Fremantle
Be. Fremantle
4.5 out of 5
43 Mews Rd, Fremantle, WA
The price is AU$195 per night from 22 Oct. to 23 Oct.

Located in Fremantle, this luxury aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Bathers Beach and Fremantle Markets. Fremantle Prison is 1.1 mi (1.7 km) away. Fremantle ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (521 reviews)

"Wish we could have stayed more than one night, GLORIOUS views just WOW amazing location a nice 10 to 15 mins from the hub of Fremantle. The room was lovely, we loved, loved our stay!!"…"

Reviewed on 11 Oct. 2020

Be. Fremantle
Ramada VetroBlu Scarborough Beach
Ramada VetroBlu Scarborough Beach
4.5 out of 5
48 Filburn Street, Scarborough Beach, Scarborough, WA
The price is AU$174 per night from 5 Nov. to 6 Nov.

Located in Scarborough, this luxury aparthotel is 0.3 mi (0.6 km) from Scarborough Beach, and within 3 mi (5 km) of Trigg Beach and Hamersley Public Golf Course. ...

4.4/5Excellent! (146 reviews)

"Perfect little apartment . Very clean, close to the beach and had everything I needed. Pillows were also very comfortable."…"

Reviewed on 16 Aug. 2020

Ramada VetroBlu Scarborough Beach
Adina Apartment Hotel Perth
Adina Apartment Hotel Perth
4.5 out of 5
33 Mounts Bay Road, GPS: 21 Mounts Bay Road, Perth, WA
The price is AU$179 per night from 1 Nov. to 2 Nov.

Located in Perth Central Business District, this luxury aparthotel is steps away from St George's Terrace and Perth Convention Exhibition Centre (PCEC). Brookfield ...

4.3/5Excellent! (1,247 reviews)

"I found the staff very courteous and helpful. Definitely recommend this spot"…"

Reviewed on 1 Jun. 2020

Adina Apartment Hotel Perth
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Rottnest Island

Scarborough Beach
Image for Scarborough Beach

Scarborough Beach

4.5/5(450 reviews)

Pedestrian promenades with ocean views, fun playgrounds, shops and cafés, and of course the beach itself, make this one very popular surf beach indeed.

Hillarys Boat Harbour
Image for Hillarys Boat Harbour

Hillarys Boat Harbour

4.5/5(352 reviews)

From mini golf to fine dining, there’s plenty to see and do at this delightful marina in Perth’s northern suburbs.

Cottesloe Beach
Image for Cottesloe Beach

Cottesloe Beach

4.5/5(451 reviews)

Among the best loved family beaches Perth has to offer, here take a swim, go surfing, and while away the hours under the sun.

Elizabeth Quay
Image for Elizabeth Quay

Elizabeth Quay

4.5/5(946 reviews)

An exciting new addition to the Perth riverfront, this precinct has everyone talking. There is already heaps to see and do and it’s not even finished yet.

City Beach
Image for City Beach

City Beach

4.5/5(356 reviews)

Enjoy the tranquility of a gorgeous natural beach close to the city centre of Perth. Dive in for a swim or surf, laze on the warm sand or go beachcombing.

Kings Park and Botanic Garden
Image for Kings Park and Botanic Garden

Kings Park and Botanic Garden

4.5/5(892 reviews)

This striking stretch of green in the heart of Perth is home to the amazing State Botanic Gardens as well as attractions for all the family.

Top activities in Rottnest Island

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

AU$108
Per adult
92% of travellers recommend
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

AU$184
Per adult
80% of travellers recommend
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

AU$104
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
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

AU$124
Per adult
90% of travellers recommend
SeaLink Rottnest Island Same Day Return Ferry from Fremantle
Image for SeaLink Rottnest Island Same Day Return Ferry from Fremantle

SeaLink Rottnest Island Same Day Return Ferry from Fremantle

AU$72
Per adult
98% of travellers recommend
Fremantle Ferris Wheel
Image for Fremantle Ferris Wheel

Fremantle Ferris Wheel

AU$12
Per adult

Reviews of Rottnest Island

4.6

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
34
5 - Excellent 65.38461538461539%
4 - Good
17
4 - Good 32.69230769230769%
3 - Okay
1
3 - Okay 1.9230769230769231%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

22 Feb. 2020

We have always loved Rotto, but it is disappointing to see how it is losing some of it's charm....lots of buses, extra vehicles, a lot of building for additional accomodation. Sadly a small island that is becoming over run with tourists.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

2 Feb. 2020

Laid back island , kids love being able to cycle . Lovely bays for swimming and snorkeling. Take your own food over as every thing is over priced. Not much else to do besides cycling, sight seeing, beach so pack board games etc

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

30 Jan. 2020

Expensive for a family holiday, but the island is awesome.

4/5 - Good

Pat

5 Jan. 2020

Accommodation too expensive for poor standard Dome cafe food is very poor standard too The beaches are beautiful and ferry attendants friendly

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

29 Dec. 2019

Don’t stay in Thomson Bay Area on Friday or Saturday night if you want peace and quiet as the pub frequently gets noisy bands playing outdoors.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

20 Dec. 2019

Loved cycling around the island on an ebike, wish I had time to stop and snorkel some of the beaches

Cities near Rottnest Island

Perth showing skyline, a sunset and a city

Perth