The Top Things to do on Rottnest Island

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An island paradise that lies just off the coast of Western Australian capital Perth, Rottnest Island is a beautiful destination intermingling natural scenery and a dose of history for a stunning single and multi-day getaway from the mainland. The island was voted #1 in our annual Australia's Top 10 Destinations to Experience poll by the public for 2014, with many of the reasons it's such a popular spot carrying it to victory; its mixture of secluded, sandy bays and beaches, wonderful snorkelling and surfing opportunities, family-friendly setup and interesting military architecture and Aboriginal historic sites make for a diverse yet easily navigable place to both relax and explore. Rottnest Island is also home to an interesting and varied amount of animal life, perhaps most notable its famed Quokka - a cute, cuddly and smiley mammal that has made them one of the darlings of the Internet in recent years.

Those visiting Rottnest can take part in a variety of experiences to explore its many offerings both on and off-shore; take a cruise in the surrounding waters to soak in marine life including dolphins, seals and more; go swimming or snorkelling in the 60+ beaches that the island plays host to; visit a number of historic sites including museums and other heritage attractions; take in amazing views from atop the Wadjemup Lighthouse; enjoy a drink and a bite to eat at the popular Hotel Rottnest, and much, much more. Simply choose from the available Rottnest Island experiences for more information and to book online today.

Select one from the following:

Select one or more from the following:

Top 10 Things to do in - Rottnest Island and surrounds

Fur Seal Colony
Quokka Walk
Strickland Bay
Scenic Flight
Wadjemup Walking Trail
Oliver Hill Train Ride & Tunnel Tour

1. Cycle around the island

Location:Rottnest Island

With almost no cars to be found on the island and very little motorised transport overall, by far the best and most enjoyable way to travel around Rottnest is via bicycle. Hire a bike, clip up your helmet and get ready for a great day exploring Rottnest Island, with plenty of options to choose from; depending on how far you’re wanting to ride and what you want to see, there is guaranteed to be a trail to suit you.

2. See the NZ fur seal colony

Location:Cathedral Rocks, Rottnest Island

Get up close to watch the local New Zealand Fur Seal colony sun themselves and play in the water from the Cathedral Rocks viewing platform. Located a safe enough distance away so as not to disturb the animals, this is a great way to enjoy a free animal encounter in the wild.

3. Go on a guided Quokka Walk

Location:Main Settlement, Rottnest Island

Embark on a FREE guided walk to see some of the island’s most famous residents; quokkas. Favouring the middle to late afternoon, the quokkas come out in full swing to play on the island and mingle with the daily flush of visitors. They can be seen on your own by just wandering around, however, this tour will give you an education and informative look at these adorable animals.

4. Go skydiving

Location:Rottnest Island Airport Terminal, Brand Way, Rottnest Island

Skydiving ranks towards the top of many tourists and locals bucket lists , however doing so above the backdrop of gorgeous Rottnest Island is a whole new story. The beautiful blue waters of the region that rival that of the Great Barrier Reef make for the perfect panorama over which to free fall into. While in the air, you’ll also be able to put into perspective the size of the island; it can be quite surprising just how small it actually is.

5. Surf at Strickland Bay

Location:Strickland Bay

Having previously been ranked amongst the top 50 breaks in the world, Strickland Bay is an ideal surf spot for those looking to try or nail that iconic Western Australia surf. Located on the south-west side of the island, Strickland is a popular surf spot for both locals and visitors alike. Strickland Bay is one of eight great surf locations on the island including the likes of Salmon Bay, Stark Bay, The Basins Ledge and The Rotto Box, so if one isn’t breaking particularly well that day, there are plenty of alternatives to choose from.

6. Snorkel at The Basin or Parker Point

Location:Various locations

The waters surrounding the island are brimming with vibrant marine life and corals and therefore create the perfect underwater playground to explore. Two popular snorkelling spots include The Basin on the northeast side and Parker Point at the southern tip.

7. Enjoy a scenic helicopter flight

Location:Jandakot Airport, 16 Eagle Dr, Jandakot

Visitors can get the ultimate angle and enjoy a 40-minute flight above the island for sweeping views of Rottnest and its picturesque surrounds. This awesome experience is ideal for special occasions and departs from the mainland at Jandakot Airport, which is around 20 km from Perth CBD. For flights to take off a minimum of two passengers are required, making this the ideal experience for couples looking to splurge with a scenic and memorable experience to and on Rottnest Island.

8. Drop a line off a local Jetty

Location:Thomson Bay to Geordie Bay

Shore-based fishing is permitted off the various jetties found between Thomson Bay and Geordie Bay, meaning fishing enthusiasts can try their luck and cast a line for a catch of one of the local table fish. Herring is the most common fish found in the waters off Rottnest, however, if you’ve got the skills (and the luck) you might catch one of an assorted mixed bag of species including skippy, tailor, silver bream, flounder or flathead. Additionally, if you’re visiting during April and May, you might be lucky enough to catch one of the Western Australian salmon that visit the island during this period.

9. Follow the Wadjemup Walk Trail

Location:Rottnest Island

Stretching over 50 km around the island, you can choose to complete the entire trail, or instead stick to one of its three designated sub-sections. Walkers looking to conquer all or at least one of the trails must remember to bring a sufficient amount of water, comfortable shoes, and should keep to the designated trails – there’s an array of native wildlife to encounter here, including snakes in the cooler months as they like to sun themselves the open.

10. Tour Oliver Hill Train Ride & Tunnel

Location:Rottnest Island

Near the centre of the island sits Oliver Hill; a site of World War II remnants including an impressive 9.2-inch gun. An exciting way to explore the Hill is with the Oliver Hill Train Ride departing Settlement Railway Station in Thomson Bay. The trail seats up to 64 passengers and will take you on a scenic journey along the southern side of the island. The train boards at 1:20 pm for a 1:30 pm departure and guests are advised to either book their tickets in advance online, do so on the island at the main bus stop’s kiosk or Visitor Centre.