An early idea of what you should be expecting on the island!
The Island is 11 kilometres long, 4.5 kilometres at its widest point, and the land area measures 1,900 hectares. At the narrowest, it is only 240m across at...drumrolls, Narrow Neck.
It is a 24km ride around the island. Allow at least 2.5 hours for a leisurely cycle.
The Island is an 'A' Class reserve managed by the Rottnest Island Authority.
Each visitor to the Island pays an entry fee to the Island ($11.50 for adults and $1.00 for children), which is included in the ferry fare, or as part of an annual admission fee for boat owners.
Journeys by ferry take 30 minutes from Fremantle, 45 minutes from Hillarys, 90 minutes from Perth, and you can also get to the Island in 10-15 minutes by areoplane from Jandakot Airport.
Favorite thing: Just for train enthusiasts, they have a little train that does a bit of the island. We havn't gone on it, but I managed to get a pic from the bus. You can see where the train goes on the map above.
Rottnest is a tiny island, packed with beaches. In fact there are over 40 beaches in 25 miles of coastline, each one different and spectacular in their own rights.
The best way to see all these beaches, is by bus, or bike. I actually recommend both. Start with the bike, to get an overall feel of the island. Its a long ride, taking over 4 hours, but you can stop when you want, and get an idea of the overall picture of the island. Then once you have seen the entire coastline, hop on the bus, and stop off at your favorite beaches that you saw from the bike. The bus drivers have no problem with stopping at any of the beaches upon request.
Here's my list of the best beaches on Rottnest...
Little Parakeet Bay - A secluded beach, tucked away on the north side of the island. Very small, and just a short walk away from Geordie Bay.
Mary Cove - Even more private then Little Parakeet Bay, and a great snorkling spot. Located along the south/west shore of the island.
The Basin - Not as private as the other beaches, but a great beach non the less. A neat little tide pool area, where you can sit on the edge, and dangle your feet.
Little Salmon Bay - Not really a beach, but a breathtaking little cove that you can look down on from uptop Salmon Point. Salmon Bay, is just a short walk away, and a great swimming beach.
The picture is a map of Rottnest, with all of the great beaches listed.
Favorite thing: You can travel around Rottnest Island in about 50 minutes on the Island bus. It doesn't cost very much and you buy a day ticket and get on and off as you like at the different bays and secluded beaches around the Island.
Quokkas are a small macropod, like kangaroos and wallabies, but about the size of a house cat. They are found only in the southwest of Western Australia, and most prominent on the island of Rottnest.
Infact, Rottnest got its name because of the Quokkas. When dutch explorers first came to Rottnest, they thought the quokkas were giant rats, there for naming the island Rottenest. The name Quokka, comes from the Aboriginal language.
Quokkas are now considered an endangered species. Though they thrive on Rottnest, throughout the mainland of Australia, their numbers are few, mostly due to deaths caused by the red fox, cats, and dogs.
They are considered herbivores, getting their nutrition from plants, trees and grass. They spend most of the day, beneath bushes and trees to conserve energy, and can be most commonly seen during sunrise or sunset.
On Rottnest they freely forage for food among the community, and its easy to get extremely close to them. Just remember that they are protected animals, and harming them results in huge fines and possible jail time.
Favorite thing: When you come to the island to stay, you are asked to bring only two bags per bed. Please note there are size restrictions and it is best to check this out before you depart. If you are in excess of this allowance, you may incur an extra charge as well as a delay in delivery. Only bags are delivered to your accommodation and if you are not there, they will be put outside your unit. If you are taking bikes, golf bags, surf-ski’s, surfboards or fishing rods, you will have to take these yourself once you reach the island.
Favorite thing: If you are arriving by private boat to the island, you will still need to pay an admission fee. This fee goes towards the conservation of the island. If you are a regular visitor, then there are moorings and jetty pens for hire and these are administered by the islands Marine and Boating division.
Snorkelling at Rottnest is lots of fun and kids can also do it.
Some tips for snorkelling.
1. Morning is the best with the ocean being crystal clear and calm.
2. For kids, go to the recommended snorkel spots on the map
3. Never snorkel alone
4. Dont stand on the reef or touch the marine life, the island goes to great lengths to protect the marine life.
5. Be aware of your surroundings.
6. Snorkel gear can be hired from the island
7. Put sunscreen on before you go snorkelling as you will burn under water!
Rottnest island is very small and a very pristine Island. As there are no cars on the Island the only way to get around is either on the local busses or like most, on a hired bicycle. The Island is about 12 kilometers long and three wide.. I walked and took the "Hop on Hop off" bus to various beaches and coves. All the bikes had been hired out when I arrived.
The sun can be extremely hot here in the summer time and it pays to Always carry plenty of bottled water with you...There are water fountains at many of the various beaches..Also the good news is that there are public toilets at nearly every beach (some with showers) on the Island these are kept clean and not very far apart. Information can be found when arriving at Thomson Bay at the Information Centre..here you can get a "mud map " of the Island showing all ammenities roads and cycle paths. Also located closeby is the Post Office if you want to send a postcard with a "Rottnest Island postmark" as I did. There are also a few shops with souvenirs , hamburgers , fish and chips and various other food and drink items..
When I travel I always carry a small pack of tissues with me" in case the roll is empty"
Favorite thing: Rotto has a few lighthouses. Here is a pic I took from the bus. Amazed it turned out!! :o)
Favorite thing: Accommodation is still relatively cheap on Rottnest. You can still camp there and here are some of the little cabins you can rent.
Favorite thing: If you really look around you can see a lot of wildlife. I saw quokka's, but you'll trip on them if you don't take care so that isn't hard. But I also saw a blue tongue lizard and a few goana's.