The middle of the island near the lighthouse has some freshwater lakes. The colours are fascinating. One of them is a pink lake, the one next to it is bright blue. For whatever reason only one of the lakes contains the bacteria that create the pink colour.
The lakes are populated by many different species of water birds.
On clear sunny days it's hard to imagine how this island can be a threat to ships, but it is. There are several shipwrecks on the sea bottom around it. Some can be seen during a tour with a glass bottom boat or when scuba diving. Some are even visible from the shore, like this one, the trawler "Henrietta" close to the southwestern edge.
You can ride the complete island in 24Km's. There are many accessiable beaches along the way. Maps can be obtained from the tourist centre as soon as you disembark the ferry's.
Take note of the toilet and water facilities. Always bring some water, snacks and sunscreen fro the ride.
You can bring your own bike along or hire one from the ferry service or island!
Parker point has a snorkel trail that leads you to different plagues outlining the islands flora and fauna.
We went to Parker point first thing in the morning and the water was very calm. We set up in a small cove area and had the snorkel trail to ourselves!
Parker Point has some beautiful pink coral!
Where is the trail?
Walk down the stairs and to your left are some rocks, the trail is on the other side.....there are buoys that mark the area. You cant access the other side on land, so you will need to set up on the beach and swim or walk as the water is not deep.
Rottnest Island has many reefs to explore and also ship wrecks! Some reefs are accessable from the beach shore and very family friendly such as Little Salmon Bay and Parker Point Marine Sanctuary.
Other snorkel points include Fays Bay and Little Parkeet bay.
Each reef is very unqiue - some have coral, others have lots of grasses and others have the cliffs.
Snorkelling is the best in the morning when the ocean is calm, in the afternoon the swell increases and it can be choppy at times.
A 5km bike ride will take you to Salmon Bay - a beautiful bright blue, white sandy beach. You can snorkel here too. Its a great beach if you wish to have some space. There is still lots of ppl but the beach stretches for a while and you have a good choice of spots. Many boats also moor at the this beach.
We rode to the Basin and it was packed with lots of people so we kept riding for about 10 minutes and found Fays Bay which was quieter and plenty of room to stretch out.
Fays Bay is great in afternoon as it is protected from the seabreeze. It is also great for snorkelling!
This beach is very good for the kids.
The Visitor Centre is right at the end of the Jetty and is run by the Rottnest Island Authority. You can get all the info on the island as well as book any bus tours there. There are guided walking tours and these are also arranged at the Visitor's centre and are free. They begin outside the Visitors centre.
Just down the hill from the Bathurst Lighthouse is the cottage that belonged to the keeper. The cottage has sweeping views of Thompson Bay and has been extensively refurbished and is now part of the holiday accommodation on the island.
This is Bus Stop 11 of the Bayseeker Bus Route. There are toilets here at the end of the boardwalk. The beach is down some stairs and off the boardwalk. The ‘Mira Flores’ went down just opposite this bay in 1886.
On the way up the hill to the Wadjemup Lighthouse, I came across this little Quokka. He was the friendliest little thing. He came right up to me and started to sniff my hand and then lick my fingers - could have been the salt on my hands. After stroking him and him nuzzling my leg, I started to walk off, only to have him follow me. A few more cuddles then I had to coax him back from the side of the road before finally being able to walk away.
There is a free guided walking tour on Rottnest Island which is conducted by volunteer guides. These walks are all individual and cover different areas and interests. Most of them run around 1 hour. There is the ‘History of the Settlement’, Vlamingh Lookout and Salt Lakes walk’, ‘Guns and Tunnels’, ‘Bathurst Lighthouse and Pilot Boat Service’, ‘Quokka Walk’. There are also some Self Guided walking tours.
You will see a wind turbine from a few different places around the island. It was installed in 2004 and is helping to provide a better energy supply to the island saving 37% in diesel fuel. It also helps to power a water desalination plant which the island now has.
Today the old salt store is an exhibition gallery. There is usually a mix of both art and photographic works on display. There are also volunteer guides there to help you with any questions on the island.
The old Salt Store building has been classified by the National Trust and is one of the oldest buildings on the island. The limestone building was built in 1868 by Aboriginal convicts and was restored in 1997. You will find it just up the hill from the main jetty. Originally the building used to store the bagged salt which was collected from 2 of the islands salt lakes. It would be kept here before being shipped over to Fremantle.