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FOR THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL
GUIDE & INTERACTIVE MAPS
Rottnest is only 11km long and 4.5km at its
widest, covering around 1900ha. Its diverse
habitats include salt lakes, bays and beaches
with squeaky white sands, and turquoise
waters teeming with fluorescent tropical
fish, swimming against a background of
brilliantly coloured coral. Head out on
heathland walks and bike rides, go fishing,
diving or snorkelling, and surf the break at
Strickland Bay, ranked in the top 50 in the
world. Outside the Settlement, the island
is an A-Class Reserve which functions like
a national park (no fires are allowed). The
island was extensively prepared to defend
Australia in the two World Wars, with two
of the biggest guns ever built located here.
PLACES TO GO
• Cycle around the island
• Snorkel the bays
• Spot Australian sea lions and
New Zealand fur seals
• See the guns at Oliver Hill
• Catch the Island Explorer Bus
• Dive the shipwrecks
All these events and more at
VISIT THE SEALS
Spot the New Zealand fur seals; walk along
the dirt track just before Cape Vlamingh and
look for the flippers sticking out of the water.
The seals are often very playful – but, like all
wild animals, they should be approached
The upgraded bowling green is available
for night bowls ($15pp for a two-hour
session) and, as of late autumn 2014, the
venue is licensed.
Offshore Try the ‘secret spot’ where sea
containers litter the ocean floor, creating
a haven for salmon and silver trevally in late
winter. For coordinates, search for ‘Rottnest
containers’ in notable fishing forums.
Onshore Cast into the sandy-bottomed
holes at Ricey Beach, where the reef extends
from the shore. Also try Salmon Bay, the
rocks to the left of Geordie Bay, and Natural
Bridge (best for kids, at low tide with an
ample supply of berley).
Forgot your rod? You can buy fishing rods
and bait from the General Stores in Geordie
Bay and Main Settlement in Thomson Bay.
Easy-to-reach wrecks are The Shark at
Henrietta Rocks and The Uribes at Thomson
Bay. Check seabreeze.com.au for the
Bathurst Point, Rottnest Island
(photography Marc Russo).
One is beautifully restored, and can turn
360 degrees and fire beyond Perth. A visit
to the Oliver Hill Battery to see these guns
and tunnels is a must-do for young and old,
to get a true appreciation of this unique
military heritage. Rottnest is a popular day
trip, but most people stay at least one night
to soak up the laid-back island experience.
Demand for accommodation is 4:1 during
summer and Easter, so book well in advance
(the ballot system is no longer is place).
Camping, backpacker, hotel and lodge
accommodation is also available and can be
booked all year round. Rent bicycles, sports
gear and snorkelling gear, plus surfboards,
paddleboards, vu boards and dive gear
(there is a compressor on the island), all
available at Rottnest Island Pedal & Flipper.
A WEEKEND ON ROTTO
GETTING THERE | The earliest ferry on a Saturday is 7.15am from the B-shed, Fremantle, and the last back to Perth on Sunday is
at 4.25pm. Avoid wasting any time shopping by pre-ordering your groceries from the General Store, which will be delivered to your
accommodation on arrival (for free!). If you’re travelling on your own boat, moorings can be rented online or on the day. Bear in mind
that you’ll need to find a berth with an appropriate coloured sticker, based on vessel length, and the official licensee always has priority.
If you leave your vessel, don’t forget to display your name and a contact number: get a laminated version made up before you leave.
WHERE TO STAY | Hotel Rottnest and the Rottnest Lodge are good weekend options and both will store your luggage for
you if you arrive before check-in. The Rottnest Lodge has an earlier check-in (1pm) and also has a self-contained family room available
so you’ve got the option to cook some meals at home. Other self-contained lodging includes the Kingston Heritage View Cottages
that feature great outlooks; the closest cottage to town is located next to the tennis court. Keep in mind that it may be better to
avoid the premium view villas with balconies if the weather forecast is looking stormy, and opt for one with a protected courtyard
instead. You can check out the map of all the accommodation online at www.rottnestisland.com. For basic accommodation there are
chalets and bungalows, a hostel and the campground.
GETTING AROUND | The easiest way to travel around the island is to bring your own bike – they can take a while to be unloaded
from the ferry, but if you’re arriving after 2pm you can assign someone to check in at the visitor centre while you wait for the bikes.
There’s a massive benefit to packing hand luggage only – you can rent a cargo carrier (30kg capacity, child carriers are 45kg) from the
hire shop, and be on your way as soon as you’ve collected your wheels, otherwise you’ll wait for your gear to be delivered to your
accommodation. If you prefer to hire a bike, simplify the process by booking and paying for one prior to your visit. There’s also a buggy
for wheelchair-confined visitors. It can be booked for a three-hour period, and is free to use (it was donated by a generous benefactor).
Top spots out
of the breeze
Southerly wind | Little Armstrong Bay,
Parakeet Bay and The Basin
Northerly wind | Parker Point and
Little Salmon Bay
Northeasterly | Little Armstrong Bay
Southwesterly | The Basin.
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