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Known to the local Noongar people
as Wadjemup, Rottnest is believed
to have separated from the mainland
about 7000 years ago, and now lies
a tantalising 19km off the Perth
coastline – just a short ferry ride away.
The coral reefs surrounding
Rottnest are fed by the warm Leeuwin
current, meaning the waters are
populated by a teeming array of
colourful marine life – boasting
a diversity second only to that found
in Shark Bay in the state’s far north.
Rottnest’s popularity is as
enormous as the island is small, yet
you can always find a secluded stretch
of white sand. There are 63 beaches
and 20 bays crammed into
EVERYBODY’S FAVOURITE PLACE TO ESCAPE,
THE SANDY, CAR-FREE ISLE OF ROTTO, HAS
BEEN WINNING THE HEARTS OF VISITORS FOR
MORE THAN A CENTURY. EXPERIENCE ITS UNSPOILT
BEACHES AND RELAXED PACE FOR YOURSELF.
an area just 11km long and 4.5km at
its widest point. Most people are
drawn to the sheltered swimming
holes near Thomson Bay, where the
ferries arrive and depart, or Geordie
Bay, a secondary hub 2km away.
But there are more treasures to
be found by those who are willing
to pedal their bikes a little further
afield – from historical monuments,
inland salt lakes and secret fishing
spots, to mysterious diving wrecks
and coral playgrounds.
Visitors are guaranteed to fall in
love with the island’s famous and
friendly quokkas. They inspired the
name ‘Rottnest’, which translates to
‘rat’s nest’ in Dutch.
➊ Take the Wadjemup
Lighthouse tour and enjoy
360-degree views that
extend to the mainland.
➋ Ride the island’s Captain
Hussey train to the historic
Oliver Hill Battery and Gun
Tunnel. 1.30pm daily.
➌ See the sights by light
plane, boat, foot, motorised
segway or air-conditioned
coach. If you’re feeling
underwater with a snorkel.
➍ Tee off at the refurbished
Rottnest Island golf course.
➎ Paddleboard in one of the
many tranquil bays.
➏ Snorkel at The Basin,
only 10 minutes from the
settlement, which has
shallow, clear water ideal
for underwater viewing.
➐ Spot bottlenose dolphins,
known for feeding and surfing
the waters of Salmon Bay.
➑ Catch the antics of a colony
of New Zealand fur seals from
a spot on the new Cathedral
Rocks viewing platform.
➒ Watch ospreys tend to their
burgeoning nests at West End.
Some of the stacks are more
than 70 years old.
➓ Have a rejuvenating
experience at Karma Spa
at Rottnest Lodge.
For more visit scooptraveller.com.
Rottnest is a place where families and friends can stay in neighbouring
cabins and share barbecues on the verandah after long days of swimming
and snorkelling in the sun. Book self-catered accommodation through
the Rottnest Island Authority, from modern units to north-facing heritage
cottages at Geordie Bay, or a 50-bed hostel and a camping ground near
The Basin. Serviced rooms are available at the Rottnest Hotel. Rottnest
Lodge offers a pool, bars and a variety of comfy rooms.
Quokkas can be been seen
foraging for food around
Rottnest without a care in
the world. These adorable
marsupials are generally
nocturnal, sleeping under
bushes throughout the day.
Tiny joeys can be seen from
September to November.
Avoid feeding them, as ‘human
food’ can make them very sick.
If you are travelling light with
a party of five or six, arrive by air
taxi, charter plane, private boat
or helicopter. Otherwise, take
a ferry from Perth, Hillarys Boat
Harbour or Fremantle.
Rottnest Fast Ferries are
wheelchair-accessible, and the
island has wide paths, ramps,
and toilet facilities. The visitor
centre has a complimentary
buggy, adult tricycles,
electric scooters and beach
wheelchairs. The Rottnest Island
Authority and Rottnest Lodge
offer accommodation with
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