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Drop in on
“I always recommend The Basin to
visitors. That’s where I go with my
family for a swim when they come
over. It’s safe and it’s beautiful.
There’s nowhere nicer I can think
“Go on a guided walk, go
riding, walking... have a look at
all the history – and, of course,
the quokkas! Rottnest is so
special – it is wonderful being
able to share it.”
TIP Only came for the day, but
packed for a week? No worries –
there are coin-operated lockers
available so you can explore the
DO AND SEE
ON YOUR BIKE
Rottnest is compact enough to be
enjoyed by pedal power alone, and
the lack of road traffic (most vehicles
are banned) makes for a pleasant
journey every time. If you don’t
want to bring your own bicycle, hire
one at Rottnest Island Pedal & Flipper
in Thomson Bay. You’ll find hundreds
of bikes for every age and ability, with
kiddie seats and tow carts, tandems
– the lot. You can even opt for an
electric bike if you’re feeling lazy.
TIP A ‘bike and bus’ pass allows you
to leave your bike at a numbered bus
stop while you jump on the Island
Explorer bus back to the settlement.
TIP After your ride, head to the
Rottnest Island Bakery for a pie
or a jam-and-cream doughnut.
Across the road is Simmo’s and
the Laneway Cafe, a great spot for
coffee and breakfast
STRETCH YOUR LEGS
For walkers, sections of the brand
new Wadjemup Walk Trail are ready
to tread. Choose from the lakes walk
(4km one way), which explores the 12
inland salt lakes and migratory birdlife
(allow two to four hours); the Salmon
Bay Walk (6.1km one way), which
includes a climb up to Wadjemup
Lighthouse for panoramic views over
the Indian Ocean (allow one to three
hours); and the Bickley Bay Walk
(9.4km one way), which focuses on the
history of the old military installations
on the island (allow two to four hours).
A local’s tip
“My favourite place to walk is between
Pink Lake and Lake Sirius. I like to
watch the reflections embrace the
Z Make a splash over summer
at Just 4 Fun Aqua Park in
Thomson Bay, with slides,
seesaws, beach bungee
and an obstacle course, plus
a kids’ knee-deep park for
the little ones.
Z Enjoy a leisurely 18 holes of
mini golf at the Family Fun
Park & Mini Golf in Thomson
Bay, or hit up the classic
pinball machines and arcade
games (blasts from the past
include Pac-Man, Space
Invaders and air hockey).
Z Enjoy a home-made choc
bomb or popcorn while
watching a blockbuster at the
Rottnest Island Picture Hall.
THE KARMA RESORTS
ROTTNEST CHANNEL SWIM
One of Western Australia’s iconic events, and the
biggest day of the year on the island, this 19.7km open-
water swim from Cottesloe Beach to Rottnest Island
is a ‘team’ event, with all swimmers surrounded by a support
network of paddlers, boat skippers and crew. Feb.
ROTTNEST OPEN HOUSE
This offers a rare opportunity to get inside some of the heritage-listed
limestone cottages, originally belonging to early European settlers
in Thomson Bay. Jul.
ROTTNEST AFTER DARK
Each year, the Rottnest Island Authority presents live performances. In
Scooplight Theatre’s Capturing the Enemy, the stories of prisoners of war,
once interred on the island, are brought to life at the Salt Store. Jul-Aug.
Come for a weekend of belly-busting laughs and toe-tapping beats
at this annual comedy and music festival. Sep.
The fundraising event, complete with pirates and mermaids,
includes plenty of free family activities, food and entertainment.
Part proceeds go towards Telethon. Oct.
CAST A LINE
You’re unlikely to leave Rottnest
without catching a fish, and it’s not
hard to find a place on the shore,
sheltered from the wind. Many fishing
spots are just a short bike ride from
the settlement. Head further out to
Radar Reef or Ricey Beachy, or just
a few kilometres off the West End
where the continental shelf drops to
great depths, and you’ll find bigger
fish among the reefs.
GET YOUR SNORKEL ON
More than 135 species of tropical fish
call the waters of Rottnest home.
The Basin and Salmon Bay are great
for beginners, and Parakeet Bay has
little coves. An underwater trail can be
followed at Parker Point, and there are
also some markers at Kingstown Reef.
Keep your eyes peeled – green turtles
often stop by, as do stingrays.
WHALE OF A TIME
In April, tens of thousands of
humpback and southern right whales
pass by the sheltered waters of
Rottnest Island, heading north. From
September, on their return trip, they
bring their calves down to rest and
play in the waters off the island.
(08) 9372 9730
DO AND SEE
Rottnest Island Picture Hall.
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