Depending on where you are in Perth, the trip to Rottnest Island depends on where you are in the city. There are a few places you can go to ride the ferry to the island.
To get to Rottnest Island from Perth City’s Barrack Street Jetty takes 90 minutes as it has to travel via Swan River. It will take 45 minutes via Hillarys Boat Harbour, and 25 minutes from Fremantle’s Victoria Quay. Several ferry services in Perth offer travel to Rottnest Island for a fee.
Can You Do A Day Trip To Rottnest Island From Perth?
You can do a day trip to the island, but you will need to catch the first ferry in the morning to enjoy an eventful trip on Rottnest Island. Once you reach the island, visit the Rottnest Island Visitor Centre to pay for admission. Adults cost $20 while children 4-12 years old cost $7 for a day; if you are intending to return, the extended-stay ticket is a better deal.
Rottnest is a car-free island, so you can hire a bicycle, take the bus or walk around the island. If you are intending to just spend a day there, then the bus or bicycle will be the best option. You can purchase the ticket for the Island Explorer Hop-On/ Hop-Off Bus for $20. The ticket allows you to visit the main sights without having to walk the whole way.
Ideally, you will need around 6 hours to visit the attractions on Rottnest Island. Places that the Island Explore bus stops at include Wedjemup Lighthouse, West End, and Henrietta Rocks. From Wedjemup Lighthouse, it is a 30-minute walk to Oliver Hill Battery. At Oliver Hill, you can see war tunnels and a 9.2-inch restored gun that was used to protect the Western Australia coast during World War 2.
There are 5 walking trails on the island. The quickest one is the Ngank Wen Bidi trail, a 7.6km bush walk around the West End. The trail will take you towards Marjorie Bay and Mabel Cove, then you will arrive at The Cathedral Rocks Viewing Platform. From the Platform, you can watch long-nosed fur seals having fun in the water without disturbing them.
For history buffs, interesting places to see include Pilot Boathouse, where the building was built for pilot service in 1846. The boathouse contains replicas of pilot boats and it is now a museum you can visit to see pictures of life in Rottnest.
Other museums on the island include Wadjemup Museum and Lomas Cottage nearby. Both Wadjemup museum and Lomas Cottage are near the Pilot Boathouse, near the Visitor Information Centre.
What Is The Cheapest Way To Get To Rottnest Island?
For travels during weekdays, Sealink Saver offers a same-day return deal. You will depart from Fremantle at 7 am and return the same day for $49 adult inclusive of the island admission fee. Children under 12 travel for free, but they will have to pay the admission fee of $7. If you missed the 7 am deal, Sealink fare is $53 for a same-day return ticket without an admission fee.
If the times for Sealink do not suit, you can hop on to another ferry service to reach Rottnest Island. Rottnest Express is $59 without the admission fee, and it offers to pick you up from your hotel in Perth CDB for free in the morning. You will have to find your own way back when you return from the island.
On weekdays, Rottnest Fast Ferries has a deal for day trip ferry travels where you can get a combo ticket for the price of a normal day trip. Otherwise, it offers a Bus and Ferry deal for $88 or ferry and bike hire for $98 a day without an admission fee. Check out below for Get Your Guide deals.
The cheapest way to get around the island is to walk. Walking around the island might take at least 4 hours without stopping, so you can explore Rottnest Island and hunt for quokkas on foot. You can also hire a bicycle for $30 a day at Pedal and Flipper. You can add accessories such as a trailer, baby seat or tagalong for an additional fee. They also have junior bicycles for hire, as well as snorkel sets, paddle boards and diving gear.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Rottnest Island?
The best time to visit Rottnest Island is in spring (October to November), and in autumn (March to May). October and April are the best months because the temperature in Western Australia will be mild without a lot of rainfall.
You can visit Rottnest Island any time of the year. During the summer months, it can get hot and uncomfortable to explore by foot. But you can choose to snorkel or surf the seas to cool off instead. Rottnest Island has 63 secluded beaches. Rottnest Island gets up to 32C during summer and can go to a cool 19C in August, so you will have to plan your outfits according to travel times.
Popular snorkelling spots like Parker Point, or Little Salmon Bay to check out the snorkel trials, you can hire the gear or bring your own. Henrietta Rocks have a shipwreck name The Shark, while Little Parakeet Bay is a shallow water bay that is great for families with young children.
The months of October and November are good as the weather is perfect and the seas calm enough for a swim or water sports. There’s a mini-golf and Family Fun Park on the island if you are hanging around The Settlement for a break. From May to December, the humpback whales arrive at Western Australia’s shores, but peak from June to October.
You can try spotting whales passing at West End as you watch the seals from The Cathedral Rocks. During the colder winter months, you can do the walking trails and look for wildlife and birds that are native to the island. Of course, the famous native quokka is a must-find, as they run wild around the island. If you are lucky, you may even see little joeys peeking out from mommy quokka’s pouch.
Rottnest Island is a destination to go to when you are in Western Australia for a day trip. It is a little island packed with activities an outdoor lover will love. You can bush walk, snorkel, or learn about Rottnest Island’s role in the military during World War 2.
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