Long have I been dying to venture the Greek islands, Maldives or Bahamas to snorkel ancient reefs and tan on white sandy beaches- but little did I know I had this on my doorstep my whole life. I bring to you- ROTTNEST ISLAND. A sanctuary from the busy world, a friendly and peaceful place full of unique wildlife, coral reefs and shipwrecks- all just 45 minutes out of Perth, Western Australia.
Some may think I am being a little overzealous but these pictures speak for themselves. Rottnest is the epitome of a summer paradise in the Indian Ocean.
HOW TO GET THERE?
There is a few options- renting a yacht, flying or kayaking- but these will leave you with an empty wallet. Rottnest Fast Ferries is the fastest, cheapest and BEST way to get there- from about $90 return you can spend a weekend, a week or even a month on ‘Rotto’. Rottnest Fast Ferries departs Hillary’s Boat Harbour daily and not only do they offer the ferry- they offer bike hire, tours and much more- the ultimate trip planners.
WHERE TO STAY?
Again, heaps of options- but I suggest renting a chalet from the Rottnest Island Authorities. They are not ‘luxury’ but they give you the hippie, beachy vibe that suits the island- plus they are self-contained. You can bring your own food, drinks and blankets- and you can fit more than just one person, so it is a great way to split the cost amongst friends. Alternately- if you are alone- go with the ‘hostel’ pricing- this is a chalet accommodation that has three bedrooms, each with 2 single beds, self-contained living and only $50 a night. Your cheapest (and most comfortable) option aside from camping!
Check in at the Tourist info desk and trust me, they are so flexible you won’t have any dramas!
WHAT TO DO?
Once you arrive on the white sands of Thompson bay, head into the Tourist information center- this is where Rottnest Island Authority is based and will help you with ANYTHING you may need- these guys are legendary and will help you discover (and make the most of your time) on Rotto.
1. Rent (or bring over) a bike!
It is the BEST way to get around the island (as there are no cars or buggies!) and you have so much free time to explore- you might as well get exercise! Again, Rottnest Fast Ferries will get you a perfect bike, helmet and lock- but just make sure you have a backpack to ride around with!!!
2. GO EXPLORE!!!
The bike/walking trails will have you on the edge of cliffs, up lighthouses and passing salt lakes that glimmer in the sunshine. Make sure you are in something comfy- the bike trails will take about 3 hours round trip and you will get pretty hot- it is Australia after all!!!!
3. Make sure you bring your towel, lock up the bike at any beach and go swim!
I found so many little coves, caves and bays that nobody else knew existed and I had my own private sanctuary for a good few hours of swimming time! I suggest hitting up Parkers Point on the south side, this will be pretty quiet compared to Geordie bay and the Northern beaches, plus there is a shipwreck to snorkel about 30m out!!!
4. Meet the locals. No not the people- The Quokkas!!!
These guys are the reason behind the name ‘Rottnest’, well Rats Nest!!! They are NOT rats, they are like little bunny cross kangaroos and are SO friendly. One even gave me a kiss ! There are heap of other cuties there to- peacocks and seals!
5. Take an Eco-Adventure Tour
Check out my video of the Rottnest Express Eco Tour- speeding across the waves, pulling into secluded bays and witnessing whales, dolphins and sea lions in their natural habitats- not only a thrill ride that makes you scream with excitement- but also an epic way to see the whole island, from a different angle! Only $55 per person!
6. Head to Rottnest Hotel or the Gov’s Sports Bar for dinner.
This is your pick, for upper class, premium food- choose the Rottnest Hotel. For a down to earth, hearty meal- Gov’s is your choice! Both are amazing and have a great vibe, good food and lots to drink!
7. Wake up early and stroll down the beach as the sun rises.
You will feel refreshed, awake and see something beautiful!
Why choose Rottnest when out West? It is seriously one of the most magical, relaxing and down to earth places to experience the best Australia has to offer. Whether you be a solo traveller, couple or big group- there is something for everybody. This place is a piece of heaven carved out of the sea- it simply has to be on EVERY bucket list.
A special thank you to Rottnest Fast Ferries, Rottnest Island Authority and Rottnest Express Eco Adventure Tours for making this trip so wonderful.