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Pristine Beaches & A Quokka Selfie: A Very Rottnest Island Day Trip

Settle into the slow life on this island paradise. Here's what to do on Rottnest Island day trip to have a swell time.

Rottnest Island (Image Credit: Rottnest Island)

Just a short ferry ride from Perth, Rottnest Island (Wadjemup) is the ultimate unspoiled gem, renowned for its pristine beaches, stunning landscapes, and quirky wildlife. An effortless escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, this island paradise is big on laid back vibes, year round. Summer days on Rotto are second to none, but whatever time of year you visit, there’s no shortage of experiences that blend Rotto’s unique brand of relaxation, adventure, and discovery. 

It's the ultimate day trip from Perth, but to truly experience the magic of Rottnest, consider an overnight stay. Accommodation options range from eco-friendly cabins to luxurious resorts. Waking up to the sound of waves and the sight of a quokka outside your window is a truly special way to begin your day on this idyllic island. 

Bike riding on Rottnest Island (Image Credit: Rottnest Island)

Hop on a bike 

One of the most delightful ways to get around Rotto is by bike. With almost no cars on the island, the network of cycling paths invites you to pedal through the beautiful landscapes at your own pace. It’s as simple as renting a bike (you can opt for a regular bike or an electric bike) from the local hire shop and setting off on your adventure. Riding around the island is an incredible experience, where every turn seems to reveal a new stunning view over impossibly clear waters and white sands.

Pinky's Beach (Image Credit: Rottnest Fast Ferries)

Bask on secluded beaches 

With more than 63 beaches and 20 bays, each with its own unique charm, finding a slice of paradise all to yourself is easy. From the family-friendly waters of The Basin to the secluded coves of Little Parakeet Bay, there’s a sun-drenched spot just waiting for you. For a truly tranquil experience, head to the more isolated shores like Parker Point or Salmon Bay, where you can indulge in some blissful solitude. If you’re after more of a vibe, Pinky’s Beach is the perfect spot. 


Meet the quokkas

No visit to Rotto is complete without meeting its most famous residents: the quokkas. These cute, marsupial creatures are friendly and photogenic; quokkas are often seen hopping around the island's settlements and shops. The best time to spot quokkas in their natural habitat, and at their most active, is around dusk and dawn. They’re totally harmless so go ahead and snap a quokka selfie, but remember to respect their space and natural habitat. 

Rottnest Sailing & Snorkelling Tours (Image Credit: SeaLink)

Go snorkelling 

Rotto’s clear waters are an absolute dream for snorkelling enthusiasts. Snorkelling at Parker Point and Little Salmon Bay reveals vibrant coral reefs, tropical fish and some seriously dazzling underwater landscapes. Parker Point also features its own snorkel trail, a series of information panels carefully installed on the seabed that will tell you all about the sea life you may encounter. At Henrietta Rocks, you can snorkel a fascinating shipwreck just 50 metres from the shore. Bring your snorkel gear with you, or hire it on the island. 


Sip and savour 

For such a tiny island, there’s no shortage of places to grab a good coffee, a quick and delicious bite, or linger over cocktails and a long lunch. From the famous Rottnest Bakery (the jam donuts are to-die-for) to more elegant dining experiences, the eateries on Rotto all celebrate fresh, local produce.

Lunch at the iconic Hotel Rottnest is a must-do, where ocean views and quokkas hopping underfoot complement a menu of elevated pub classics. 

For a more sophisticated vibe, sip on an Aperol Spritz and indulge in Italian share plates at beachfront gem Isola, savour mouthwatering South-East Asian bites at Lontara with views of Thompson Bay, or head to Pinky's Beach Club to watch the sunset over fish and chips, with your toes in the sand.

Rottnest Island

Discover historical landmarks

Rottnest Island is steeped in history, with sites dating back to its Aboriginal heritage and colonial past. The Rottnest Island Museum provides a fascinating overview of the island’s history, while a visit to the Wadjemup Lighthouse offers panoramic views and insight into the island’s maritime significance. Don’t miss the Oliver Hill Battery, a World War II military installation that adds a touch of historical intrigue to your visit. 

Wadjemup Bidi Trail (Image Credit: Rottnest Island)

Relax and rejuvenate 

Embrace the island’s serenity with a spa treatment or a peaceful stroll along its many walking trails. The Karma Spa at Karma Rottnest offers a range of treatments designed to rejuvenate mind and body. To connect with nature, lace up your sneakers and set off on the Wadjemup Bidi walk trails, a network of paths that traverse the island’s diverse landscapes, from coastal headlands to inland lakes.

Now you’ve experienced the magic of a Rottnest Island day trip, why not check out these other amazing day trips from Perth. Or delve into the beauty that are these spectacular national parks around the state. 

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