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Rottnest Island

Swim, snorkel and spot rare quokkas at a stunning island destination, with a fascinating history, just off the Perth coast.

Visit Rottnest Island to swim in pristine waters, see fish and coral, stroll over white-sand beaches and see unique wildlife. This popular beach destination was once home to Aboriginal tribes and British colonizers and their prisoners and military.

The island sits 11 miles (18 kilometers) off the coast and is surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. It only measures 6.8 miles (11 kilometers) by 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) at its longest and widest points, but has dozens of beaches, secluded bays with fur seals and many walking and cycling tracks.

Rent a bicycle or take the shuttle bus near the ferry stop to explore the key destinations. The farther you go from the main settlement around Thomas Bay, the fewer people you’ll see. If you are cycling, it’s worth the journey to the more secluded beaches.

You’ll find excellent swimming spots wherever you go. Snorkelers can see colorful coral and fish waiting beneath the surface. Go shore diving, or book a boat dive from the mainland, to see nurse sharks and rays in the limestone formations around the island. Jump aboard a glass-bottom coral viewing boat if you want to stay dry. Surfers can catch top waves at Strickland and Stark bays.

More than 13 ships struck the island’s outer reefs and onshore plaques indicate where the wrecks are. Head up to the Bathurst Lighthouse for 360-degree ocean views.

You may spot quokkas, small marsupials which are found only here. Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh, who landed here in the 17th century, thought they were rats and called the island “Rats Nest.” However, Aboriginals had already lived on the island for 6,500 years and they called the animal wadjemup. Visit the Rottnest Island Museum to learn about the island’s indigenous history, its discovery by the Dutch, its settlements by the British and its role as a military outpost.

To get to Rottnest Island take one of the pedestrian ferries from the docks in Fremantle, the jetty in central Perth or Hillarys Boat Harbour. Book your accommodation well in advance if you want to spend the night on the island.


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Best Lodging Options Near Rottnest Island

See all 764 Properties in Rottnest Island
Discovery Rottnest Island ¥12,272
Reviewed on Nov 19, 2019
See details
 
Discovery Rottnest Island

Discovery Rottnest Island

Strue Road, Rottnest Island, WA
     
    4.3 of 5
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Love the update on the usual Rottnest accomodation options. Location is new and the pool was great. Good for families with kids. We enjoyed our stay.

    Karma Rottnest ¥17,756
    Reviewed on Nov 3, 2019
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    Karma Rottnest

    Karma Rottnest

    Kitson Street, Rottnest Island, WA
       
      3.7 of 5
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      In a great location - comfortable, clean & good price

      Rottnest Island Authority ¥9,186
      Reviewed on Nov 5, 2019
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      Rottnest Island Authority

      Rottnest Island Authority

      Vlamingh Way, Thompson Bay, Rottnest Island, WA
         
        4.0 of 5
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        We had a cabin at the Caroline Thompson Cabins. They were clean and had a full kitchen and fridge. The only thing is you had to bring your own linen - sheets and pillow cases. They did provide the pillows and blankets - although - they all could use a really good wash! I would stay here again though. ...

        Hotel Rottnest
        Reviewed on Oct 6, 2019
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        Hotel Rottnest

        Hotel Rottnest

        1 Bedford Avenue, Rottnest Island, WA
           
          4.1 of 5
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Away of city to have a relax trip and meet little cute quokkas

          Rendezvous Hotel Perth Scarborough ¥10,001
          Reviewed on Nov 17, 2019
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          Rendezvous Hotel Perth Scarborough

          Rendezvous Hotel Perth Scarborough

          148 The Esplanade, Scarborough, WA
             
            4.2 of 5
            5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Great room! Lovely pool area. Great staff at front desk.

            Duxton Hotel Perth ¥9,950
            Reviewed on Nov 19, 2019
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            Duxton Hotel Perth

            Duxton Hotel Perth

            1 St Georges Terrace, Perth, WA
               
              4.5 of 5
              5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Overall had a good stay Staff good Rooms clean and a good size

              Esplanade Hotel Fremantle - by Rydges ¥8,992
              Reviewed on Nov 19, 2019
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              Esplanade Hotel Fremantle - by Rydges

              Esplanade Hotel Fremantle - by Rydges

              Cnr Marine Terrace and Essex St, Fremantle, WA
                 
                4.2 of 5
                4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                The staff were very helpful and friendly. However, the furnishing in the room was old and needs an upgrade.

                The Ritz-Carlton, Perth ¥23,403
                Reviewed on Nov 17, 2019
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                The Ritz-Carlton, Perth

                The Ritz-Carlton, Perth

                1 BARRACK STREET, Perth, WA
                   
                  5.0 of 5
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Best hotel we have stayed at...Magnificent experience..

                  Top Activities in Rottnest Island

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