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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.

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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 889 Properties in Rottnest Island
Rottnest Island Authority
Reviewed on Mar 20, 2020
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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

    Great place, old but clean and well equipped with everything you need.

    Karma Rottnest ¥15,774
    Reviewed on Mar 12, 2020
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    Karma Rottnest

    Karma Rottnest

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

      Nice location, near the jetty and amenities. Friendly and helpful staff. Food great, even breakfast. Dinner is the restaurant was very good. Not so good is noise from the pub till late on certain nights.

      Discovery Rottnest Island
      Reviewed on Jun 6, 2020
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      Discovery Rottnest Island

      Discovery Rottnest Island

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

        Nothing not to like - property beautifully presented and grounds immaculate. Check in/out service fantastic. Pool lovely. Staff at bar smiling and friendly.

        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

          Esplanade Hotel Fremantle - by Rydges ¥10,699
          Reviewed on Jul 15, 2020
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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

            Convenient location, newly renovated rooms, very clean, pleasant, helpful staff.

            Four Points by Sheraton Perth ¥8,161
            Reviewed on Jul 20, 2020
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            Four Points by Sheraton Perth

            Four Points by Sheraton Perth

            707 Wellington Street, Perth, WA
               
              4.4 of 5
              4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Great location, excellent staff, clean and functional rooms

              Pan Pacific Perth ¥10,876
              Reviewed on Jul 27, 2020
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              Pan Pacific Perth

              Pan Pacific Perth

              207 Adelaide Terrace, East Perth, WA
                 
                4.2 of 5
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Great room with awesome views, clean and spacious!

                Doubletree by Hilton Perth Northbridge ¥7,459
                Reviewed on Jun 14, 2020
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                Doubletree by Hilton Perth Northbridge

                Doubletree by Hilton Perth Northbridge

                100 James Street, Northbridge, WA
                   
                  4.6 of 5
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  This place is extremely comfortable. Very comfy bed, lovely shower and clean, modern room. The room is quite small.Staff were lovely. The in room breakfast was very average, however. There is parking nearby, but it would have been better if a loading zone was out the front so you could unload and ...

                  Top Activities in Rottnest Island

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