If you’re visiting Perth, you definitely have to go to Rottnest Island for a day trip. Because on Rottnest Island you’ll find the most beautiful coastline ever, but most importantly, on Rottnest Island you can find the happiest animal on earth: the Quokka! We decided to take a day trip to Rottnest Island from Fremantle. It was definitely a fun packed day. In this article we share our Rottnest Island Day trip tips with the best time to visit Rottnest Island, the best Rottnest Island tours and tickets, some Rottnest Island and quokka facts and 10 fun things to do on Rottnest island.
Best Rottnest Island Tours
Best time to visit Rottnest Island
Interesting facts about Rottnest Island
Interesting facts about quokkas
10 fun things to do on Rottnest Island
Rottnest Island Day Trip Tips
It’s very easy to go on a Rottnest Island day trip without a tour. The only thing you need to book in advance are your tickets for the ferry. Below you can find tickets for the Rottnest Island ferry and tickets for the ferry including bicycles. We also discuss all-inclusive tours in case you rather not go on a DIY trip.
Best Rottnest Island Tours
Tickets for the Rottnest Island Ferry
In order to go to Rottnest Island you need tickets for the ferry from Fremantle or Perth. There are same-day and extended return ferry tickets.
Tickets for the Rottnest Island Ferry including bikes
We definitely recommend a bicycle for on Rottnest Island, since it’s a cheap and easy way to explore the island. It’s possible to bike around the island in a day, but it can be quite tiring. But the best part of having a bicycle on Rottnest Island is the freedom and it gives you the possibility to decide for yourself where you want to go.
Rottnest Island All-Inclusive Day Tour from Perth
If you want every thing to be taken care off during your day on Rottnest Island, check out this all-inclusive day tour from Perth whereby you visit all the must-see locations of Rottnest Island.
Rottnest Island Grand Tour
Wth this 4-hour all-inclusive tour you explore the beautiful Rottnest Island on a comprehensive guided tour in air conditioned comfort. Take in the amazing fauna and flora of the island, beautiful beaches, woodlands and salt lakes, starting with a historic train ride.
Let’s discuss the best time to visit Rottnest Island!
Best time to visit Rottnest Island
What is the best time to visit Rottnest Island? Actually, Rottnest Island has the same climate as Perth, which is a Mediterranean-style climate, but in the summer it’s a bit cooler and in the winter it’s a bit warmer than the mainland. Generally the best time to visit Rottnest Island is considered to be in autumn or spring, since the weather is quite pleasant and it’s not too hot or too cold. Furthermore, the sea is calm enough for swimming and water sports. However, there isn’t really one perfect answer, because everybody has a different preference and the weather may vary per year.
Summer season on Rottnest Island
The summer season on Rottnest Island is from December to February. During this season the temperatures range from 30 to 40 degree Celsius on average.
Autumn season on Rottnest Island
The autumn season on Rottnest Island runs from March to May. During autumn the temperatures start to cool down and the temperatures range from 25 to 10 degrees Celsius.
Winter season on Rottnest Island
The winter on Rottnest Island runs from June to August. During the winter it’s quite rainy and can be a bit cold. The water might also be too cold and too rough for swimming. Temperatures range from 19 to 7 degree Celsius.
Spring season on Rottnest Island
The spring season on Rottnest Island runs from September to November. The temperatures are between 20 and 11 degree Celsius.
Interesting facts about Rottnest Island
Approximately 7,000 years ago, Rottnest Island was separated from the mainland due to rising sea levels. Now, Rottnest Island is 18 kilometers away from the mainland of Western Australia. The Noongar tribe that lived on Rottnest Island actually called it Wadjemup, meaning land across the water.
There are six major habitats: coastal, salt lakes, woodlands, brackish swamps, heath and settled areas. Rottnest has 63 beaches and various snorkeling sites!
Rottnest is home to the Quokka, and is one of the few places in the world where they live!
Quokka facts: The Happiest Animal on Earth
The most special animal that you can find on Rottnest is definitely the quokka. Quokkas can only be found in Australia and are predominantly living on Rottnest Island. Aside from Rottnest, you can also find small groups of quokkas on the mainland of Australia and some on Bald Island. They mostly eat grass, leaves, stems and bark of various plants.
We noticed that quokkas really resembles the wallaby. After some research we found that quokkas and wallabies, as well as the kangaroo, are from the species marsupials. A characteristic of these species are that most of the babies are carried in a pouch!
During our visit we were lucky, because we actually saw some quokka babies, better known as a joey. It was so cute to see quokkas with joey’s in their pouch! Usually the joey stays in it’s mothers pouch for six months. When it leaves the pouch, the joey still needs the mother for milk for two more months. Quokkas are old enough to have their own babies when they are 1.5 years old and can live up to approximately ten years.
Next to quokkas you can also find various flora, reptiles, birds and of course marine life on Rottnest Island!
Don’t feed the quokkas
When you visit Rottnest Island you feel inclined to feed the quokkas, but they can actually become sick if they eat food such as bread, chips and meat. The rangers on Rottnest Island therefore ask the visitors to refrain from feeding the quokkas.
10 Fun Things to do on Rottnest Island
1. Discover the beautiful coastlines and go snorkelling
Rottnest Island is absolutely beautiful due to the many white beaches and sheltered coves. The water has an amazing turquoise colour. If the weather is pleasant it’s possible to have a beach day and take a dip in the water. You can even go snorkelling or scuba diving and explore the marine life.
Some of the most popular beaches are Fays Bay, Pinky Beach and The Basin. During our visit it was too cold to go in the water, but we still enjoyed walking over the beach.
2. Go scuba diving
At Rottnest Island you can also go scuba diving! It’s pretty spectacular as you can also dive to shipwrecks and other offshore dive sites around the island. A tad more exciting than snorkelling!
3. Cruise the waters in a boat
It’s also possible to go on a boat tour around Rottnest Island. For instance a wildlife boat ride around the island! You can even hire your own boat and set sail for Rottnest Island.
4. Explore Rottnest Island by bicycle
We decided to explore Rottnest Island by bicycle. In about five hours we cycled around the whole island, so it’s perfectly manageable to see a lot during a day trip. There are cycle paths all around the island and the signs make it very easy to navigate.
5. Go for a day spa
If you’re looking for a more relaxing day, you can even go to Karma Day Spa, where you can get all sorts of massages and different beauty treatments.
6. Go to the Rottnest Island Museum
At the Rottnest Island Museum you can learn more about the history and the marine environment of Rottnest Island.
7. Have fun at the Just 4 Fun Park
Looking for some fun activities that are also very enjoyable for your children? Head over to the Just 4 Fun Park, which is a aqua park with lots of floats and slides. The park is open from November through April!
8. Meet up with the famous quokkas
Of course you can have an encounter with the amazing quokkas. We saw lots of them and of course it’s amazing to take a photo with them. We do however advise you to be as respectful to the animals as possible and not to feed or touch them.
9. Climb aboard the Rottnest Historic Train Tour
During this scenic train ride to Oliver Hill you learn more about Rottnest Island. Furthermore, during this historic train ride you explore Rottnest’s military heritage on a guided gun and tunnel tour. Check price and availability of the tour here.
10. Go on a Rottnest Island Tour
During the Rottnest Island Tour by GetYourGuide you get to see a lot in a day and all is taken care off for you! Some of the highlights include Henrietta Rocks, an iconic landmark of Rottnest Island and Cape Vlamingh, a spectacular location used for whale watching. Check price and availability of the tour here.
Accommodation on Rottnest Island
Are you planning on staying for longer than a day on Rottnest Island? Rottnest Island has lots of accommodation possibilities, from bungalows and hotels, to dormitories and campgrounds. There is also a big variety of restaurants, bars and cafés. There is enough to do on Rottnest Island for a weekend getaway! We actually felt kind of rushed during our day trip, so if your budget allows you to spent one night, we would definitely recommend it.
Our experience with Rottnest Express
We found it quite expensive to go to Rottnest Island. A normal return ticket with Rottnest Express from Perth is about $99, while it’s not that far. However, if you go on tuesday it’s Telethon Tuesday and it’s “only” $79 from Perth and $59 if you go from Fremantle, and you get a bicycle along with the deal.
To be honest, we were not super happy with our experience with Rottnest Express, because the ferry took longer on the way over to Rottnest Island than it was supposed to take. And on our way back, it was so busy that we had to sit down on the ground. Of course, this is not so great if you’re tired after a day of exploring.
There are other possibilities to go to Rottnest Island. Always check for deals for accommodation and the ferry on the official website of Rottnest Island, and now and then you can find good deals on Groupon. Even though we didn’t enjoy the ferry-ride that much, we would still recommend going on a tuesday if you are planning for an one-day trip, and can’t find a better deal. Hopefully we were just a bit unlucky on this day. The experience on the island definitely made up for it.
Hopefully this article proves helpful for your visit to Rottnest Island. What is the cutest animal you’ve ever met? Let us know in the comments!
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