Rottnest Island is situated off the west coast of Australia, just half an hour by ferry from Perth its a must see whilst visited the region. I recommend allowing at least 3 nights on the island to enjoy it, in this post I share everything else you need to know before you go to Rottnest Island!
There a few options for getting to the island, either by ferry with Rottnest Express or Rottnest Fast Ferries or by helicopter or plane with Rottnest Aero. We travelled over to the island with Rottnest Express, which departs from B Shed Freemantle Port. You can book tickets online and collect these at the terminal. Here you will be provided a luggage tag for any large bags, which will be taken from you and on arrival in Rottnest will be transported to your accommodation for you. The ferry ride is ½ hour and is very comfortable and spacious. Take some sea sickness tablets in advance just in case.
Make sure to read your accommodation booking details in advance. The majority of the islands accommodations are managed from the tourist centre which is at the end of the port. You will have to go here to collect your keys for your cabin. Don’t do what we did by walking to the cabin and having to walk all the way back. Plus also check if linens and towels are included or if you need to book these in advance. In our cabin it was additional AUD 22 for linens and towels and these needed to be reserved 48hrs in advance.
WHERE TO STAY
Accommodation on the island is largely owned and organised by Rottnest Island Authority. There are several options from camping, bungalows and cabins to a hotel and heritage cottages with ocean views. We opted for a cabin which actually could accommodate up to six people. These are comfortable, spacious, and have a good sized kitchen area where you can prepare picnics / meals. I recommend reading your booking confirmation in full before arriving, some cabins do not come with bed linen & towels (ours!) which needs to pre-booked in advance.
WHAT TO BRING
Most things that you will need for a visit to Rottnest are available to buy when you are on the island, so if you forget anything not to worry. However, as you may expect this can mean inflated prices – a Rottnest Island Hoodie for AUD 75 was a bit over budget! So make sure to bring: good walking shoes; swimwear & snorkels; cameras and portable speakers if you want to play music at your cabin. And just in case – bring your own wet weather gear – unfortunately, it rained the entire time we were on Rottnest so bringing some warm fleeces and wet weather gear is advisable.
YOU CAN BUY FOOD & DRINKS AT THE MARKET THERE
There is a great general store, which is huge and very well stocked so you can go here to buy all your essential food and drink items for your stay. Plus the prices of food / drinks were the same as the mainland. The cabins come with large fridge, oven, microwave and all the kitchen items that you need to prepare meals during your stay, so stocking up at the store is advisable. Some accommodations have a large outdoor space and barbecue. The store also has other items you may need during your stay, such as snorkels, fishing gear, clothing and gifts.
GO WITH FRIENDS
The cabins are equipped for groups. Our cabin could sleep up to six people and it would have been more cost effective to have gone with friends. Plus this is the perfect island to explore as a group and enjoy outdoor barbecues and drinks at your cabin.
WHAT IS A QUOKKA?
A quokka seems to be what you would get if you combined a kangaroo, a rat and a squirell, is an Australian marsupial, predominantly found on the island of Rottnest. In fact these little critters are the reason that the island got its name, an early Dutch visitor in 1696, Willem de Vlamingh, mistook the quokkas for large rats and names the island “Rattennest”, meaning “Rat’s Nest” in Dutch, a name that was later adapted to Rottnest. You will see them all over the island, generally they seem friendly enough
Consider your arrival and departure times. Our room check in time was 2pm and checkout 9am. Since we arrived on the island around 10am, this meant we ended up killing time waiting to put our bags away so we could explore without all our belongings. We thought arriving early and leaving late made sense to maximise time, but I would advise against this. Lockers at the tourist centre are pricey at AUD 8 and 16 depending on size and are not large enough for suitcases.
Give yourself a few days to explore the island. I would recommend at least two nights, to give yourself plenty of time to walk / bike and bus around whilst also finding time to
I hope that you found this article helpful, please share your own tips with our readers in the comments below.
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