Discover the Best Attractions and Activities on Rottnest Island (Wadjemup).

Just 19 km off the coast of Perth City, but an entire world away, lies the sunny holiday island of Rottnest, blessed with a casual atmosphere, picturesque scenery, dazzling marine life and some of the world's finest beaches and pristine bays.

Rottnest Island earned its curious name when in 1696, Dutch explorer, Willem de Vlamingh, mistook the island's unusual marsupial population for common rats and named it Rottnest - literally translating to 'rats’ nest'. Today, having a photo taken alongside the 'rats', known as Quokkas, is one of the main attractions for visitors to the island.

Things To Do on Rottnest Island

  • Join one of the many free guided walking tours of the Island.
  • Follow your own path along the Wadjemup Bidi.
  • Hire a bike and snorkel gear from Rottnest Island Pedal & Flipper
  • Swim and relax by the stunning waters - you have 63 beaches and 20 bays to choose from
  • Discover the underwater snorkel trails at Little Salmon Bay and Parker Point.
  • Learn about the island's history at the Rottnest Island Museum, Lomas Cottage, Pilot Boat House, Vincent Way and Salt Store.
  • Encounter a variety of wildlife including birdlife, quokkas and dolphins.
  • Explore the world beneath the waves on the Underwater Explorer (September – May).
  • Join a 90-minute adventure cruise (November – April).
  • Climb the Wadjemup Lighthouse for the ultimate views across the whole island.
  • Ride the train to view the maze of tunnels beneath the WWII gun emplacement on Oliver Hill.

Getting To and Around Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island is only a short ferry ride from Fremantle, Perth City and Hillarys with Rottnest Express, Rottnest Fast Ferries, and SeaLink Rottnest Island. You can also fly over with Kookaburra Air, Rottnest Air-Taxi, Corsaire Aviation and Swan River Seaplanes.

If you’re wondering what to do to get around Rottnest Island, bikes are the transport of choice and can be hired or brought along with you by ferry for a small fee. The island is only 11km long and 4.5km wide making it easy to explore with a number of great trails to follow.

If traversing by bike doesn't appeal, you can also enjoy the journey by air-conditioned coach on the Island Explorer. This hop-on/hop-off service runs daily with 18 stops on the agenda. The tour takes you to many of the secluded bays and secret hideaways located around the island. Day passes for this service can be purchased from the Rottnest Island Visitors Centre.

You can also explore the island by bike and bus. Simply ride your bike until you are tired and then leave it at a bus stop and enjoy the bus ride back to the settlement. This is ideal for families or beginner cyclists. 

The visitor centre is also a great place to book a number of tours. Choices range from historic train journeys, lighthouse tours, underwater explorations, segway toursskydiving, and glass bottom boat rides. Visit for more.

A Water Playground

Are you still considering what to do on Rottnest Island? Not surprisingly, water activities play a major role in island life - from snorkelling and diving to fishing, surfing, boating, kayaking, sailing and swimming!

With just over 135 species of vibrant tropical fish and 20 species of coral, heading below the surface is a truly worthwhile experience. Rottnest Island boasts the world's most southerly corals and seasoned divers will be happy to know that just off the coast slumbers a vast graveyard of over 13 shipwrecks waiting to be explored. Informational plaques can be found alongside the wrecks and are complemented by onshore plaques indicating their location for those that don't want to brave the depths.

Rottnest Island is also renowned for surfing with some of the best breaks in the world found at Strickland Bay. Surfing season is at its best from May to October and boards are available for hire from Rottnest Island Peddle & Flipper.

Rottnest Island Fun Activities & Attractions

Rottnest Island also offers endless things to do for fun on land. Kids can challenge friends and family to a round of mini golf, jump on trampolines and play arcade games at the Family Fun Park or watch the latest release blockbuster movies at the Picture Hall. Adults can play a round of lawn bowls or golf at the newly renovated Rottnest Island Country Club before relaxing at the Rottnest Island Karma Spa. You can also skydive onto the beach from an airplane or helicopter!

What to Eat & Drink at Rottnest Island

When it comes to food and drink, you'll be spoilt for choice. Enjoy sweeping ocean views and fresh seafood at Aristos Waterfront Restaurant and Hotel Rottnest or indulge in great coffee at The Lane, Dome Café and Geordie's Café. If you’re after some delicious pub grub, visit Gov’s Sports Bar, Riva Restaurant and Courthouse Bar or grab a casual bite from Subway, Rottnest Bakery and The General Store.

Walking Trails and Tours To Do on Rottnest Island

Explore Rottnest Island following one of the many bike and walk trails that criss-cross the island (pick up a map from the visitor centre). Explore the Wadjemup Bidi or join one of the free guided walking tours. These are run by the Rottnest Island Volunteer Guides and start from the flagpole south of the Visitor Centre. Just look for the guide in a yellow shirt!

The Wadjemup Bidi will take you across spectacular coastal headlands, past stunning lakes and natural and man-made attractions. Wadjemup Bidi is 45 kilometres of trails made up of 5 sections, each boasting culturally and environmentally significant landmarks to appreciate and experience.

Plan Your Trip to Rottnest Island

Find the top accommodation, attractions, tours and things to do on Rottnest Island to help plan your trip.
Rottnest Express Eco Tour, Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island Tours

Rottnest Island is Perth's own adventure paradise! Find out how you can get to the island, by sea or air and what great tour options are available to explore the island and it's amazing waters.

Rottnest Hotel, Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island Accommodation

Accommodation on Rottnest Island ranges from budget cabins and camping to premium resorts. Click below to see premium accommodation available or contact Rottnest Island Authority for more.

Rottnest Express, Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island Attractions

From cycling beach to beach to snorkeling and dining, there is so much to do on Rottnest Island let the Rottnest Island Authority show you!

Rottnest Island Food and Drink

Experience the best of Rottnest with a drink, or meal, in hand with amazing views and friendly Quokkas nearby.

Rottnest Island Trails

Keen to explore Rottnest Island? Traverse the island's unique landscapes along one of their many trails. The Wadjemup Bidi is a series of walk trails that will take you across spectacular coastal headlands, past stunning inland lakes and encounter both natural and man-made attractions along the way. 

Find out more

What's On at Rottnest Island

Check out some of the upcoming events and festivals taking place on Rottnest Island.

  • Loading...
    The Channel 7 Port to Pub with Hotel Rottnest is an open water swimming event in Perth, Western Australia, designed to cater for the increased demand for long...

Read More About Rottnest Island

View the latest stories and news from Rottnest Island.
  • Posted 4th Jan 2022
    It’s January, and the school holidays are in full swing! Now that Christmas and New Years are out of the way, you’re probably actively...
  • Posted 9th Dec 2021
    Summer has finally hit Perth, and Christmas holidays are just around the corner - that means it’s the perfect time of year to get back to...
  • Posted 23rd Nov 2021
    The weather’s finally warmed up, and we’re hot to trot! With only a week left of Spring, it won’t be long before we’re enjoying swimming in...
  • Posted 1st Nov 2021
    Perth’s event calendar is in full swing, and there’s so many reasons to get out and about and have fun. Go with friends and family, or solo...
  • Posted 12th Oct 2021
    Spring is in full swing, and there’s so much fun waiting for you that it’s hard to choose! Fortunately, our Perth-loving team has curated...
  • Posted 20th Sep 2021
    Spring is the season of new life, and the perfect time for an amazing animal encounter! You'll see adorable baby animals anywhere from the...
  • Posted 16th Sep 2021
    Wildflower season is here again, and Perth is bursting with gorgeous, vibrant and colourful wildflowers at every turn! WA boasts the world's...
  • Posted 31st Aug 2021
    Spring has sprung! It's time to dust off your cold-weather wardrobe, shake off those winter blues and enjoy an awesome line-up of Spring...
Bus around Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island Authority

Contact the Rottnest Island Authority, or visit the Rottnest Island Visitor Centre, located at the end of the main jetty, for more travel information.

Find out more

Watch Rottnest Island

Meet the curious Quimby, Rottnest Island’s main attraction. 

Summer in Perth

You don't have to wander far to find a spectacular canvas of urban adventure sitting side by side with nature. Perth's endless summer shines across our city's dazzling beaches, islands and waterways.