Day Trip to Rottnest Island – Top Things To Do

After the Quokka selfie craze you have probably heard of Rottnest Island, and if you head over to Western Australia you have to add it to your bucket list! Not only are the beaches absolutely incredible, but it is also home to the cutest animals in Australia, the quokka! If you are planning a day trip to Rottnest island keep reading to find out everything you need to know.


Rottnest Island is located around 33 km from Perth in Western Australia. There are three ferry services operating to Rottnest Island:

I booked with Sealink Rottnest Island as their Quokka 1 ferry is the most environmentally friendly vessel to be servicing Rottnest Island, it leaves from Fremantle which was easy for me to get to, takes around 30 minutes each way and was also the best value journey at only $64 return. The vessel has an outdoor deck so you can can enjoy the views on your journey to Rottnest Island.

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I stayed at the Perth City YHA which is near the train station in the city centre. The train runs direct to Fremantle and you then have a short 5 minute walk to B SHED with the Sealink Rottnest Island leaves from.

We also stayed for one night on the island at Karma. Accommodation in general is quite expensive on Rottnest Island, if you’re on a budget you might want to consider bringing your camping gear.


There are a few restaurants in Thomson Bay which is where the port is. This is also where you will find the village with a general store, bakery and even a Subway. You can also choose to eat at Pinky’s on Pinky Beach, about a 10 minute cycle from the port.


Rottnest Island is car-free so the best way to get around is either by foot or by bike. You can hire bikes for 24 hours for only $30. The island is very well paved and is a great place to cycle!

TOP TIP – Book in advance via Sealink Rottnest Island so you can skip the queue!

Cycling will offer you the most flexibility to see the island as you can do a whole loop of Rottnest Island in one day. You can choose to go to the most westerly point (22 KM) or just a general loop (17 KM).  If you’re planning on doing a loop make sure you bring lunch and drinks with you as there won’t be anywhere to buy things along the way (but there are a couple of water fountains).

TOP TIP – The south of the island is best in the morning so I would suggest heading clockwise around the loop.

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1. Salmon beach

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2. Pinky’s beach

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3. The Basin

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4. Quokka’s!

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Before going to Rottnest island I was worried whether or not we would see quokkas, fortunately my worries were completely unwarranted as quokkas are EVERYWHERE!

Despite being nocturnal, you will find quite a few quokkas out and about during the day.

A lot of them hang around Thomson Bay as in the past people have fed them (and they can also find food scraps on the ground). Unfortunately this has led to them being a little bit too confident (jumping onto tables etc!), and occasionally they can bite.

TOP TIP – If you’re looking for the perfect Quokka selfie I would recommend heading out of the main town. Quokkas don’t move very far so the ones further from the town have had less contact with humans and are a bit more docile.

*Please remember not to touch or feed the quokkas*

I hope you have an amazing time on Rottnest Island! I would recommend going midweek if you can, however I went during the Easter Holidays and away from the main town it wasn’t very busy.


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