Historic Rottnest Island – depart from Fremantle
Still preserved to this day, Rottnest’s WWII-era guns and tunnels stand as a stoic reminder of a pivotal moment in time.
Situated just 18km west of the state capital of Perth, Rottnest Island was key in the line of defence of Western Australia during WWII. Most famously, Rottnest was home to a series of intricate, secret tunnels and housed giant 9.2” guns as a defensive measure against any invading Axis forces.
These military artefacts are part of the rich and diverse timeline of Rottnest Island, which spans all of white settlement in Western Australia, and further back tens of thousands with indigenous culture.
Operates – Daily, except Christmas day
Departure Locations – Fremantle B-Shed Terminal, Victoria Quay or Northport, Rous Head
Duration – 6 – 8 hours
Fare Includes – Rottnest Island Admission Fee / Return transfers to Rottnest Island / 90min Guns and Tunnels Tour
Why you should visit Rottnest Island…
For many years Rottnest Island has been one of the most popular ‘holiday at home’ destinations for West Australians, but our little island secret now seems to be out! The destination has many charms attracting families, couples, groups, and all ages. There are so many reasons to love this island, but we’ve tried our best to summarise them succinctly here for you.
The beaches …Do you love unspoilt white sand beaches with clear turquoise water? We have more than 63 secluded beaches and 20 bays across just 19 square kilometres of land. You will often have one to yourself.
Slowing down … Day-to-day life can be so fast-paced. Rotto gives visitors the chance to slow down and relax. There’s no cars available to drive or hire and bikes are the vehicles of choice. Thongs or bare feet are the standard footwear and salty hair is encouraged!
Wildlife…A-Class Reserve, meaning all of its native plants and animals are protected by law. Our island’s most famous star is the Quokka – the happiest animal on earth! The Quokka is the only mammal native to Rottnest and can be found almost everywhere on the Island. Whilst they are friendly creatures, island visitors are asked not to touch or feed them. Witness the annual migration of Humpback Whales from September to November from land or on a whale watching cruise. The island has a healthy colony of New Zealand Fur Seals at Cathedral Rocks, plus magnificent Ospreys – a large eagle-like bird. Keep an eye out for their large nests made up of high piles of sticks and debris.Pods of dolphins regularly play in the waters and you might be lucky enough to see an Eagle Ray cruising through seagrass or reef.
Family friendly… Perth’s own island playground provides families with old fashioned holiday fun – spending time outdoors exploring, getting plenty of fresh air and carefree play. Wear the kids out by cycling, swimming, beachcombing and snorkelling. A choice of serviced or self-catering accommodation means families can have the space and opportunity to please themselves. Other fun options for kids and families include Segway tours, the Family Fun Park, movies at the Rottnest Picture Hall in summer, Oliver Hill train rides, golf or lawn bowls at the Country Club or tennis.
Water play… When was the last time you spent a morning fishing, an afternoon snorkelling or had a cheeky surf without distraction? Rotto provides an array of water-based activities, made even more pleasurable by its crystal-clear water, abundance of marine life and stunning bays and beaches.Fisherfolk are in their element thanks to an abundance of fish including Cobbler, Flathead, Australian Herring, Tailor, School Whiting, Skipjack Trevally (“Skippy”) and Sea Garfish.
Biking… Riding a bike is so much more fun when there’s no private cars to contend with. Hire a bike or bring your favourite treadly to Rottnest and cycle to a different bay each day or do the full island tour at your leisure. It’s perfect for people who wouldn’t necessarily cycle at home but gain confidence on the island’s cycle-friendly paths. A fresh pie from the Bakery is a great reward after a day on the saddle!
Sunrise and sunset… there’s not many places in the world can you watch both the sunrise and sunset over the ocean.
Serenity … Does life get much better than sitting at the local pub with just the sound of the breeze whispering through the pine trees, watching boats bobbing on Thomsons Bay and sipping a frosty beer? Take your relaxation up a notch by visiting Karma Spa for a massage or head-to-toe treatment.
Culture and history … We are steeped in cultural, indigenous, military and maritime history. Learn more by taking one of several walking or bus tours, spend some time in the Museum, and visit our restored heritage buildings.
Adventure… It’s still possible to get an adrenaline rush amid all the relaxing and slowing down! Go skydiving, take a joy flight, scuba dive or join us on a high power boat tour of the island.
Food … Enjoy fish & chips with a view (Thomsons Rottnest), a bucket of fresh prawns at the pub (Hotel Rottnest), locally made ice cream (Simmos), great coffee (The Lane, Dome), old fashioned shakes and spiders (Geordie Bay Café); and buy fruit and veg, meats and other essentials to self-cater (Rottnest General Store). No trip is complete without a visit to the Rottnest Bakery to enjoy a traditional cream bun!
Easy to reach… Within half an hour from Fremantle and 45 minutes from Perth your holiday in island paradise begins! No waiting in lengthy queues at airports, no long flights, no lining up for taxis. Just hop on a ferry and let the fun begin.