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The best things to see and do on Rottnest Island

rottnest island things to do

Beautiful beaches, deep blue waters and the cutest quokkas you’ve ever seen: Rottnest Island is a dream come true! There’s a reason travellers flock to this pretty destination off the coast of Perth in WA, with its laid-back coastal vibes giving you a chance to escape the ordinary. Thinking of making your way to this pristine island? From luxury glamping to hiking epic trails, these are the best things you need to see and do on Rottnest Island.

1. Skydive over Rottnest Island

Calling all adrenaline-junkies – this is one of the biggest bucket-list items Rottnest Island has to offer! As you cruise through the skies towards the beach, take in spectacular views of Western Australia’s colourful coastline and soak up the one-of-a-kind view of Rottnest’s famous turquoise waters.

If you’re feeling up for it, taking the leap over Rotto is one of the best things you can do in Australia.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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2. Meet the locals

Yes, when we say locals we mean the undeniably cute and cuddly quokkas! You’ve no doubt seen them ALL over Instagram – these little cuties are even hanging out with Chris Hemsworth and Margot Robbie – but spotting quokkas in the wild really is a spectacular experience.

These tiny marsupials, related to wallabies, have been thriving on this island for a long time and have no fear of friendly visitors, which is why they are considered one of the most photogenic animals in Australia. You can spot these little fellas all around the island, with The Settlement and Porpoise Bay being among the best places to see quokkas on Rottnest.

It’s important to remember that it is illegal to feed or touch quokkas. They are naturally inquisitive and might like meeting new people but they’re wild animals and should be left to thrive in their habitat. If you want to know how to grab an iconic selfie with a quokka while obeying the rules, check out Tourism Australia’s guide here.

 

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3. Sleep under the stars

It’s time to unplug and tune into nature at the Discovery Rottnest Island resort, where you can spend a night stargazing in a tranquil eco-tent. Nestled behind the dunes of Pinky Beach, the eco-sustainable resort gives travellers the chance to get close to nature and truly relax as they stay in their glamping tents

On Contiki’s Rottnest Island Explorer trip, you’ll spend your nights here, living the luxe life and making all your best #wanderlust dreams come true!

 

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4. Take a hike to the Wadjemup & Bathurst Lighthouses

Keen to start your day with a little exercise? Why not walk to two of the island’s most popular attractions: the Wadjemup & Bathurst Lighthouses.

Wadjemup is the Traditional name of Rottnest Island, meaning ‘place across the water where the spirits are’ in the language of the Traditional Owners, the Whadjuk Noongar people. The Wadjemup Lighthouse sits on the highest point of Rottnest Island and was constructed back in 1896. You can’t go inside, but you can get to the lighthouse by bike or on foot (walking up a hefty 155 steps). But with 360-degree views of the island and a snapshot of Perth across the sea, it’s well worth it.

The Bathurst Lighthouse is also a must-visit and was actually built in 1900 to support the Wadjemip Lighthouse after a shipping disaster in 1899. Further north on the island than Wadjemip, the Bathurst Lighthouse offers different views of this beautiful place. It’s one of the best spots on Rottnest Island to watch the sunset, with the glowing sun dipping behind Pinky Beach in the evenings.

 

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5. Snorkel and swim through the Island’s best beaches

Rottnest Island is an ocean-lovers paradise, providing a bunch of beautiful places to explore – including 63 sun-drenched beaches.

If oversized goggles, snorkels and underwater views are your thing, you’re in luck. Rottnest has lots of great sights for snorkelling, including The Basin, Little Parakeet Bay, Parker Point, Fish Hook Bay and Little Salmon Bay. Porpoise Bay even has a submerged wreck that keen snorkelers can check out! While all these spots are also perfect for an afternoon dip, swimmers also love Pinky Beach, Geordie Bay, Little Armstrong Bay and Thomson Bay.

 

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6. Treat yourself at the Rottnest Bakery

You can’t leave the island without first indulging in a treat from the iconic Rottnest Bakery. They’ve got the classic flaky croissants, baguettes and doughnuts you’d expect from a bakery, but they’re also known for serving up decadent versions of classic Aussie treats. Cheese & Vegemite scrolls, finger buns, hot cross buns, meat pies, lamingtons and more! They’ve got it all – including plenty of vegetarian options. A pit-stop for a coffee and a treat from the Rottnest Bakery is a must when travelling here.

 

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7. Walk the Wadjemup Bidi trails

Exploring the island on foot is made easy by the many tracks of the Wadjemup Bidi Walk. “Bidi” means “trail” or “track” in Noongar – the language of the Traditional Owners of Wadjemup (Rottnest Island).

The hiking trail spans an impressive 45km, showing off the best bits of the coastline over a lengthy hike through headlands, lakes and beaches. If you want to tackle the whole thing, it’s important to note it’s a multi-day hike. But if you’re looking for a smaller walk, we’ve got good news. The track is divided into five easy-to-manage sections you can check out, each with their own cultural and environmental sights to see along the way. Check them all out here.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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8. Take a bike tour around Rottnest Island

Hiking around the island is certainly one of the best ways to see it but a guided bike tour offers up just as many photo-worthy moments. Plus, it gets you around much quicker! Take a guided ride with one of the island’s cycling tours or hire your own – and with Contiki, you’ll be given free bikes to use.

There aren’t a whole bunch of cars on Rottnest (meaning the roads are super bike-friendly) and there are more than 22km of cycle trails along the island. For a quick ride take on the 4km Rotto Mini Loop from Thomson Bay to the Settlement, or try something a little more advanced with either the Beaches, Lighthouses and Lakes track or The Island Ride track. See some of the best cycling trails here.

 

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