Just 19 km off the coast of Perth City, lies the sunny holiday island of Rottnest, well known for its picturesque scenery, unique flora and fauna, fine beaches and pristine bays.
Here are 6 must-do activities on your next trip to Rottnest Island:
1. Take A 'Selfie' With A Quokka
Photo Credit: Rottnest Island Quokkas
Get to meet the quirky local of Rottnest, the Quokka, a little marsupial of the size of a domestic cat. The Quokka is one of the main attractions for visitors to Rottnest, and is the most significant natural attraction among the abundant wildlife on the island. They are everywhere on the island and they will also show up around restaurants, looking for food.
Visitors are welcome to take pictures of the Quokkas, just remember, please don't feed them.
2. Go Whale Watching
Photo Credit: Tourism Western AustraliaRottnest Island is a perfect location to see humpback and southern right whales as they make their annual migration along Western Australia's coastline.
There are whale watching cruises (and many more wildlife encounters tours) on the island that you can join.
On dry land, you may also be able to spot them from the West End Boardwalk, which is accessible by bike or the Island Explorer bus.
3. Head To The Waters
Photo Credit: Rottnest Island Beaches
With 63 beaches, Rottnest is a great destination for water sports, including swimming, diving, surfing, fishing and snorkelling.
The good thing about it is that you can swim at almost every beach on the island. Some beaches towards the western end are more for expert surfers, some are for a family with kids (such as The Basin, Pinky Beach and Eagle Beach), and some are just as isolated as you can only dream of.
You can also join a guided group dive to explore shipwrecks, swim through underwater canyons and discover coral and marine life. Kids can go wild at the Just 4 Fun Aqua Park, in Thomson Bay, where there are inflatable floating rides, as well as rock climbing walls, an obstacle course and paddleboards for hire.
You can also check this interesting article on floating mats as an accessory in water sports
4. Embark On An Island Tour
Photo Credit: Rottnest Island Authority
Because of its small size, Rottnest Island can easily be explored by bus, segway, walking, and even biking tours.
An Island Explorer bus provides an easy and convenient way to get from beach to bay, with day, weekend and holiday passes available. There is also a Discovery Bus Tour, which loops around the island in 90 minutes while guides give an insight into the island's cultural and historical heritage, which includes a visit to Wadjemup Lighthouse and Cape Vlamingh at the West End). Guided walking and segway tours are also available, taking in the Thomson Bay settlement and the island's World War II gun battery emplacements.
Photo Credit: Rottnest Express
If you need to rent a bike, there is a bike hire service, with reasonable rates, just behind the Rottnest Hotel. They can also provide the equipment for cycling along with a fabulous bike map with all attractions for your discovery tour of the island.
Make sure to check out Salmon Bay on the southbound of the island, Gordie Bay and Parakeet Bay on the northbound of the island, as well as Pink Lake.
5. Go Skydiving!
Photo Credit: Skydive Geronimo
Experience incredible views of Western Australia's majestic coastline as you skydive over turquoise waters toward the beach at Rottnest Island. It won't just get your heart pumping; it'll also give you a one-of-a-kind vantage point of the stunning island. The guys at Skydive Geronimo (Western Australia's only island skydiving experience) have a team of trained and experienced skydive instructors that will help you feel comfortable and safe before you leap from a plane to experience the most unforgettable thrill of a lifetime!
6. Stay In A Hotel Or An Beachfront Glamping Tent
Photo Credit: Rottnest Island
If a day trip doesn’t give you enough time to explore the island, consider spending a night or two at one of the campgrounds, cabins, hostel dormitories, bungalows, chalets or hotel-style accommodations.
Discovery Rottnest Island is an eco-friendly, sea-facing glamping resort tucked behind the dunes of famous Pinky Beach, the resort offers 83 luxurious and fully furnished eco-tents that include family tents, a resort pool and pool bar. Each of the tents is linked via boardwalks to Pinky's Beach Club, which is the ultimate spot to be watching the sunset and/or admiring the stars.
Excited about planning a trip to Rottnest Island already? Tell us what do you think in the comments below. Or is there a "must-include" that we've missed out? Let us know too!