Rottnest Island has been a favourite holiday spot for decades. A slice of paradise just a 40min ferry from Western Australia’s hot-spot Fremantle, the island is a destination dream to pack up your bags, eskies and kids (or just yourselves!) to enjoy some much needed beach and sunshine time. Whether you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Perth for a day, the weekend or an entire week; Rottnest Island has it all.
Exciting things to do on Rottnest Island
Despite being just a short trip from Fremantle, the island feels like its worlds away from the city. Giving local Perth residents and tourists an attractive holiday destination to relax in, the island is loaded with activities for the thrill seeking enthusiast. Complete with crisp blue beaches and stunning swimming bays to explore, snorkelling and diving adventures and so much more – Rottnest Island is the ultimate holiday escape for any age.
1. Experience the Rush with Rottnest Fast Ferries
Taking the ferry over to Rottnest usually takes about 45 minutes, depending on the sea conditions on the day. But for the real adventure thrill seekers the Rotto speed boat is definitely the way to go. High speed across to the island in just 20-25 minutes or book a fast ferry tour around Rottnest to experience the holiday rush at full throttle. Eco Express run their fast vessels from both Fremantle and Hillarys, zooming over the waves at a brisk speed of 43 knots per hour.
To take the speed boat around the island, you’re looking at a thrilling 90 minute adventure. Throughout the ‘cruise’ you’ll get to see the famous Rottnest bays, turquoise waters and coral water-gardens. You’ll also get to see the native wildlife to the island, dolphins, whales, quokkas and other island traits for the full Rotto experience.
2. Skydive Over the Island
Skydiving over the island is one of the best ways to take in the ultimate view. A newly added thrill seeking activity to the island, Rottnest skydiving is definitely not for the faint-hearted! But it’s certainly worth it. Offering the most breathtaking views at a lighting-speed pace, the experience is perfect for any adventurer who wants a taste of something a little different.
Skydiving is the best way to overcome fear of heights and participate in one of the most fun and exhilarating experiences of a lifetime. And what better way to do it over stunning beaches and bays, paradise-white sand and exquisite scenery? Tandem skydive from your choice of 10, 14 or 15,000 feet over WA’s best Drop Zone. Landing on the beach (and ready for a dip after), you can book the full package to get a professional video and photos taken of your adrenalin-fuelled journey – perfect to make all your friends jealous and reminisce with!
3. Underwater Thrill Seeking Adventures
If you prefer to venture under the water than over it, Rottnest Island is loaded with some of the best beaches and swimming bays in Australia. And there’s a lot to see. You don’t have to have a diving ticket to take advantage of the underwater adventures this island has to offer and the island is loaded with sheltered spots that’s home to stunning corals and sea critters to explore.
The coastline is filled with coves, reefs and absolutely beautiful beaches – so there’s certainly no shortage of crystal blue waters and white sandy beaches here. The most popular swimming spots are The Basin, Fish Hook Bay, Little Salmon Bay, Pinky Beach, West End and Fays Bay. For something a little less crowded, check out Little Armstrong Bay and Mary Cove. It’s been a few years since Rottnest Island were awarded the top Australian Beaches by Explore Australia, but this slice of heaven never fails to impress.
For those that do have a diving ticket the diversity of fish, shipwrecks and coral species to see makes for the ultimate underwater playground. Whilst you can definitely get away with just your flippers, snorkel and mask for under-the-sea exploits, the dive sites open up a whole new world of thrill seeking opportunities.
4. Get Sporty
For those with a sportier thirst of adventure, Rottnest Island is home to great surfing spots, fishing voyages, hiking trails and biking ventures. With a hire shop for almost everything you need on the island, it’s very easy to indulge in any of the activities without needing to bring too much of your own gear. Rottnest has access to many great fishing spots in particular, where you can spend a day catching a feed to cook up on the beach BBQ’s. Spear fishing is prohibited within specified island boundaries too, so be sure to check what applies to your chosen spots.
The island also features a great golf course, archery tag at the local Country Club, stand-up paddle board hire and some magnificent walking, hiking and bike trials. Be sure to check out some of the surfing hot-spots, like The Rotto Box, Strickland Bay (ranked in the top 50 surfing breaks worldwide), The Basins Ledge and Chicken Reef in Salmon Bay. Some of the waves at these breaks can get up to 2-3 feet larger than Perth, so it’s a must-see location for those surfing enthusiasts.
Rottnest Island will always be one of Western Australia’s best holiday spots, regardless of what thrill seeking adventure you’re up for. Make a day (or two!) out of your next island quest and experience some of the mind-blowing activities on offer.