Rottnest Island Tours

Rottnest Island tours

Weekend getaway at Rottnest Island

An ancient island surrounded by turquoise waters, Rottnest Island is a tiny strip of land that offers many adventures! Sign up for tours on boats, segways, and bicycles to explore the island’s native wildlife, unspoiled beaches, historic streets, and more. We unpack this unique Australian getaway, sharing everything you need to know before you book your Rottnest Island tour! 

Why visit Rottnest Island?

View of Rottnest Island in Perth
  • Sun and sand: Made up of sandy beaches and rocky bays that open out to turquoise and deep blue waters, Rottenest Island is perfect for a day of swimming and sunning. 
  • Adventure island: Rottnest Island tours offer you fun ways to explore the island. There are segway, boat and bicycle tours. You can also spend time here snorkelling, fishing, diving and hiking. 
  • Quokka encounters: Roaming freely all around the island, the quokkas are small, marsupials that make for an adorable sight. 
  • History on segways: Discover the 7000-year history, Aboriginal ties and World War II structures of the island as you zip around on segways. 
  • Catch a shipwreck: Over 13 ships have met an unfortunate demise around Rottenest Island and some like the Shark, near Henrietta Rocks, and Uribes, near Philip Point, are easily accessible.               
  • Salt lakes: Discover 12 salt lakes that are even saltier than the sea and feature rich bird and plant life.

What Rottnest Island tour should I pick?

Rottnest Island - Fast ferry

If you’re with kids

Go For: Fast ferry tickets
Duration: Flexible
Transfers: Yes
Guide: No 

  • Offering flexible timings, the fast ferry will give you quick access to Rottnest Island so you can make the most of your trip. 
  • Get a comfortable experience with pick-ups from hotels in Perth and Fremantle. 

Recommended tours: 

Rottnest Island - Adventure boat tour

If you are an adventurer

Go For: Adventure boat tour
Duration: Full-day tour
Transfers: Yes
Guide: No

  • Cycle the length and breadth of the historical island discovering sandy beaches, salt lakes, and shipwrecks. 
  • If you prefer to roam the waters instead, sign up for the Adventure Boat Tour - a 90-minute ride that takes you through the gorgeous waters around the island. 

Recommended tours: 

Rottnest Island - Guided tours

If you are a history buff

Go For: Guided tours
Duration: Full-day tour
Transfers: Yes
Guide: Yes

  • Walk through the streets of the island learning about the history of the place, admiring its abundant natural beauty and meeting up with quokkas. 
  • If you want an extra dose of thrill, you can also sign up for tours on segways. 

Recommended tours: 

Cancellation policy 

  • Most Rottnest Island tours allow you to cancel the tickets 24 hours before the start of the tour. Check your tickets while booking for accurate cancellation information.

Rottnest Island highlights

Tourist riding segway at Rottnest Island

Segway tours

Strap on your helmet,  hop on your segway and glide past sand dunes and historic streets to explore Rottnest. On these unique, eco-friendly adventures, stop by Thompson Bay thronged by beach bums, grab a pint at one of the island’s OG bars and swing by military landmarks like Bickley Battery and Jubliee Lookout that were part of the World War II efforts.

Hiking trails - Rottnest Island

Hiking trails

Leave the sunny beaches behind and take any of the five marked-out hiking trails on the 45 kilometres of roads on the island. Choose from a variety of trails like Gabbi Karniny Bidi that introduces you to the intrinsic lake system or the short Karlinyah Bidi that takes you to the northern coasts. Ngank Wen Bidi that loops through Narrow Neck and Ngank Yira Bidi talks about the history of the island, including its naval gun bases.

Rottnest Island - Beaches


Rottnest’s gorgeous waters lapping against jagged, limestone bays and fine-sand beaches bring in swimmers, snorkelers and divers. Explore the popular Basin, Geordie Bay and Pinky Beach. For a more serene outing, head to Parakee Beach, Fish Hook Bay and Mary Cove. The waters are home to 400 different species of fish, green turtles, and western rock lobsters that make their way through piles of seaweed and coral.

Salt lakes on Rottnest Island, Western Australia

Salt lakes

Twelve, large salt lakes dot the north-eastern bit of Rottnest Island. Even though they are highly saline, the lakes boast unique plant life and a wetland ecosystem that nurtures life. Walk on cleverly constructed boardwalks that give you the feeling like you are walking on water. In summer, many of these lakes transform into pink and white salt pans that are worth stopping by especially if you have a weakness for spectacular sunsets.

Shipwreck in the water, off the beach on rottenest island


As if a standing testament to its rich naval history, the coasts of Rottnest Island are populated with shipwrecks that can be easily explored by snorkelers. At Henrietta Rocks, swim along with tiny schools of fish to make your way to the seaweed-laden ‘Shark’ shipwreck that is a short swim from the shore. Another easily accessible wreck site is Uribes that stands close to the beachfront at Philip Point.

Quokkas at Rottnest Island


A protected wildlife sanctuary, Wadjemup - the Aboriginal name for Rottnest Island - is home to diverse creatures including the quokkas, bats, and migratory birds. Chief among these are the quokkas - that look like smaller versions of kangaroos - and populate the island. At Rottnest, these creatures roam freely and you can get close enough to get an adorable picture. However, touching or petting the animals can attract huge fines so steer clear!

Navigating Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island is a 19 km island that is just off the coast of Perth. It is surrounded by the Indian Ocean. There are many ways to get to the island from Perth, including ferry, air taxis, and boats.

Find it on Maps

By ferry
By air
Other transports
Getting around
Sealink ferry at Rottnest Island

Closest ferry stop: Rottnest Island

  • Perth: Barrack Street Jetty (90 minutes to Rottnest Island)
  • Fremantle: Victoria Quay (25 minutes to Rottnest Island) 
  • North Fremantle: Rous Head (25 minutes)
  • Hillarys Boat Harbour: (45 minutes)

To get the most value for your money, we recommend you sign up for a Rottnest Island tour that includes ferry rides. 

Twin otter seaplane

For those of you looking to arrive in style, there are several flight options to Rottnest Island.

Rottnest Air-Taxi: This is a 10-minute flight available every day from Perth. 

Corsaire Aviation: Take a thrilling helicopter ride that gives you the chance to look out at Rottnest Island’s spectacular landscape from above. Daily departures from Jandakot Airport, Crown Towers, Fremantle and Hillarys Boat Harbour are available. 

Air Charters West: These luxurious private charters take off from Bunbury Airport. The short, 30-minute flight includes a champagne breakfast. 

Swan River Seaplanes: These are seasonal sightseeing planes available from Perth. The 20-minute flights offer sweeping views of Perth and the expansive sea before landing in Rottnest Island.

Other transports - Rottnest Island

By boat 

Private Boats are allowed to travel to Rottnest Island and dock at several points. However, they do attract larger fees. Do check out the Rottnest Island Authority website for detailed information. 

By car

Rottnest Island is primarily a car-free island. There are few asphalt roads and connectivity on the island is mostly on foot, segways, bikes and buses. There is no road that leads directly to the island either, so you will be unable to access Rottnest Island by car.

Rottnest Island Bus

Since Rottnest Island is car-free, visitors rely on other modes of transport to make their way around the island. You can pick from:

Bikes:  Once you get off the jetty, you can head to Pedal & Flipper Hire to hire out bikes. They have a range of bikes. However, we recommend you hire out an e-bike as it simplifies navigating the island’s rugged terrain. 

Quokka coaches: These are hop-on and hop-off buses that stop at around 19 points in the island. You can get your tickets at the Main Bus Stop between 8:30 AM and 3 PM and can stop by the island’s key landmarks including Henrietta Rocks, the Lighthouse, and Cape Vlamingh. 

Quokka hopper:  If you prefer private transfers, you can hire the Quokka Hopper - electric carts - that drives through Thomsan Bay, Kingstown and Geordie Bay. They operate between 8 AM and 10 PM every day and we recommend you make a booking in advance if you want to avoid delays.

Plan your Rottnest Island tour

Food & drinks
People relaxing on Pinky Beach, Rottnest Island

The Island is open throughout the year and on all days of the year.

If you are taking a Rottnest Express Ferry from nearby points, you should know that the first from Perth (towards Rottnest) is at 8:45 AM and the last ferry towards Perth is at 7:30 PM. From Fremantle, the ferries start at 7:30 AM and the last ferry back is at 8:15 PM. 

Best time to visit

To experience the best beach life, head to Rottnest Island during the summers (November to January) or even Autumn (March to May). These are the best months to soak in the warm sun and sign up for the long line-up of beach activities. However, prices tend to be on the higher side during these times, especially during summer, and you can expect sizeable crowds even on weekdays. While the wetter and colder months (June to August) are less crowded, the rains and the cold weather might mean that you are stuck indoors.

Rottnest Island - Facilities

Restrooms: Available at the Settlement, Army Jetty, Kingstown Barracks, The Basin, Vlamingh Lookout and Geordie Bay.

Showers: Located at the Settlement, Army Jetty, Kingstown Barracks, The Basin, Vlamingh Lookout and Geordie Bay.

Changing rooms: Henderson Avenue and Thomson Bay

Water refill stations: The Settlement, Army Jetty, Kingstown Barracks, The Basin, Vlamingh Lookout and Geordie Bay.

Baby changing facilities: Thomson Bay and Geordie Bay

Barbecue facilities: Thomson and Geordie Bays

Rottnest Island, Perth, Western Australia
  • Ferries: All ferry services are wheelchair accessible. 
  • Beaches: Most beaches and bays are fitted with ramps and wheelchair-friendly pathways. 
  • Toilets: Accessible toilets are available at Visitor Centre, Thomson Bay, Stay Rottnest Campground, The Basin, Geordie Bay, Parker Point, Stark Bay, West End
  • Showers: Bedford Avenue and Thomson Bay are equipped with accessible showers. 
  • Guide dogs: Service dogs are permitted but the local rangers have to be informed in advance since this is a Class A Reserve. 
  • Accommodation: Discovery Resorts - an island accommodation - offers accessible tents. 
  • Coaches: Quokka Coaches - the shuttle service around the island - offers wheelchair accessibility.
Rottnest Island - Food & drinks

Dome Cafe: A breezy, pretty-looking cafe by Thomson Bay serving up soups, sandwiches, all-day breakfasts and desserts along with chilled beer and wine. 

Lontara: Upscale dining option, near The Settlement, serving Asian flavours and delectable cocktails.

Isola Bar e Cibo: Traditional Italian dishes made from fresh local ingredients, this seaside place is best known for its jumbo prawns, succulent lamb and fresh pasta. 

Geordie’s Cafe and Art Gallery: Located near the busy Geordie Bay, this is a laidback cafe with outdoor seating, serving up hefty burgers, fresh salads, and loaded milkshakes.

Rottnest Island - Rules
  • Alcohol consumption: Street drinking is not permitted on the island. 
  • Camping: Camping is only allowed in designated spots. 
  • BBQ: Barbecuing is not allowed except in the designated areas. 
  • Pets: Domestic pets are not allowed on the island. 
  • Wildlife interactions: Touching wildlife and swimming with long-nosed fur seals is not permitted and attracts heavy fines.

Visitor’s Tips

  • Beach properties: Longreach Beach is closer to the island’s hotels and accommodations if you are looking for a property close to a beach. 
  • Photo point: The West End is the western-most point of the island and we recommend a stop by for dramatic views of the blue waves crashing against the rocky coves that line the shore. 
  • Quokka alert:  The island’s cutest inhabitants - the quokkas - are in the habit of grabbing food and things that are kept on the floor or at a low level so make sure you keep everything out of reach! 
  • Day at the museum: The Wadjemup Museum pays moving tribute to the island’s history - tracing the lives of the Aboriginals who were imprisoned and buried on Rottenest, highlighting its military tunnels and its WWII gun battery. It is a must for history buffs! 
  • Seal spotting: Hop on to the Eco Express Boat Tour that jets through the clear, turquoise waters and also packs in an encounter with long-nosed fur seals. 
  • Whale watching: If you’re visiting the Island between August and December, then head to the Cathedral Rocks or Cape Vlamingh, peel your eyes on the waters and wait for the whales to come by!

Frequently Asked Questions about Rottnest Island Tours

How much does a Rottnest Island tour cost?

The prices of tours to Rottnest Island depend on the experience you are signing up for. Rottenest Island ferry tickets start off at about AU$ 78. And experiences like the bike, segway and boat tours are slotted between AU$ 137 and 208.

How do I book a Rottnest Island tour?

Rottnest Island tours can easily be booked online. There are also multiple options including bike, segway and boat tours.

Why should I book my Rottnest Island tour online?

Rottnest Island tours are best booked online for their various advantages, such as,
- Advanced planning: Rottnest Island is ideal for a day trip or a weekend getaway and having your bookings in place helps you plan in advance and flesh out the details of your trip. 
- Avoid Disappointment: Accessible from Perth, Fremantle and Hillarys Boat Harbour, the tickets to Rottnest Island can sell out fast on weekends. This is because Rottnest Island ferries are the most popular way to access the island and other tour tickets are limited.
- Convenience: Many of the Rottnest Island ferries and tours offer you the flexibility of fully refundable cancellations up to 24 hours.

What does a Rottnest Island tour include?

The inclusions under the Rottnest Island ticket depend on what you have signed up for. Usually, Rottnest Island ferry tickets will bring you back and forth from the island. However, tour tickets often include to-and-fro ferry rides, pickups from CBD hotels, and specific tour experiences. There are also guided tour options available.

Are there discounts on Rottnest Island tours?

Rottnest Island is a very popular getaway and discounts may not be available. However, Rottnest Island tours often offer great value for money, packing in ferry trips, unique experiences, pick-ups and drops and guided tours in one ticket. You may also enjoy some online discounts while booking that you may not get in offline bookings.

Are there guided tours for Rottnest Island?

Yes, there are! Guided Tours include a tour of the island and an introduction to its history and encounters with its wildlife. There are also guided segway tours that stop by the island’s best-known landmarks.

Can I cancel my Rottnest Island tickets?

A handful of the tours offer cancellations up to 24 hours of the experience. However, the guided tours cannot be cancelled once booked.

What are the timings for Rottnest Island?

Rottnest Island is open throughout the year and around the clock. However, if you are accessing it from Perth, the first ferry leaves after 8 AM and the last ferry back is at 7:30 PM. From Fremantle, the first ferry is at 7:30 AM and the last ferry back is at 8:15 PM.

How do I get to Rottnest Island?

Rottnest Island is easily accessible by ferries from Perth, Fremantle, and Hillarys Boat Harbour through ferries, and boats. There are also scenic flights available for slightly higher prices. However, there is no car access to the island.

Is it worth visiting Rottnest Island?

Absolutely! Perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway, Rottnest Island is a small but breathtaking island, just off Perth. It offers visitors the chance to dive into its turquoise and blue waters, explore underwater caves and shipwrecks, discover unique wildlife and chill out on sandy beaches.