Biking through Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island Rock Face
Rottnest Island Rock Face

I took a day trip to the gorgeous Rottnest Island, located about 18km (11 mi) off the Western Australia coast. The island is 11km by 4km in size. Go there, worth it!

Getting to the Island

Through research and inquiry amongst the locals, I’ve found that going on Tuesday via Rottnest Express is the cheapest option of $36 round trip versus about $80 for a round trip any other day.

Getting Around the Island

Aside from maintenance vehicles, there are no cars on the island. The only way to get around the island is either by bicycle or by a bus.

You can rent bikes from Rottnest Express for $30, but on the island there is another bike hire place you can rent for $28. My roommate, Krystal, and I looked at the buy one get one half off a bike deal on Rottnest Express and noted that the deal includes the normal price ticket purchases and does not calculate the prices based on the Tuesday $36 deal.

For the bus, you can buy an All Day Rider’s Pass for $14. More information, click here.

My Trip

The ferry lands on the Eastern side of the island. We hopped off and started riding in a clockwise direction (no particular reason other than the brochure on the ferry suggested it). If you take a look at the map, you will notice there are a plethora of things to talk about, so I’m going to try to keep it short to the basics and provide advice rather.

We stopped at several of the places listed on the map and had lunch in one of the beaches along the way. Any time we were hot from biking around, we stopped at a beach to swim and snorkel.

There is a lighthouse where you can take a tour up to the top for $8.

You can snorkel practically everywhere. The island has several marine sanctuaries as well. The map that you get will show you were the snorkeling spots are, but refer to the maps section again for references to the marine sanctuaries. Bring a bit of bread crumbs and release them near the reefs to watch the little fishes come and swim around you.

Snorkel
Me going for a swim

Quokkas

The people on the island will tell you not to feed the quokkas because you don’t want them to rely on humans for food, but they came right up to me and begged for my food while I was sitting at the general store picnic area. I think it’s a little too late to prevent reliance on humans.

If you’re going to feed them, feed them properly. Note: Quokkas are allergic to yeast and it will make them lose patches of hair. Look around under a pine tree/bush and you will find slight triangular shaped pine cone seeds. The greener they are, the better because they are soft. Save a couple and carry them with you in case you see a quokka. I found a bunch of seeds near the lighthouse.

I suggest you stay a couple days to really enjoy everything. Unfortunately, I powered through the island in a day. I don’t regret doing that because now I have a better idea of the things I want to do again (i.e. there were certain places that was a bit of a waste of time to try and snorkel).

Quokka
Quokka! Or “kangarat” as Andrey exclaims.

Make sure to bring these items:

  • Sun hat (no matter how much sun screen you put on, it doesn’t change the fact that there are no trees for shade)
  • Sun screen and zinc stick
  • Snorkel gear ($20 to rent on the island)
  • Extra change of clothes
  • Beach towel
  • Food
  • Water (since I was biking, I carried a 2L hydration pack with me. I filled it up with ice and water and the coolness lasted throughout the day).

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