If you plan to visit Australia, Western Australia has some incredible scenery and beautiful beaches. One of the highlights is taking a trip to Rottnest Island, which is located 18km off the coast of Western Australia near Fremantle and Perth.
Nicknamed ‘rotto’ by the people of Perth, Rottnest Island is a popular weekend spot for the locals, and is easily accessible by ferry, air or boat. It’s also a fantastic place for tourists to get away from it all and enjoy the laid back island atmosphere.
There are no cars permitted on the island, but you can easily explore it by bicycle or use the island bus service. With over 60 gorgeous beaches, you can spend the day relaxing on the sand and snorkelling over the coral reefs.
During my visit to Perth I stayed with my friend Nic, who I met backpacking in Europe. He happened to have a boat, and offered to take me to Rotto for an overnight trip. We stopped at this beautiful spot below, where we snorkelled and drank beers in the sun. I was a little bit afraid of coming into contact with a great white shark in the ocean, but after a few minutes in the water I forgot about it and started to relax. We also tried to catch some fish off the back of the boat, but had no luck!
Rottnest Island is inhabited by cute furry animals called “quokkas”. In 1696 de Vlamingh named the Island ‘Rotte nest’ (Dutch for ‘rat’s nest’) because he thought the quokkas looked like giant rats, and since then the name has adapted to ‘Rottnest’. The quokkas are not actually rats- they are in fact marsupials, just like kangaroos or wallabies.
There were a few hanging around in the day, but generally they tend to come out at night. As we were walking back to our boat after dinner and drinks at the Hotel Rottnest we saw them EVERYWHERE all over the grass and the pathways.
There are plenty of accommodation options on Rottnest Island but we decided to sleep on the boat and then go back to Perth the next day. You can make a weekend break of it and visit the island for an overnight stay, or you could just take a day trip on the ferry. Either way, you’ll feel totally relaxed and a million miles away from the stresses of everyday life!