Where to stay, play and eat on Rottnest Island

This tiny island off the coast of Western Australia is the perfect summer destination for families. Here are the best hotels, restaurants and activity options for everyone.

There is plenty to discover at secluded Rottnest island
  • Fiona Adolph
  • February 2019

The historic Rottnest Island has received a lot of attention in recent years with big name celebs including Roger Federer and Margot Robbie posting selfies alongside the island’s most famous resident: the quokkas. But the local wildlife is just one of the reasons this picture-perfect island is ideal for family holidays. Here is your essential guide to a family holiday in Rotto.

How to get there

Fly into Perth and once you arrive you’ll find regular ferries to Rottnest Island from various ports. Ferries run from Barrack Street jetty, Perth opens in new window, B-Shed and Northport ferry terminals in Fremantle opens in new window and Hillarys Boat Harbour opens in new window.

Ferries arrive daily at Thompson Bay
Ferries arrive daily at Thompson Bay.

What to do

With cycle paths around the entire island, fun parks, a cinema, museum, golf course and good cafés, there is plenty to keep you occupied beyond the obvious swimming, snorkelling and fishing. You can bring your own bike or hire one through the Rottnest Island Authority opens in new window or through the ferry operators. Whatever else you plan, a dip with a snorkel in one of the sheltered lagoons (Little Salmon Bay is always good for skin diving) is a must-do. Equipment hire is available through the ferry services or you can pick up a cheap mask and snorkel at the Rottnest General Store opens in new window.

Cycling is the most scenic way around the island
Cycling is the most scenic way around the island.

Where to eat

Enjoy dinner with a view at The Hotel Rottnest opens in new window, which has one of the most spectacular water outlooks on the island. Good times at the property’s restaurant and bar (formerly the Quokka Arms) are guaranteed with live music and local produce-led dishes such as prawn and chorizo pizza or WA-caught fish, served with juniper-infused slow-cooked sauerkraut.

Where to stay

There is budget and premium accommodation and plenty of options in between on Rottnest Island opens in new window. You can opt for campgrounds or basic units, bungalows and oceanfront heritage cottages – check out the Hotel Rottnest opens in new window and the Karma Rottnest resort opens in new window. Whether you stay in central Thomson Bay or a quick shuttle bus (or bike) ride away at Longreach, Fays or Geordie bays, each area has its charm.

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