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10 Things to Know BEFORE Booking a Rottnest Island Tour + Best Tours

10 Things to Know BEFORE Booking a Rottnest Island Tour + Best Tours

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Rottnest Island is a must-visit when you’re in Perth. Not only is it famed for its beautiful scenery and historic military sites, but it’s also one of the only places in the world where you can see quokkas!

Yup, these adorable, smiling marsupials have the run of Rottnest Island. You really can’t pass up the chance to see them by taking a day trip to Rottnest Island. We love visiting this place and taking a few selfies with the quokkas! Plus, Perth is Daniel’s hometown so we’re back often and might see you there.

As well as seeing quokkas, there are a ton of things to do on Rottnest Island. As such, we recommend taking a tour so you don’t miss any of the highlights. Luckily, there are plenty of Rottnest Island tours available – and it makes the perfect day trip from Perth. Each tour has a slightly different focus, but they all ensure that you don’t miss out if you’re short on time. 

But before you book a Rottnest Island tour, there are some things to consider. That’s why we’ve written this guide containing everything you need to know, along with the best Rottnest Island tour options.

Don’t have time to read the full article? Rottnest Island is full of stunning beaches, adorable quokkas, and fun activities that make visiting so worth it. You can get ferry tickets from Perth and Fremantle or book an all-inclusive Rottnest Island tour that takes care of everything!

1. About Rottnest Island

Three people take a selfie with a quokka on Rottnest Island, Perth, WA
How cute!
Bailey in the water on Rottnest Island, Perth
The water is crystal clear!

Rottnest Island was named by Dutchman Willem de Vlamingh in 1696. Rottnest comes from the Dutch word for “rats nest” since he mistook the island’s quokkas for rats. (Rest assured, quokkas are nothing like rats – and they’re far cuter!).

The area was originally inhabited by the Noongar people. However, around 7,000 years ago, the sea levels rose and separated the island from the mainland. From then on, the Noongar called this island “Wadjemup”, meaning “the place across the water where the spirits are.”

Rottnest Island was uninhabited for thousands of years. That is … until Europeans began arriving in Australia in the 1600s. They started visiting this island, and in 1831, Robert Thomson and his family moved there. They created the island’s first permanent settlement, Thomas Settlement Bay, which is a popular tourist spot today.

Nowadays, there are more settlements on the island. However, Thomson Bay is the first site you’ll see as you step off the ferry. It’s also where most of the island’s businesses are. Here, you’ll find restaurants, hotels, shops, and a visitor center.

Rottnest Island is also the site of an Aboriginal prison, which was established in 1838. It held about 3,600 prisoners, who were treated cruelly and subject to forced labor. The prison stayed in use until 1931 when it became a military base and was used during WWII.

Today, many vacationers and daytrippers visit Rottnest Island. It’s actually one of the most popular places in Western Australia – and for good reason.

The island has over 60 beaches with calm waters and loads of sea life. There are plenty of opportunities to relax in the sand or enjoy outdoor activities and see historical sights. Plus, it’s also the world capital of quokkas, with roughly 10,000 of these cute creatures running around.

However you want to experience the island, there’s a tour that suits your needs! So keep reading to learn more about this beautiful destination and how to best enjoy it.

2. Where is Rottnest Island?

Bailey walks in the water at The Basin on Rottnest Island, Perth
The coastal waters are paradise!

Rottnest Island is located off the coast of Western Australia. It’s about 23 kilometers (14.3 miles) west of Fremantle and 33 kilometers (20.5 miles) west of Perth.

There are two ways to get to Rottnest Island from the mainland: by small plane or ferry.

Scenic flights take about 10 minutes to reach the island. Taking a scenic flight is an experience in itself and one of my top things to do on Rottnest Island. We’ll discuss this more in detail further down – along with our top choices for flight tours to the island!

Alternatively, there are two main ferry companies using a few different ports. Many of the tours on our list already include ferry tickets and roundtrip transportation – you just need to be ready to go! But just in case, we’ve outlined the ferry options below.

The Rottnest Express Ferry costs $68 AUD per adult and $39 AUD per child (ages 4-12) for a roundtrip ticket with admission fees. It departs from the B Shed or North Port terminals in Fremantle and takes about 30 minutes each way.

From Perth, you can take the Rottnest Express from the Barrack Street Jetty. This ferry takes 90 minutes, and prices start at $139 AUD for adults or $63.50 AUD for children under 12, including admission fees.

Your second ferry option is the SeaLink, which also departs from Fremantle and Perth. Roundtrip tickets cost around $59 AUD from Fremantle and $99 AUD from Perth. You’ll still need to pay the $20 AUD admission fee to Rottnest Island on top of that as well.

If you’re staying in Perth, you can book this same-day round-trip ferry ride through Viator. And if you’re coming from Fremantle, click here to purchase your roundtrip ferry tickets. Viator makes purchasing so easy, and they have a great cancellation policy!

3. When is the best time to visit Rottnest Island?

Cold brew coffee on Rottnest ISland
Bailey with a beer overlooking a beach on Rottnest Island
The best summer escape!

Rottnest Island is a beach destination, so summer is the best time to go! The warm months are from November to March, so this is an ideal time to escape the cold and take a Rottnest Island tour. 

Having said that, the island gets very busy during the school holidays. The school summer break runs from mid-December until the start of February, so it’s busy during that time. And naturally, it’s super busy over Christmas and New Year’s. If you do want to go during that time, just make sure to book your Rottnest Island tour well in advance.

So really, November, early December, February, and March are the very best times to visit Rottnest Island.

Related Read: Another one of our favorite places in Western Australia is Margaret River. To learn why, read about the best things to do in Margaret River right here

4. What are the best tours to Rottnest Island from Perth?

Rottnest Island Full-Day Trip with Guided Island Tour From Perth

Wadjemup Lighthouse on Rottnest Island, Perth
There is so much to see!
A cute Quokka on Rottnest Island
Seriously, how cute are they?

We like this all-inclusive Rottnest Island tour because everything is taken for you, from hotel pickup and ferry tickets to lunch and admission fees. You also get a super comprehensive overview of the island on a 3.5-hour bus tour, which includes stops at the island’s historic highlights.

Your day starts with hotel pickup before catching the 10 am ferry. I felt the ferry ride over was a great way to start the day – and just a little sampling of the beautiful scenery you’ll see throughout the tour.

Once you arrive on the island, you’ll start your bus journey, stopping at the best sites. For example, you’ll visit the Wadjemup Lighthouse, which is one of the oldest in Australia. You’ll learn about the Oliver Hill Guns, which were intended to defend the island during WWII but were never actually used. The guide really provides such interesting slices of history throughout the drive.

However, some of my top destinations were natural beauty spots. I loved seeing the scenery from Cathedral Rocks and the Cape Vlamingh viewing platform. Overall, this full-day tour really provides such a comprehensive overview of the island without ever feeling rushed.

Then, there’s free time after the bus tour to explore the island’s main settlement. Check out the beaches, do some shopping, or take selfies with quokkas. You can’t leave the island without the quintessential quokka selfie, after all!

This tour is a great opportunity to learn all about Rottnest Island in a relaxing and hassle-free way. It costs $194 AUD per person, including a light packed lunch, the bus tour, all transportation, fees, and your knowledgeable guide. The fact that everything is taken care of for you makes it so easy. And if you don’t have long in Perth, this tour is the ideal way to explore the island.

Book this full-day tour of Rottnest Island before it sells out!

Rottnest Island Historical Train and Tunnel Tour from Hillarys Boat Harbour

Bailey walks along a path on Rottnest Island
Get those steps in for cocktails later!
Wadjemup Museum on Rottnest Island
Wadjemup Museum

This full-day tour to Rottnest Island focuses more on the historical highlights than the scenery. However, you’ll still see plenty of that on the ferry over from Perth! You’ll also get to ride on a historic train and enjoy free time on the island.

The ferry leaves at 10 am, taking you from Hillarys Boat Harbour to Rottnest Island. Hotel pickup and drop-off are included. Just make sure to contact the tour operator through Viator and let them know where you want to be picked up! 

After you arrive on the island, you’ll hop aboard a historic train up to the Oliver Hill Battery. Here, your guide will share more about this location’s role in WWII. Then, you’ll head into the wartime tunnels to check out the giant guns, which measure 9.2 inches (23.3 cm) in diameter!  

You’ll also visit the Rottnest Island Visitor Center, which is a great resource for exploring the island by yourself. In our free time, we loved just walking along the coast, checking out the beaches, and seeing some cute quokkas. When it’s time to return, simply head to the ferry terminal.  

We like that this tour is a flexible option, and we think it’s a great way for history fans to experience Rottnest Island. It costs $130 AUD including landing fees, transportation, the train ride, and your guide. It also covers a coach transfer from Perth CBD, as well as Northbridge and Scarborough.

You can check availability and book this Rottnest Island tour online here!

Discover Rottnest with Ferry and Bus Tour

Rottnest express Ferry docked at Rottnest Island, Perth
Rottnest Ferry
Bailey walks down some stairs to a stunning beach on Rottnest Island
What a stunning place!

This Rottnest Island tour includes a return ferry ride from either Perth or Fremantle, a 90-minute bus tour of the island, and plenty of free time to explore by yourself. This option is one of our favorite Perth tours as it’s perfect if you want a guided sightseeing experience but don’t want to spend more than 1.5 hours on a bus!

You’ll need to make your own way to the ferry terminal. However, this tour is pretty convenient because you have the choice of two departure points. You can leave from either the Barack Street Jetty in Perth CBD at 8:45 am or the B Shed in Fremantle at 9:30 am.

After the ferry ride over to Rottnest Island, you’ll board the bus and take a tour of the island’s most historically significant places, including the Wadjemup Lighthouse. Your guide will provide interesting commentary the whole way.

Rottnest Island is car-free, so a bus tour is a great way to cover a lot of ground – especially if you don’t want to walk a long way or cycle everywhere. Plus, it gets pretty hot in the summer, so it’s nice to be inside an air-conditioned vehicle! 

Once the bus tour is over, you’ve got the rest of the day to explore the island at your leisure. Of course, you’ll also see tons of quokkas! Have that camera ready!

The tour costs $178 AUD from Perth. From Fremantle, it costs $137 AUD. Prices include the island admission fee, ferry tickets, and a guided bus tour. There’s also the option to add lunch for an additional $45 AUD.

This tour sells out fast, so we recommend reserving it online in advance!

Adventure Rottnest Tour with Ferry and Adventure Cruise

Rottnest Express Adventure Boat tour
Photo credit: Rottnest Express
Rottnest Island Adventure Boat tours from Perth
Photo credit: Rottnest Express

Some of the other Rottnest Island tours we’ve mentioned so far focus a lot on history, but we love that this adventure tour is all about wildlife! It’s ideal for anyone who loves being on the water and seeing animals – and kids especially love this experience!

You can take this day tour to Rottnest Island from either Perth or Fremantle, as it includes a high-speed ferry ride from either one. If you’re going from Perth, as we usually do, you get to cruise down the Swan River past Millionaire’s Row. I always catch myself daydreaming about living in one of those mansions we sail past.

Once you get to Rottnest Island itself, you’ll head out on a thrilling 90-minute boat ride. This is my highlight of this tour, as you can spot seals, dolphins, and sea birds in the Indian Ocean. And obviously, once you’re back on land, you’ll see lots of quokkas, too! 

Then, you’ve got the rest of the day to explore the island and do as you please. Rent bikes and cycle around or just hang out on one of the pristine beaches. 

This tour has several booking options. You can choose to leave from the Barack Street Jetty in Perth CBD at 8:45 am or the B Shed in Fremantle at 9:30 am. All tours last about 8 hours and include all island fees, the roundtrip ferry, the wildlife cruise, and your guide.

When departing from Perth, it costs $194 AUD. The tour plus a rental bike for the afternoon costs $230 AUD. Lastly, if you want to combine the tour with a lunch, it’ll be $239 AUD.

When departing from Fremantle, the tour alone costs $153 AUD. The tour with bike rentals costs $189 AUD and the lunch/tour option is $198 AUD.

This tour sells out fast! We highly recommend securing your spot online in advance.

Rottnest Island Settlement Explorer Segway Package from Perth

A lady stands on some steps at a stunning beach on Rottnest Island
Explore the island with ease!
segway tours on Rottnest
Photo credit: Segway Tours WA

This Segway explorer tour is such a fun way to experience Rottnest Island! Zooming around on a Segway always puts a smile on my face. They’re also very practical because you can cover so much ground in a short amount of time. Plus, you get to be out in the open air! 

The tour starts with a ferry ride from the Barack Street Jetty at 8:30 am. Then, you take a Segway tour around the island to see its historical landmarks and beautiful scenery. There’s nothing quite like gliding past Thomson Bay with the wind blowing through your hair. You also really appreciate the gorgeous beaches and bays when you’re on a Segway – and take fantastic photos!

We like the fact that this is a small group tour (max 10), so you never feel overwhelmed. You also get free time in the afternoon, so you can chill out and spend lots of time with the quokkas.

This full-day tour costs $222 AUD per person and has a minimum age limit of 12. It covers your landing fees, ferry rides, the Segway tour, and your friendly guide. We think it would be a fantastic way of exploring the island for families with teens. But I could also see a group of friends having a ton of fun on this tour!

If you’ve never been on a Segway, here’s your chance! Click here to enjoy this fun Segway tour of Rottnest Island

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

5. Should you book a tour to Rottnest Island in advance?

Wadjemup Lighthouse on Rottnest Island, WA
Wadjemup Lighthouse on Rottnest Island, WA

Yes! Rottnest Island is probably the most popular place to visit from Perth, so we definitely recommend that you book your tour in advance. This is especially true if you’re visiting during the Australian summer school holidays (which usually last from mid-to-late December until the first week of February). Trust me, it’s such a gorgeous island getaway, and you don’t want to miss out! 

Related Read: Are you arriving in Syndey and on a budget? Read about my top free and cheap things to do in Syndey right here!

6. Can you fly to Rottnest Island?

People in a small plane on their way to Rottnest Island from Perth
On the plane!
View of the coastline of Perth from a flight from Perth to Rottnest
Flying out of Perth!

Yes, you can! There are a couple of different scenic flights to Rottnest Island available. It’s a fantastic thing to do because the island looks so beautiful from above!

Fly to Rottnest Island by Plane

With this scenic flight tour, you’ll fly to Rottnest Island, enjoying a view of Perth and the ocean on the way. I love that it’s a small, fixed-wing plane, so you’re guaranteed a window seat. Then, you’ll have four hours to enjoy Rottnest Island. Have a leisurely meal along the coast, chill on the beach, or snap photos with the cute quokkas.

Roundtrip scenic flights from Perth cost $310 AUD. If you prefer to experience the ferry as well and spend longer on the island, you can choose to take a one-way flight for $270 AUD (You’ll be responsible for your own return ferry ticket). Both options include flights only, so all of your time on the island will be free time. For a fast and super scenic journey, book your flight to Rottnest Island here!

Rottnest Ultimate Seaplane and Seafood Experience

For more of a full-day experience, we recommend this luxury tour. We love this option because you can experience Rottnest Island from land, sea, and air! It includes a roundtrip seaplane flight from Perth, a 4-hour cruise, a gourmet meal, and free time to explore the island.

Meet your group at the South Perth Fishing Jetty by 9:40 am to board the seaplane to the island. If you’ve never been on a seaplane, just know it’s a super cool experience taking off directly from the water! Make sure to have your camera ready for incredible aerial shots!

After landing, you’ll board a 4-hour cruise which keeps you well-fed and entertained the entire duration. You’ll enjoy a 5-course meal consisting of fresh local seafood (yum!) along with drinks of your choice. You can even get to join in a catch-your-own lobster experience. Then, you’ll have free time to explore the island before flying back to Perth at 4 pm.

This tour costs $694 AUD, including your flights, the cruise, a seafood extravaganza, unlimited beverages, and landing fees. You must be at least 13 years old to join this tour. It’s offered from Wednesdays to Sundays and truly promises to be a really special day out!

However, this tour does sell out quickly, so book it well in advance online

Rottnest Island Scenic Flight

If you don’t have time to explore Rottnest Island, you can still enjoy epic aerial views of it on this 45-minute scenic flight from Perth. You’ll enjoy the beauty of Rottnest Island from above, as well as flying over Perth.

Daniel is from Perth, so it was super cool to see it from the air. We were able to identify some of our favorite spots like the CBD, the Swan River, the white sand beaches, and Fremantle Port. The flight itself is 45 minutes, so you get longer in the air and see more than the other flight options.

Flights depart from and return to Kookaburra Air Perth. This flight costs $310 AUD and is a fantastic way to sightsee when you’re short on time. If you’re not in a rush, you can also choose to spend 4 hours on the island. Book this scenic flight for the best views of Rottnest Island and Perth!

Related Read: If you can’t get enough of those aerial views, check out the best helicopter tours in Sydney, Australia.

7. What are the best tours once on Rottnest Island?

Bailey on a snorkeling cruise at Rottnest Island, Perth
A cruise is one of the best ways to explore the island!
Bailey on a cruise at Rottnest Island, Perth Western Australia
Just stunning!

If you want to fill your free time on Rottnest Island, we’ve got you covered! Here are our top choices for tours once on Rottnest Island.

Luxe Island seafood cruise

This luxury tour is all about sailing and indulging in scrumptious seafood. You’ll enjoy four hours cruising on the open water – and even have the chance to catch your own lobster (with the help of the crew, of course).

The lobster, along with many other seafood treats, will be part of your gourmet meal. To top it off, you can wash it all down with wine from Margaret River. When you want to relax, head to the swanky upper deck for excellent views of Rottnest Island. Once the boat is moored in a calm bay, you can swim or chill on a large float mat while canapes are floated to you.

This cruise is fit for royalty – and if you love seafood, you won’t want to miss it! Tickets are $319 AUD, including everything we mentioned and all food and drinks (with a welcome cocktail and plenty of wine). Tours depart at 11:30 am right next to the ferry terminal. Passengers must be at least 13 years old to participate. You can book this luxury cruise with seafood extravaganza right here.

Rottnest Island guided snorkel

On this snorkeling tour, a boat will lead you to prime snorkeling spots off Rottnest Island. A marine biologist will guide you through the water, identifying all the fish and corals you see. It really is the best way to see the island’s marine life up close!

But you won’t just spot sea life, you’ll snorkel around shipwrecks which is super interesting! Then, you can enjoy sightseeing while sailing around the island. This tour allows you to see Rottnest Island’s beauty both above and below water!

Tours start at 10 am at the Fuel Jetty and last three hours. They cost $199 AUD including snorkeling gear, light beverages and snacks, and your experienced guides. For a super interactive tour, book this Rottnest Island snorkeling experience online.

Rottnest Island E-bike tour

As we mentioned, you can’t rent cars on Rottnest Island. So if you want to cover lots of ground, we recommend taking this Eco-friendly E-bike tour! The E-bikes make it super easy to see the sites and enjoy the fresh air (without over-exerting yourself by pedaling for hours!).

Meet at the Rottnest Island Campground at 11 am to get fitted with your bike and helmet. Then, your group takes off on a guided tour of the island’s notable landmarks. Keep your eyes out for quokkas as you take in the stunning scenery and historic sites. As you bike, the guides share info about the island’s history and culture.

This tour is around $103 AUD per person, and you must have a minimum of two people per booking. Prices include the bike, helmet, and your guide, but I suggest bringing snacks and water too!

It’s only available Friday through Sunday, so if you’re heading to the island these days, check availability and book it online.

Rottnest Island Aboriginal tour

If you love anthropology, this Aboriginal walking tour is for you! You’ll learn all about the island’s significance to the Noongar people. They were the island’s first inhabitants, and once sea levels rose, they began calling it Wadjemup (or “the place across the water where the spirits are”). However, Rottnest Island still holds a strong cultural and spiritual significance to the Noongar people today.

On this walking tour, you’ll learn about the Noongar people’s history through the present. Your knowledgeable guides do a great job detailing how the island changed over time. I was particularly surprised to learn the shocking history of how it was once an Aboriginal prison.

These 60-minute tours are usually offered every Wednesday at 10 am, leaving from the Visitor Center. They cost $70 AUD and can be booked directly through the company’s website.

Rottnest Island twilight sail

What better way to end your day than with this sunset sail around Rottnest Island? You’ll watch the sky change colors as the sun disappears over the Indian Ocean – with champagne in hand, of course! I love this catamaran because you get 360-degree views, with the option to sit indoors or outdoors. Aside from the kaleidoscope of colors, you might even see dolphins if you’re lucky!

Tours are typically available Monday to Wednesday around 6 pm. They last 1.5 hours and depart from the Fuel Jetty. It’s $95 AUD which includes a glass of champagne and light snacks. However, you’re welcome to bring additional food and drinks on board.

This tour is perfect if you’re planning a romantic getaway or just love sunset cruises. Make sure to secure your spot online in advance!

Rottnest Island Oliver Hill train and tunnel tour

Many of the full-day tours we mentioned take you to the island’s top historical sites. But if you’re planning your own visit to Rottnest Island, we recommend booking this train and tunnel tour. Knowledgeable guides will show you the best military sites, sharing fascinating info as you go.

You’ll meet at the train station, where you’ll hop aboard a historic train to the Oliver Hill Battery. I love that this tour takes you through the old military tunnels. It feels a bit adventurous, and kids also enjoy this element! Plus, these guides are a wealth of information and really bring history to life.

By the end of this 2-hour tour, we had a solid understanding of the island’s role in the war effort. Tours cost $35 AUD per adult and $18 AUD for kids (ages 4-12). They have several departure times daily between 10:30 am and 1:30 pm, so it’s easy to fit into your schedule.

If you enjoy learning about military history, you won’t want to miss this tour! Book it online right here.

Related Read: Are you looking for more tours nearby? There are fantastic Margaret River tours from Perth including these incredible wine tours.

8. Are tours the best way to see Rottnest Island?

Daniel and Bailey at one of the beautiful bays on Rottnest Island
Another beautiful beach!
Bailey relaxes on a beach on Rottnest Island
Rottnest is such a relaxing place!

Yes and no.

Are you short on time and only have a day to see Rottnest Island? If so, we definitely think that taking one of the Rottnest Island tours from Perth is the best way to go. You can fit plenty in, and most of the tours take you to the top historical sites. They also give you time to enjoy the beaches and the main settlement by yourself. 

However, if you have a few days to spend on the island, then we recommend taking the ferry yourself. This way, you can stay on Rottnest Island for a few nights. This gives you time to explore at a leisurely pace and enjoy all of Rottnest Island’s activities. Some of my faves include simply relaxing on the beaches and or trying out paddleboarding, snorkeling, and surfing. 

If you don’t love tours but are short on time, you can always plan your own day trip to Rottnest Island. Personally, I love using Viator to purchase roundtrip ferry tickets to get there. Viator makes booking super easy, and they have a great cancellation policy.

If you’re staying in Perth, I recommend this same-day round-trip ferry ride. It costs $119 AUD per adult and $62 AUD per child (ages 4-12). It leaves from the Barrack Street Jetty at 8:45 am, returning to Perth at 6:30 pm. It’s 22 miles (35 km) to Rottnest Island from Perth, and the ride takes about 25 minutes. 

Alternatively, if you’re staying in or near Fremantle, you can get roundtrip ferry tickets for $85 AUD per adult and $43 AUD per child (ages 4-12). You’ll depart from the Sealink port at either 7 am or 9 am, returning on the 4 pm ferry. The journey takes around 30 minutes each way. 

9. Can you book ferry and tour combinations to save money?

Bailey on the Rottnest Island Ferry
Off we go!
Bailey rides her bike around Rottnest Island Perth
I never get sick of the views!

Yes, you can! 

This tour includes ferry tickets and a bike rental so that you can explore the island at your leisure. Purchasing this combo saves you money. If coming from Perth, it’s $155 AUD. If you want to add a snorkel rental, your grand total will be $177 AUD.

If you’re coming from Fremantle, you can get the same deal for the slightly lower price of $136 AUD per person. This includes the roundtrip ferry ticket and bike and snorkel rental.

To snorkel and/or bike around Rottnest Island, check prices and book your tour right here!

10. Is visiting Rottnest Island worth it?

Bailey at City of York Bay beach, Rottnest Island
Yes!

Yes! It’s such a gorgeous destination in Western Australia, and there’s no place quite like it. The scenery is stunning, and you get to see cute little quokkas running about. It’s just a short ferry ride from Perth or Fremantle and makes the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Other Activities to do While You’re in Perth

A rescued penguin on Penguin Island, Perth
A rescued penguin on Penguin Island, Perth
Bailey with a beer at Gage Roads Brewery, Fremantle, WA
Gage Roads is one of my favorite breweries!

When we’re staying in Perth, we absolutely love visiting Rottnest Island. However, this is just one of many fun things we like doing in Perth! This city is actually Daniel’s hometown, so we know it well! As such, we’ve compiled this list of our top activities.

  • Visit Penguin Island – Penguin Island is just a 45-minute drive from Perth and is home to around 1,200 wild penguins along with nature trails, beaches, and places to swim and snorkel. You’ll need to take a ferry to the island – unless you want to kayak there instead!
  • Learn to surf – Perth is the ideal place for beginner surfers! We recommend Go Surf Perth for classes. If you’re a novice surfer heading out on your own, our favorite beach is Cottesloe. For a bit more of a challenge, one of the most reliable surf breaks is Trigg Beach.
  • Check out an adventure park – Perth is a great destination for adrenaline junkies like me! For the only cable wakeboard park in WA, head to Perth Wake Park. If an amusement park is what you’re looking for, Adventure World has you covered. To cool off in summer, Outback Splash is the place to be!

Where to Stay in Perth, WA

The Westin Perth hotel room with a view
Photo credit: The Westin Perth

If you’re taking a Rottnest Island tour, you’ll need a place to stay in Perth! Because many tours leave from the CBD (Central Business District), I recommend staying in the heart of the city if you can. There are places to stay in the city center for a range of budgets. If you need some help narrowing it down, these are our top picks!

The Westin Perth – $$$  

A mix of classy and contemporary, The Westin Perth is the place to stay when you’re looking for a touch of luxury. The prime location in the heart of Perth puts you within walking distance of the trendy Elizabeth Quay area as well as lots of restaurants and cafes. You can also use the hotel’s infinity pool or its signature restaurant run by iconic Australian Chef Guy Grossi.

Rooms here start around $400 AUD per night and can be reserved through Booking.com.  

Pensione Hotel Perth – $$ 

A nice mid-range option, the Pensione Hotel Perth is a refurbished boutique hotel with 98 rooms. It’s close to Elizabeth Quay, major shopping centers, the Swan River, and Northbridge. You’ll feel like you’re stepping into the 1960s with restored furniture and décor from this era filling the lobby.

The staff members are really friendly, and rooms are reasonable at under $150 AUD a night. For a mid-range hotel with style, book the Pensione Hotel Perth right here!

Hostel G Perth – $ 

You don’t need to pay big bucks to stay in Perth’s CBD. Hostel G Perth has dorm rooms for around $40 AUD or private rooms for around $100 AUD. You’ll have a huge common area with movies, TV, a kitchen, and a great atmosphere with travelers of all ages.  

We really like hostels because they are affordable so you can travel longer and you might even meet some new friends to hang out with! Grab a room using Booking.com or HostelWorld.com.  

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Daniel and Bailey take a selfie on Rottnest Island, Perth
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We’ve been to Rottnest Island several times, and it never gets old! The beautiful beaches, adorable quokkas, and fun activities make it so worth it. And while you can visit on your own, tours make everything so easy and efficient. If you’re planning a trip to the island, we hope our guide has helped you find a tour you love!

If you’re visiting other areas of the country, read our blog all about Australia! This is Daniel’s home country, and we’ve spent loads of time exploring it. We love helping other travelers, which is why we’ve added some useful links below.

8 Things to Know BEFORE Booking a Swan Valley Wine Tour +The 6 BEST Tours

17 Things to KNOW before Visiting Kakadu National Park, Australia

21 BEST Things to do in Exmouth, Western Australia

Where to Stay in Darwin, Australia – An Unbiased Guide to Darwin Accommodation