Rottnest Island is best known for the island’s unique animal, the quokka. The quokka is a small macropod about the size of a large domestic cat, resembling something like a small kangaroo with a rats tail. Early Dutch explorers originally thought the quokka to be rats and named the island “Rat’s Nest”.
The island is only 11km long and is 19km offshore from Fremantle. The island’s eastern coast is built up around the small township of Thompson Bay where most of the shops, restaurants and accommodation can be found.
Colebach Avenue, Thompson Bay
Tel (08) 9372 9752
Open Mon-Fri 7am-6.15pm, Sat-Sun 7am-7.30pm
There are several ferry companies that ply the waters between Rottnest Island and the mainland.
Oceanic Cruises (tel (08) 9325 1191) depart from Barrack Street Jetty in Perth and East Street Jetty in Fremantle. Day return fares are $68 from Perth and $54 from Fremantle.
Rottnest Express (tel (08) 9335 6406) departs from Victoria Quay in Fremantle. Day return tickets cost $53 ($46 HI/YHA, VIP).
Rottnest Island is surprisingly well served by public transport but cycling is the most popular way to get around.
Bayseeker operate an hourly bus service around the island. A day ticket is $10 but the last bus stops running around 4.30pm. There is also a free bus service that runs every half hour between the hostel, Thompson Bay and Geordie Bay.
There is even a train between Thompson Bay and Oliver Hill but this is a more expensive tourist service charging $17.40 for the two-hour return trip.
Kingstown, Rottnest Island (check in at accommodation office near the ferry terminal)
Tel (08) 9372 9780