Monday, January 5, 2015

Western Australia Day 9: Rottnest Island

Getting our tickets from B-Shed.

Everyone woke before six today to an unexpected chill that swept through our room. The temperature was 17 degrees and strong gusts of wind made it difficult for us to get our engines warmed up. We did not have much of a choice as we booked the first ferry to Rottnest Island at 7.15am from Fremantle, about 40 minutes drive from our accommodation in Perth Hills.

We found an all-day parking spot near B-Shed and bought an all-day parking ticket for $7. At B-Shed, a line was already forming to board the Rottnest Express. We forgot to bring along our e-tickets and collected a printed ticket from the counter after verifying our reference number.

The journey on the Rottnest Express was less than 45 minutes and smooth throughout.

It was a cold and windy day, a little too cold to start the day. We hope that it gets warmer.

We arrived on the island at about 8 am, and the weather was still too cold for the kids. After a quick visit to the Information Centre to pick up some maps and bus schedules. The first Island Explorer bus departs from the Main Bus Stop at 8.45 am. Since it was gusty and cold outside, the plan was to hop onto the Island Explorer for a quick round trip around the 23 km long island before deciding what next. Daddy dropped off at Little Salmon Bay to snorkel around the reefs there. Despite the cold weather, he was not going to miss this once in a lifetime chance to experience the underwater beauty of the island.

These photographs don't do the beauty of Rottnest Island any justice. Simply beautiful beyond words.

The beach where Daddy would be doing his underwater exploration

Crystal clear waters at the Just 4 Fun Aqua Park at Thompson Bay. 30 minutes of slides, stand-up paddle boards, paddle boats at $7.50 for Kids Knee Deep Park and $13 for Main Park.

While exploring the shops in the Thompson Bay Settlement, a curious Quokka strolled up to us and began nibbling away at some dried leaves, providing a wonderful photo opportunity. The island of Rottnest owes its name to this adorable marsupial, which was mistaken to be a giant rat, hence the name 'Rat-Nest'.

After a quick tour of the island on the Island Express, we hunkered down inside this Dome café to warm up to some warm food and hot-chocolate.

The sun did come out around noon time, and it started to look more like a typical summer's day. We explored the Thompson Bay Settlement, which has rows of cafes and souvenir shops alongside heritage buildings.

Playgrounds are a hit with the kids, especially those with climbing structures. Despite the mid-day sun, we slapped on sunscreen and went for it.

After the 'hour under the sun', it was a great idea to cool off at the Simmo's café. The girls' favourite flavour was Bubblegum.

Lots of activities on the island to occupy your day with.

We always jump at the chance to visit the local museum at every new place we visit. The Rottnest Island Museum is a great way to gain an overview of the island's rich cultural and natural history. 

Entrance to the museum is 'by gold coin' - a small donation that goes to support the running of the facility.

The island's history is not all pretty, and the many photographs, information panels and artwork describes the role of the island as a prisoner camp.

An adjoining gallery has exhibits on the island's natural history.

Finding out more about the ecology of one of our favourite delicacies.

A display showcasing some birds found on the island.

The Quokka is a marsupial endemic to the island.

It was a short visit to Rottnest, and we must say the island is as beautiful as advertised. Postcard-perfect beaches with crystal clear calm waters and fascinating rock formations. We caught a ferry that brought us back to Fremantle at 3pm, and headed out to get some dinner. Despite the fatigue, we were thankful for the opportunity to step foot on the paradise island. When the next opportunity arises, we hope to stay there for a few days, cycling around the island.


  1. Hi,

    Nice post! :)
    We are planning our trip to Perth and Rottnest Island seems a must go! :)

    Greetings from Discover . Book . Travel (

  2. Hi Tommy,

    Yes, Rottnest is a very beautiful island. If possible, do stay a few days to really enjoy the island. Our one day trip doesn't seem to do the island enough justice. We promise ourselves that we would definitely stay a few days the next time we go.