Rotto in the summer? That’s a pretty easy sell. Perhaps less obvious is a trip to the picturesque island during winter, but there’s plenty to enjoy on Rottnest year-round, whether you’re looking for adventure and activity, or a weekend of pampering and relaxation. Here are seven reasons to head to the island ASAP:
Beat The Crowds (And Score A Ferry Deal To Get You There)
Like we said, Rotto in the summer is a no-brainer… but that’s no secret. If you missed out on getting your peak season accommodation sorted, a winter stay is a pretty stress-free way to enjoy the island. You’ll also find that winter accommodation and ferry packages are priced for the off-season, too – with mid-week Rottnest Express fares starting at $49 for day trips, and ferry return with two nights of accommodation packages for two people starting at $457.
Image credit: @mayhem85
Explore The Island On Two Wheels Or Four
Add bike hire to your ferry fare with Rottnest Express and it’ll be waiting for you when you get off the ferry, saving you the hassle. The island is less windy in winter than summer, so take advantage of the perfect riding conditions and do a lap of the map on your bike.
Too stormy to ride? Jump on Rottnest Express’s 90-minute bus tour of the island. You’ll stay dry and comfortable whilst seeing all of the iconic sights as you make your way around the island. Rottnest Express’s guides provide expert commentary, talking you through the island’s rich history and unique flora and fauna along the way.
Or Explore It On Your Own Two Feet
The Wadjemup Bidi is a recently constructed 45km walking trail network that lets you discover the island on foot. Five trails vary in length from 5.9 to 10kms, and wind through the island and hidden areas you can’t normally access on the bike paths or roads. As well as the big drawcard spots (like Pinky’s and Salmon Bay), you’ll be able to visit secluded areas that you’ll likely have all to yourself. The trails also provide walkers an important insight in Rottnest Island’s cultural history and its time as an Aboriginal-only prison camp between 1838 and 1931, while paying respects to Rottnest Island’s Traditional Land Owners. Not up for following a map? Let the experts at The Hike Collective guide you along the trails.
If bikes, buses or walking aren’t for you, there’s always segway tours to go on with the team at Segway Tours WA. There are two tours to choose from, the 1hr Settlement Explorer Tour or 1.5hr Fortress Adventure, both providing a fun and unique of exploring the island. The former takes you along Rottnest’s more popular beaches (with plenty of time for quokka selfies), while the latter takes you off road to the Bickley Battery and into more natural habitats on the island.
Take To The Skies With A Joy Flight (Or A Skydive!)
You might think flying would be the fancy-pants option, but local and family-owned operation Rottnest Air Taxi have been flying since 1993 and are all about providing flights that are cost-effective, especially for groups and families.
For those a little more adventurous, you can also enjoy the view while free falling from 15,000 feet. Skydive Geronimo offers tandem jumps, landing on the island’s pristine beaches – followed by a complimentary beverage at Thomsons, of course. After that jump, you more than deserve it.
Get Educated On The History Of The Island
As we enjoy all the splendour that Rotto has to offer, it’s important to also acknowledge the island’s at-times very difficult history. Wadjemup Museum has recently undergone a refurbishment of its premises in the old Mill and Hay Store, and features exhibits that explore Rottnest’s past. It’s an essential and enlightening experience, exploring everything from 40,000-year-old artefacts, vintage postcards and outdoor sculptures to the island’s time as an Aboriginal-only prison camp.
Pamper Yourself At Karma Resort Or Glamper At Discovery
There are now more options than ever for staying on the island, and Karma Resort has teamed up with Rottnest Express to offer some excellent winter accommodation + ferry package deals, with two night stays, parking, luggage transfer and more included.
Conversely if you’re not quite a camper, but not quite a pamper-er, Discovery Rottnest Island glamping gets you amongst nature – but without having to lug a tent around. Discovery Rottnest have taken an eco-friendly approach; minimal impact on the surrounding environment, sustainable materials, plus revegetation and sand dune protection – so we can all continue to enjoy Rotto for years to come.
Indulge In A Sunset Cocktail At Pinky’s Beach Club
Finally it’s time to sit back and watch a famous Rotto sunset over a drink. Stroll on down to Hotel Rottnest to sit back in their beer garden (arguably one of the best in WA). Otherwise, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better sunset spot on the island than Pinky’s Beach Club. Enjoy one of their signature cocktails and watch the sun go down- the calmer winter winds often make for some magical views.
Image credit: @mayhem85
Head to the Rottnest Express WEBSITE now to score some excellent winter ferry deals and island experiences.