Your Rottnest Island day trip starts in either Perth or Fremantle, depending on option selected when booking. From Perth, hop aboard your ferry for a ride down the Swan River, enjoying views of upscale homes and yacht clubs that line the shore. When you get to Fremantle, where the river dumps into the Indian Ocean, pick up more passengers for the ride across the ocean to Rotto, as the island is referred to by locals.
When you arrive, embark on your 1.5-hour thrilling high-speed wildlife cruise that takes you around the island’s many isolated bays and beaches, where you can watch for sea life like dolphins, seals and birds. After your adventure cruise, you are free to spend the afternoon at your leisure to explore the island however you wish. Perhaps rent a bike to travel down the car-free roads, go swimming or snorkeling in the turquoise water, or search for quokkas, the small marsupials who live on the island. (Activities, entrance fees, rentals, food and drinks are at your own expense.) If you select the lunch option when booking, head to Karma Rottnest for your included meal.
Maybe visit one of the historical attractions to learn about the heritage of Rottnest, which was discovered by Dutch explorers in the 1600s and has since been home to shipwrecks, an Aboriginal penal colony and an internment camp. Today, as an A-class nature reserve, it’s beloved for its tranquil atmosphere, rustic charm and minimal development.
When your time on Rottnest is up, return to Fremantle or Perth by ferry.