The Summer Guide to Rottnest Island

When you think of iconic summer holiday destinations in Western Australia, Rottnest Island is likely one of the first that comes to mind. Just a 30-minute ferry ride from Fremantle, the Perth gem is known for its gorgeous beaches, beautiful natural landscapes and the famous native quokkas..

Whether you’re keen to get out and explore or relax on the beach, Rottnest Island has something for everyone to enjoy. So, if you’re planning a summer holiday on the lovely island, here are the delicious eateries, luxury accommodations and fabulous spots you need to know about. Or, if you’re heading to ‘Rotto’ in the colder months, make sure you have a look at our winter guide to Rottnest Island.

How to get there

Charter 1

If there’s one exciting way to start your Rottnest experience, it’s a private boat charter onboard Perth’s largest sailing catamaran, Capella. Not only will Charter 1 get you over to the island, but they also offer a snorkelling tour and sunset sail so you can truly enjoy the local marine life and natural beauty. Spend your time sailing, swimming, snorkelling or simply relaxing onboard the 12.5-metre luxury catamaran.

The Snorkel and Sail Tour runs for approximately three hours and the Sunset Sail Tour has a duration of 90 minutes.


Discovery Rottnest Island

One of the most relaxed and breathtaking coastal locations on the island, Discovery Rottnest Island is an eco-sustainable resort beside the dunes of Pinky Beach. Comprising 83 eco-tents, this accommodation is for the glampers who want to be immersed in the island’s wonderful nature but with hotel-style comforts.

Choose from either base or premium options where you have access to an ensuite bathroom, outdoor deck and comfortable bedding, all surrounded by wonderful natural scenery.

Source: Discovery Rottnest Island

Samphire Rottnest

Sitting on the beachfront of Thomson Bay, Samphire Rottnest offers some of the best high-end accommodation on Rottnest. It’s the perfect place to enjoy the best of the idyllic island life, with 80 spacious rooms, outdoor dining spaces, and poolside cabanas.

Source: Samphire Rottnest


Pinky’s Rottnest Island

Offering arguably the best sunset views on the whole of the island, Pinky’s has a relaxed beach club atmosphere with West Australian wine, cocktails and a locally-inspired menu. Over the summer months, Pinky’s is known for hosting events including live music, kids’ discos and DJ sets. If you decide to visit the popular venue over New Year’s, Pinky’s is hosting a New Year’s Eve family silent disco as well as an adults’ NYE celebration with live music, drink specials and fireworks at Thomson Bay for all to enjoy. Visitors can also ring in the New Year at Pinky’s with an afternoon of live music and a roaming saxophone player.

Source: Pinky’s Rottnest Island


Resting on the water’s edge of Thomson Bay, Lontara delivers a share-style menu inspired by the islands of South-East Asia and enhanced by fresh local produce. Find dishes infused with spices from Indonesia, Malaysia, China and Vietnam mixed with local seafood such as scallops, prawns and crab. Pair this with an extensive wine list from around the world and specialty cocktails, and Lontara will take you on a wonderful culinary journey.

Source: Lontara

Isola Bar e Cibo

Enjoy drinking and dining right on the beach at Isola Bar e Cibo’s fresh take on classic Italian food. Isola reflects the simplicity of island life, serving fresh pasta dishes, meats and WA seafood cooked over a charcoal fire grill. The food is paired with a sophisticated Italianate drinks list that includes Italian cocktails, spritz and special wines.

Source: Isola Bar e Cibo


Little Salmon Bay

Boasting more than 60 beaches and 20 bays, Rottnest Island is known for its world-class coastline. Arguably one of the most beautiful swimming spots is Little Salmon Bay, found on the south side of the island. The intimate bay is wonderfully sheltered from the elements with calm waters making it a prime spot for swimming, snorkelling, and diving. 

little salmon bay
Source: World Beach Guide

The Basin

One of the island’s most popular swimming spots, The Basin is a unique combination of white, sandy beach, colourful, shallow reefs and beautiful turquoise water. The sheltered bay is also protected from strong currents and large waves making it perfect for snorkelers.

the basin rottnest
Source: Rottnest Island


Wadjemup Museum

Rottnest Island is rich in history from sunken ships that rest on the ocean floor to the military structures built to protect the port of Fremantle. While there are many historical sights on Rottnest, one of the best places to learn about the island’s intriguing story is the Wadjemup Museum. Inside you’ll find many exhibits ranging from whale bones and glass spearheads to an old lighthouse keeper’s jacket and vintage postcards.

Segway Tour

Aside from cycling the island yourself, a Segway Tour is the ideal way to explore Rottnest and all its natural beauty. With both scenic tours and off-road adventures available, take your own set of wheels to the best-hidden and hardly-accessed locations across the island.

This article originally appeared on Fancy and do not necessarily represent the views of

About the author


Hi! I’m Ozzie!

Before joining Australia Exploring, I was a writer at Tripadvisor.

I'm looking for the best posts for you about travel adventures in Australia and around the world. This website has the purpose to inspire you to travel… travel more and better. I hope it can help you explore the world a little bit better.

I graduated from the University of Sydney. I live in California with my wife and two children.


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