Is this Western Australia's hidden gem?

Rottnest Island is Western Australia's very own Island getaway. Getting to "Rotto", as the locals affectionately call it, is a breeze. Just 19 kilometers off the coast, ferries depart regularly from Fremantle, Perth's Barrack Street Jetty and Hillarys Marina. This hidden gem is renowned for its picturesque scenery and for having some of the world's finest white sand beaches and pristine bays. Those visiting Rottnest can take part in a variety of experiences to explore all that the island has to offer both on and off-shore.

Consisting of 63 stunning beaches, 20 beautiful bays and many coral reefs the island invites you to enjoy some of Australia's finest swimming spots, snorkel trails and surf breaks. Sightseer favourites include Little Salmon Bay, Parker Point and Pinky Beach. Rottnest Island is also known for surfing with some of the best breaks in the world found at Strickland Bay. Cruise tours are also available and give visitors the opportunity to explore and soak in all of Rottnest’s surrounding waters and marine life including dolphins, seals and more.

On Rottnest Island, bikes are the best transportation of choice and can be hired both from the ferry terminal and on the island. Visitors also have the option of bringing their own bike by ferry. The island is only 11km long and 4.5km wide making it easy to explore with a number of great trails to follow. If traversing by bike doesn't appeal to you, you can also enjoy the journey by air-conditioned coach on the Island Explorer Bus. This hop-on/hop-off service runs daily and with 18 stops on the agenda, takes you to many of the secluded bays and secret hideaways located around the island. Day passes for this service can be purchased from the Rottnest Island Visitors Centre.

Tours offer visitors an insight into the interesting and varied amount of animal life around the island. Rottnest island is also home to “The Happiest Animal on Earth,” the Quokka. There isn’t much Aussie wildlife out there that can match a Quokka for cuteness, with its cheeky grin, friendly personality and resemblance to a mini-kangaroo. Their survival on the island is largely due to the exclusion of natural or introduced predators. The Quokka has become one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island. This cute little creature is world famous for posing in selfies with tourists and for their trusting nature. Posing for a photo with these marsupials is one of the main highlights for visitors to the island.

The islands Mediterranean-style climate and its large variety of flora and fauna provide the perfect setting to a special holiday experience for all its visitors. This island paradise forces you to slow down to fit into its laid back, casual atmosphere. Whenever the opportunity arises, it’s refreshing to leave behind the city sky rises in order to seek out a more natural environment. I think that in a world which is now so technology driven, sometimes it is that connection with nature that calms our souls, grounds us and rejuvenates the batteries. Rottnest Island is a special place for Western Australians and a popular destination for interstate and international visitors.

Article by Suzana Paravac.


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