Rottnest Island 101: More Than Just Quokka Selfies

Weekend adventures at Rottnest Island. Not just Quokka selfies. Perth’s playground has more things happening than you might think.

Rottnest Island 101: More Than Just Quokka Selfies

Weekend adventures at Rottnest Island. Not just Quokka selfies. Perth’s playground has more things happening than you might think.
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Why there’s more to Rottnest Island than quokkas.

(Also, Rotto’s ‘Seafood Saturday’ is happening on the 24th – more below)

By Julia D’Orazio

We get it. Those cute, furry marsupials make the best partner in crime for a cheeky selfie on Rottnest Island. After all, what’s a trip to Rotto without seeing one of its famous friendly faces? But, as cute as they can be, they aren’t the only good looking sight to be spotted on Western Australia’s favourite island playground.

Here we list other incredible sights found on Rottnest Island worthy of an Instagrammable photo.

Australian Sealions

We told you, quokkas aren’t the only cute inhabitants on the island! The rocky shores of Rottnest attract the rarest sea lions of the world, the Australian Sealion. To catch a glimpse of these big sea creatures, head to the farthest west of the island, Cathedral Rocks. If you are lucky, you may be even lucky to see not just one, but a family of them on a small island just off the shore!

Pink Lake

Forget about playing with the colour tone on your camera as Pink Lake is bright enough! Head towards the centre of the island to see a lake of unusual colour – pink! The amazing pinkish hue is caused by algae (Dunaliella salina) that contains a naturally pink element, beta-carotene. This is the same algae that both flamingos and shrimp eat, resulting their appearance turn pink!

Shipwreck snorkelling from the shore

You don’t need to dive deep into the Indian Ocean to catch a glimpse of history. Just off the shores of Rottnest, two shipwrecks are easily accessible and make for an excellent spot to snorkel for both the young and adults.

Nearby Kingston Barracks is the easiest shipwreck to access, Uribes, which is around 20m offshore. The well-preserved wreck lies on the seabed, fringing the reef that is sandwiched between the-soon-to-be-demolished Army Jetty and Natural Jetty, on the eastern side of some low-level limestone cliffs. Hot tip: for the best snorkelling visibility, visit Uribes in the afternoon.

The Shark can also be spotted from the roadside lookout at Henrietta Rocks but don’t worry, this one is innocent! Just like its namesake, the wreck of the Shark juts above sea level with the rear of the boat resembling a crane-like appearance.

This small wreck can appeal to both the young and old for its underwater ledges and small fish swimming around. Better yet, it is located just 50 metres from the beach. The best time to snorkel this easy shipwreck is on still days as it is usually exposed to southerly winds.


What could be more incredible than seeing all the colours in and around Rottnest Island than to see it from above skydiving! Not for the faint-hearted, this 15,000ft hair-raising tandem skydive is one of a kind in WA with it being the only island skydive experience. Expect to also see incredible views of the WA coastline, Perth, Fremantle and coast just below you.

Fishing tours

Hop on the boat to discover what catch of the day you may be able to hook onto on a fishing tour around Rottnest Island. Rottnest is a popular spot with recreational fishing due to its abundance of marine wildlife, home to reef dwellers, seagrass inhabitants and migratory species. Grab your mates to hire a charter or join a tour – either way, it is a unique fishing experience off WA’s coast to reel in.

Seafood Saturday

Not keen to skip the fishing part and have delectable seafood served on your plate? Seafood Saturday is a new summer event to feature on Rottnest Island. It is a day filled with gourmet food and wine, live cooking stations, long table dining and of course, seafood! Also thrown into the mix is a range of beach activities, live music and sunset tours.

This is one culinary island experience worth marking in your calendar!

Seafood Saturday is on 

Free Guided Tours

Rottnest may be filled with natural beauty and adventurous sun-kissed activities but what about its colourful past? Find out more about Rottnest by taking part in one of its free walking tours. Dig deep into its history and find out more about its original settlement of gaolers and ship pilots until it became an Aboriginal Prison in 1838.

If you are one for tales of the seas, join a scenic walking tour that takes you to the Bathurst Lighthouse which includes stories of shipwrecks and sailors along the way. Photo-worthy moments include checking out the boathouse and replica pilot en route.

Read more at the Roaming Flamingo

Kudos to the Rottnest Island Tourism Association for hosting Julia as a guest.

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