Just west of Fremantle is Rottnest Island. There, you can find secluded beaches and bays with long white sandy beaches protected by reefs, offering great swimming, diving and snorkelling.
The island covers an area of about 12kms long and up to 4kms wide. Cars are not allowed on the island, helping keep its pristine condition. It has in fact been a nature preserve since 1917 with 63 beaches and 20 bays to enjoy.
Signs of Aboriginal habitation date as far back as six and a half thousand years ago. At that time, the island was still joined to the mainland. European exploration began in the 1658, and European settlement in 1829.
There is also great surf. At Strickland Bay, Salmon Bay and Stark Bay you can find perfect conditions for surfing on the right days.
There are also 13 shipwrecks, ships that had foundered here on the reefs and rocks of the island over the last 100 years. Some of them are visible from the coast, others can be dived.
On the island, there are surfing spots, secluded bays and beaches. There is also the Rottnest Museum with exhibits and displays about the history, geology and the shipwrecks found here.
WWII defenses were built here to help defend Perth and Fremantle against possible attack. Part of the fortifications include two 9.2 inch naval guns, transplanted here during the war.
You can visit them, the spot where they are was strategic providing great views of the island and the Indian Ocean. The fortifications were supplied by a rail line, this line has now been restored.
Other places that provide spectacular views include Cape Vlamingh on the southern most tip of the island and Rottnest Lighthouse on Wadjemup Hill.
Definitely, one of the cutest marsupials around is the Quokka. A small wallaby, only slightly larger than a cat, they resembled rats to the early Dutch captain, Willem de Vlamingh. He called the island ‘Rottenest’, which translates in Dutch to ‘Rats Nest.’
He was sent there on a mission to find a missing VOC ship of the Dutch East India Company. Although unable to find the ship, he did chart some of the coastline of Western Australia and Rottnest Island. He also named the Swan River, which flows alongside Perth.
Rottnest offers a variety of tours, including sunset champagne tours. You can also take tours exploring the flora and fauna or a snorkelling cruise.
You can take a cruise to Rottnest Island from Perth or Fremantle, to enjoy a day or more of this beautiful place. There are also Ferries available, once there, you can hire bicycles to tour yourself
Showing the location of Perth attractions, shopping areas and places to visit- see the Perth Map.
A variety of accommodation on Rottnest Island gives you a choice in villas, units, bungalows, the Rottnest hotel or the Rottnest Lodge. There are also youth hostels available, camping can be booked with the Rottnest Island Authority.
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