Rottnest is like a collage of born and bred Perth peeps’ memories—running free and wild as a kid without halting to mum’s orders, first kisses on Pinky’s beach, partying from sunrise til sunset and in between at school leavers, boat trips (if you’re lucky) that provide the ultimate serenity of waking up to the rocking of the ocean’s gentle breaths and (if you’re fit) running on to the soft sand of Thomson’s Bay after completing the epic 20-kilometre journey of the channel swim.
Whether you swam, ferried or flew your way over, here is the ultimate list of ways to soak up them Rotto feels.
Rottnest Bakery Sourdough
Former owner of the iconic Cottesloe restaurant The Blue Duck, Kim Gamble, has made waves in his new role at the Rottnest Bakery. The bread, and in particular the sourdough, has punters queuing out the door which Kim says is due to the distinct flavour created from wild yeast collected from the Rottnest Salt Lakes. “It’s a maritime happy yeast,” Kim describes. The yeast can take up to a month to be ready, bubbling away and taking on more of the Rottnest flavour, which makes it unlike anything you’ll get back on the mainland. Revisit your childhood glory days with the jam donuts that remain on the baking roster and for full memory recall, eat one perched upon one of the impressive arms of the Moreton Bay fig trees.
Get A Quokka Selfie
While they’re not ferreting through your bag of goodies from the bakery, these rather cute looking marsupials adorn Rottnest every few metres. Your croissant is not safe, I repeat, your croissant is in severe danger, so eat it before they do and perhaps leave them a couple of sympathy crumbs. And then squat next to them and snap a jovial selfie before they realise you only left them crumbs.
Sunset Swim At Fays Bay
While all Perth beaches and most of Rottnest’s are being whipped up by the dastardly Freo Doctor, there’s a sweet spot between Longreach and Geordie facing north east and protected by a backdrop of sand dunes and a limestone ridge that stops the sea breeze in its tracks. When all the kiddies who swarm Thomsons Bay and the Basin are tucked up in bed, head down to Fays Bay for a gloriously peaceful dip while the sun sinks into the ocean beyond.
The Hotel Rottnest At Sunset
They don’t do cocktails (yet…hint, hint) but Hotel Rottnest is the spot to look gleefully back at Perth with a glass of bubbles in hand and think “what kind of paradise is this!” Once the sky is painted lilac, the delish crispy-based pizzas will satiate the ferocious hunger that seems to accompany time in the fresh ocean air.
Geordie’s Cafe And Art Gallery
Slurp down a Lean and Mean fresh juice from Geordie's Cafe in between pedal strokes as you cycle round the island. It’s delicious, does you good and gives you a kick in the pants to get you going again with the cayenne pepper after shock. They also have a great selection of artwork featuring Rottnest landscapes so you can take a beautiful memento of the island home with you.
Snorkel Trail At Little Salmon Bay
Now there’s a lot of eating that is required throughout your time at Rotto, so roll out of the bakery and head down to Little Salmon Bay with your snorkel and goggles before you become what you eat (why hello muffin top). The snorkel trail features ten underwater plaques that will teach you more about the incredible marine life surrounding you.
The Lane Cafe For All Your Latte Needs
While I’d hate to come across as a coffee snob (who am I kidding, I love being a coffee snob), do me a favour and consider branching away from the obvious and get your cup of joe from the unassuming but excellent, The Lane Cafe. As the weather heats up, crush an iced latte or get there early (they open at 7am) with the paper and your long mac. All coffee here is take away so you can make your way to the sparkling waters of Thomsons Bay with your ace coffee. Because really, why wouldn’t you?
Underground Tunnel Tour At Oliver Hill
History fiends will get a kick out of Rottnest’s (albeit minor) role in World War II. One of the two 9.2-inch guns installed to protect the mainland from potential invasion remains atop Oliver Hill, while a maze of tunnels is buried deep underneath it. The gun never had reason to fire (phew) but has a foreboding presence and the eerie halls of the underground tunnels are fascinating. Take the Captain Hussey train from Kingstown Barracks and enjoy another dose of history as the train was originally built to transport ammunition, building materials and supplies to Oliver Hill.
Looking for more things to do? Check Out 50 Things To Do In Perth Under $50!
Image credit: The Luggage Professionals