How do I get to Rottnest Island?

 

Aerial view of Rottnest Island.

Rottnest Island is Western Australia’s premier holiday destination and a must do/must see location for everyone visiting Perth.

Home to the world-famous Quokka, “Rotto” as the locals call it, takes pride in its staunch sustainability values which is the backbone of everything that the island stands for. Rottnest Island is car-free, which means visitors must explore the island by bike or by one of the select coach tours that showcase the island from the small windy roads.

Rottnest Island is separated from the mainline by a body of water known as Gage Roads (yes, that is where the popular brewery got its name!) and getting to and from Rottnest Island is of course a major part of your adventure!

Because it is a small island, you will arrive by either water or by air which are the 2 modes of transport available to reach Rottnest Island.

1. By Water

The most common form of transportation between Perth and Rottnest Island is by boat. Locals fortunate enough to own a boat can make the trip to the island in only 30 minutes from various boat ramps or marinas on Perth coastline.

By ferry, the journey across the Gage Roads takes approximately 40 minutes from Fremantle with Sealink, 45 minutes from Hillarys Boat Harbour with Rottnest Fast Ferries or 1 hour and 40 minutes from Perth Barrack Street with Rottnest Express.

Fremantle and Hillary’s are a 30-minute drive from Perth CBD.

The ferry operators offer a comfortable service with an onboard bar and the ability to carry large luggage items such as surfboards, bicycles and fishing equipment.

The ferries operate on a schedule with many time options between Fremantle and Rottnest Island.

The ferry from Perth Barrack Street has just 1 departure time which is 8:45am in the morning with 1 returning ferry in the evening. The evening ferry leaves Rottnest Island at 5pm and includes a wine tasting experience during the Swan River cruise component of the journey, returning to the CBD at 6:40pm.

2. By Air

Flying to Rottnest Island has been an option for over 70 years, with many fixed wing airlines and operators linking Jandakot Airport and Rottnest Island Airport with scheduled and chartered flights.

You haven’t truly seen Rottnest Island until you have seen it from the sky! The rugged terrain accompanied with the turquoise waters, shallow reef system, rich green bushland, salt lakes and even a pink lake make for an absolute spectacle from the sky! Not only is the island beautiful from above, but flying to the island is much more time efficient than travelling by boat (only 15 minutes from Jandakot Airport).

Since just 2018, the option of reaching Rottnest Island direct from Perth City has become an option by way of amphibian seaplane!
Swan River Seaplanes is the pioneer airline offering scheduled flights direct from the Swan River in Perth CBD with the ability to reach Rottnest Island in little over 10 minutes. Flying direct from Perth City removes the need to drive 30 minutes south to Jandakot Airport or 40 minutes to Perth Airport. The seaplane flight not only provides the fastest travel time but also the most scenic flight possible, with a full orbit of Perth City showcasing all key points of interest.

An additional service offered by Swan River Seaplanes is complimentary hotel transfers and the ability to carry overnight luggage for guests staying at one of the exclusive island resorts. With small group sizes of up to only 10 passengers, the primary focus is on high end service to ensure a comfortable but exciting mode of aviation transport.

Flying by helicopter is another option of reaching the island by air. Helicopter departure points can be found at Jandakot Airport or Crown Casino in Burswood.

As Rottnest Island is a must-see destination when visiting Perth, it is important that you extract as much of its beauty and tranquillity as you possibly can.

Comparable Options:

Ferry from Fremantle to Rottnest Island

$79 same day return (40 minutes from Fremantle to Rottnest Island)

 

Ferry from Perth CBD to Rottnest Island

$150 same day return (1 hour and 40 minutes from Perth Barrack Street to Rottnest Island)

 

Seaplane flight from Perth CBD to Rottnest Island

$250 one way, $410 same day return (15 minutes from Perth CBD to Rottnest Island including scenic flight over the island)

 

Helicopter Flight from Burswood to Rottnest Island

$750 one way or same day return (20 minutes from Burswood to Rottnest Island)

 

A popular option is to combine a seaplane flight and a ferry fare!

$311 for fly+ferry returning to Perth CBD or $282 for fly+ferry returning to Fremantle