We went to Perth for the weekend to visit family and while we were there we took the Rottnest Island ferry with the kids to spend the day on Rottnest Island. Perth really put on the weather for us and we got a fantastic day about 20 degrees with bright sunshine and blue skies, more like a spring day than the middle of winter and I couldn’t have been happier.
We made a day of it and met some friends for breakfast in Fremantle. Carl and Christina are currently living in Kununurra up on the Western Australia and Northern Territory border. Its an eight hour flight from Kununurra to Perth so we were so happy to hear that they would be in Perth the same weekend as us. We met this awesome couple in Kota Kinabalu last year sitting by the pool at the Shangri La Tanjung Aru.
Rottnest Island Ferry:
We were able to source a voucher from the Perth Entertainment Book that gave us 25% discount off a family ticket on the Rottnest Island Ferry so that saved us $50AUD. The voucher stated on the back that bookings were essential so I called the night before and booked our tickets for 9.30am ferry. We were lucky to get the final seats available on the last ferry back at 4.25pm so I was very happy that I had booked ahead. There are a few different operators but Rottnest Express was the one I had the voucher for and the prices are much of a muchness across the board anyway. There are 4 Rottnest Island ferry that go across for the morning and 4 different ferries for the return leg. For Rottnest Island ferry times click here.
There are a couple of different options for hiring bikes. We choose to hire the bikes on arrival to the island. Its a wee walk from the pier but there are directions painted on to the path so that you know where to go. You are able to hire the bikes for the day or for only a few hours if you like. We chose to hire them for the day as we had planned to ride a circuit around the island and take in all the views from the back of the island.
You can hire a package that includes the bike and ferry. If you go for this option you have the bike from start until finish as the bike gets returned to the ferry to go back. I was glad that we chose the hire on island option as we were able to do our ride and then return the bikes and then walk around and not have to be responsible for the bikes. We then went for a walk around the front of the island, had some lunch, a beer at the pub and got the kids an ice cream.
I’m not going to lie, Rottnest Island is an expensive day out, I’m not sure there is any way around it though, following is what it cost us:
- Ferry – 1 family and 1 child ticket = $201AUD with 25% discount voucher
- Bikes – 2 adult and 3 kids bikes = $103AUD
- Food – bakery & drinks = $40AUD
- Beers – 1 pint & 1 schooner = $25AUD (yes you read right)
- Ice creams – 3 of their choice = $12AUD
Total – $381AUD
The bike ride:
After we hired the bikes we took off in a clockwise direction. The circuit that we chose was said to take between 3-5 hours and covered 10kms. I wasn’t sure that the kids would make the whole way but I was very surprised to see that they pretty much smashed it. I was struggling at one stage until Craig showed me how to use the gears and then things became clearer and easier! It is pretty hilly so expect a decent work out.
TIP: Also take plenty of water, I thought there would be drinking fountains around but there weren’t any, luckily it wasn’t a stinking hot day or we would have really struggled.
Quokka’s are native to Rottnest Island, they’re funny looking little things. A cross between a wallaby and a rat with a distinctive rats tail and the size of a very large possum. They are ground dwellers and very friendly. They are happy to be hand fed some of the local shrubs and they come right up to you and even sit on you if you let them.
We didn’t know until the very end but you have to be very careful with them as they carry salmonella and if you pat them and not wash your hands you run the risk of contracting it. Its a nasty case of the vomits and you will come down with it quickly. Even though we did not know this until the end we managed to escape any salmonella poisoning, thank god! Problem is they are super cute and its really hard not to touch them!
What did we see:
Here are some of the great photos we took from different places along the way.
You can stay on the island and there are a few different options for accommodation ranging from 5 star to backpackers. For your accommodation options click here. There are all sorts of packages available for those wanting more than a day trip.
You can also take scenic flights over the island starting from $45AUD for a 10min ride up to $135AUD for 30mins. I called about taking a scenic flight but I left it a bit late and the pilot had to finish at 3pm so we missed out. I actually thought that the prices were really good compared to other places I have been, its unusual to get scenic flights for under $80AUD.
We had an awesome day at Rottnest Island, the kids were little champions and I was so proud of them making the distance on the bike ride. The kids had a play on the beach while we had a beer at the pub with the best view I’ve been to in a while. Caelan made friends with some boys on the beach and had a kick of the footy. We walked back to town and got the kids an ice cream from the general store and by the time we had done all that it was time to head back to the ferry for the 4.25pm departure back to Fremantle. It is expensive but its not something you do every day, we had the best weather for the middle of winter and we all had some much fun.
We docked at Fremantle and were into town to meet my friend from Sydney! Yes I went all the way to Perth to see my friend from Sydney! We had a quick drink with her and then headed back home with 3 exhausted kids in the back seat. Everyone slept well that night!
We flew across to Perth with Tiger Air, it was my first ever flight with them and have to say it went quite smoothly. I even flew alone with the kids and Craig used points and flew across with Virgin.
Have you been to Rottnest Island? What was your favourite thing about Rotto, as the locals call it?