Imagine a place surrounded by a ring of white sand on the surface and stunning coral beneath the water, where roads are occupied by bicycles instead of traffic, where wildlife roam freely, and creative energy is in the soil. It is Rottnest Island and it is home to a lifestyle of relaxation, while also offering a constant stream of activity and annual creative events which entice hundreds of thousands of people to its humble shores every year.
This island off the coast of Perth is more than a collection of beaches and sand dunes, there are soft bays, still lagoons, rugged shores and dense coral reefs that attract surfers, divers, fishermen, and sun worshippers alike. There is a history held in the stones of the island that is as old as when the landmass broke away from the mainland. This embedded history extends under the water with shipwrecks from the 17th century and beyond, some of which are in waters shallow enough for snorkelers to explore; The Uribes can be found just 20m off Thompsons Bay, one of the most well-known spots on the island.
Of the 63 bays and beaches that frame this small island, there are places such as Pinkies and The Basin which bask in the popularity of their shores with an invitation open to all visitors, and then there are the hidden nooks that can make Rottnest an island of private connection and serenity. On any given day, you can cycle your way to a hidden paradise that is all yours for that moment of time – your sand, your water, your coral, and your memories to make.
Perth’s island home is really only ours to borrow for our snorkeling sojourns and family vacations, while the iconic quokkas and native sea lions are the real owners of the land and sea that we now call Rottnest Island.