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When thinking about things to do in winter in Perth, a trip to Rottnest Island probably isn’t the first idea that comes to mind. As soon as the air turns cold and the sunshine fades, everyone’s first instinct is to hibernate. But why hide inside during the winter months when there’s so much you can see and do on Rottnest Island? You could spend a whole weekend on the Island and still struggle to cram in all the attractions on offer!
So, to help you out, we’ve put together the perfect itinerary for a winter weekend on Rottnest. Whether it’s a romantic getaway for two, a girls’ weekend or a trip with friends, there’s time for action, time to chill and time to fill up on delicious food and drinks. #WeekendSorted.
But first, brunch. Start your weekend trip off the right way with a strong cup of coffee (or tea!) and a nice, warm meal before your board with Rottnest Fast Ferries.
Departing each morning from Hillarys Boat Harbour, the ferry terminal is surrounded by a wide range of cafés and restaurants.
The Overboard Café sits right next to the docks on the Sorrento Quay Boardwalk and serves all the classics including smashed avo, pancakes and a big breakfast with all the sides.
Alternatively, on the south east side close to the car park is Grafton St. coffee shop where you can pick up almost any variety of hot drink or a pressed juice alongside a gourmet toastie. Vegan options available!
Sail to Rottnest Island in the comfort of a modern vessel operated by Rottnest Fast Ferries. With indoor areas and outdoor viewing platforms, you can find the best spot for your needs during the speedy 45-minute trip to Rottnest Island.
Welcome to paradise! Set foot on the Island and check in to your accommodation. From budget savvy bungalows to luxury chalets and even glamping, Rottnest Island offers a style of accommodation to suit everyone.
Hit the ground running and start enjoying the natural wonder of the Island from the moment you land. Wadjemup Bidi is made up of 5x different trails that take you through coastal headlands and stunning salt lakes. If you’ve seen the breath-taking shots of the Island’s pink lakes on Instagram, this is your chance to see them for yourself!
Visit lookout points, including the Bathurst Lighthouse, to get your own amazing shots of the Island or stick to lower land and snap an iconic selfie with a quokka. All of the trails are clearly marked and generally take around 3-4 hours to complete in full, but you can easily modify your hike as needed. You could hike for an hour then loop back to the main settlement, or hike for two hours and take a quick bus ride back. Whatever works for you! The Rottnest Island Authority provide detailed maps and guides that you can access.
There’s no shortage of cafes, restaurants and bars on the Island. Located in areas with idyllic views, the restaurants of Rottnest all serve fresh, local produce. Thomsons Bay on the waterfront is an Island favourite, while regulars often favour Pinky’s Beach Club.
Now that you’re weighed down with all that scrumptious food, it’s time to take a little breather until the food coma passes.
You can’t visit Rottnest without taking the Oliver Hill Gun and Tunnel Tour. The 1-hour tour operates daily with the 2:00pm tour being the last one for the day. You’ll be given the opportunity to discover the restored World War II 9.2 inch gun and explore the underground wartime tunnels.
Afterwards you can swing by the Rottnest Island Museum to learn about shipwrecks and Indigenous history, then visit the Salt Store Gallery and Exhibition Centre to check out unique artworks and photography displays.
Grab a snack from the Rottnest Bakery or try one of the imaginative flavours offered by Simmos Icecreamery, then head down to the Fun Park for a round of mini golf. Bring along some competitive spirit to take your game to the next level.
Win or lose, it’s time to reward yourself with one of Hollywood’s latest blockbusters and a homemade choc bomb. The Rottnest Island Picture Hall screens new movies each night at varying times.
If you’re up for a big and boozey night, head out to one of the restaurants or bars for a good time. Alternatively, if you’re wanting more of a chill vibe you could pop back to your accommodation with a bottle of red, a gourmet cheese board and your favourite tunes. The Rottnest General Store sells everything you’ll need to set yourselves up for the perfect night in.
Enjoy a sleep in (especially those who were up until the early hours!) followed by breakfast at one of the cafes or restaurants. Mimosas optional but highly recommended.
Ease into the day by exploring the parts of the Island you didn’t get to catch yesterday. From scenic bus rides to Segway tours and luxury sail boat rides, you can take in the whole Island via almost any mode of transportation. There’s even a vintage train ride and the option to view the Island from above via a scenic flight. Depending on the conditions, you could also go out on glass bottom sea kayak tour.
It may not be sun tanning weather, but there are many sheltered beach coves throughout the Island that offer optimal conditions for snorkelling and fishing during winter. Plus, the Leeuwin current helps to keep the Rottnest waters warmer than those around Perth.
For your last main meal on the Island for the weekend, make sure you check out that café or restaurant that you’ve had your eye on!
It’s your final few hours on Rottnest Island. How will you spend it?
Adrenaline junkies will be keen to end things on a high, so why not jet off with Skydive Geronimo and sky dive onto one of the Island’s iconic beaches?
For those wanting to conclude the trip with rest and relaxation, you can treat yourself to a pampering session at Karma Day Spa. With a range of massages, facials, hand and foot treatments available, the team at Karma will have you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated in no time.
Say a tearful farewell to the Island (until next time!) and board Rottnest Fast Ferries for the journey back to Perth.
It’s not over yet! When you arrive back at Hillarys Boat Harbour, pop into The Breakwater for dinner and a celebratory drink… or three. Reminisce on your incredible winter weekend and be sure to post all your photos so you can be the envy of those who spent the past two days bored at home on the couch.
Book your next winter getaway to Rottnest Island. Our friendly team would love to help you organise your days. Chat to us today.
We know you’ll love spending weekends at Rottnest during winter. We’ve compiled more ideas for how you can relax at Rottnest on our blog: Relax at Rottnest this winter. If you’re running low on ideas for how to spend the school holidays, don’t forget to check out our school holiday tips!