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Perth’s own island paradise

Traveltalk’s DEBBIE SPROULE takes off to Rottnest Island for a winter escape.

We are all trying to stay positive in our ‘new normal’ and I must say I feel blessed to live in a country like Australia that offers a vast and diverse landscape where we have so much to explore in our own back yard.  


I live in Western Australia and the borders are currently firmly shut to the rest of Australia and the world. We are still free to holiday within our own state and Rottnest Island is a quick and easy getaway for us to break those COVID-19 blues.


Having never been to Rottnest in the wintertime I was a tad concerned about the weather, I need not have worried as we were blessed with two glorious, sunny days.


The different colour blues of the ocean and the white pristine beaches were just as vivid in the winter as in the summer, the photo opportunities were endless, and each view was as breathtaking as the last.




We took our own bikes over by Rottnest Fast Ferry which is a short 20 minutes from Fremantle or 40 minutes from Hillarys Boat Harbour.  


For me, cycling is by far the best way to see the whole island, we biked the full 28kms around, stopping at most of the coves and bays on the way. The favourites for swimming include The Basin, Little Parakeet Bay and Salmon Bay, and Cathedral Rocks offers great views of the seal colony.




We also ventured onto some of the walking trails. There is a 45km Whadjemup Bidi walking trail broken into five sections each offering culturally and environmentally significant landmarks along the way and perhaps an opportunity to access previously unseen parts of the island.



After a full day of bike riding and walking, a signature massage at the Karma Spa was all we needed to iron out all the knots and aches from the days’ activities. We left the spa feeling relaxed and revived. All that remained was to find somewhere for dinner. As it turned out there were only two places open due to the island being so quiet one week after the winter school holidays. The best option was the Gov’s Sports Bar offering hearty pub meals, a log fire, a bonus trivia night and bucket loads of atmosphere all of which made it a great night. 



During the daytime most of the cafes and shops were open but best to check online before you book.



On our second morning we strolled over to the golf course for a quick nine-holes, followed by a game of lawn bowls. I highly recommend it for a bit of fun, the course was quiet, scenic and ‘quokka-free’ due to the installation of the new fence. If you’re a beginner like me it was a perfect introduction to the game, a great way to relax and I’m now considering taking up golf in my retirement.



After golf, we grabbed a quick lunch at the Rottnest Bakery and hopped back on our bikes, this time to see more of the salt lakes and up to the Wadjemup Lighthouse in the centre of the island. The Whadjuk people are the traditional custodians of Wadjemup and the island is a significant site for Aboriginal people and their heritage. 


We love our Rotto here in WA, it’s rich in history, it’s a haven for nature-lovers, surf chasers, boaties, sunworshippers and just about everyone else. The icing on the cake was the trip home which took just over an hour door to door - no stress with flight delays, queues, customs or airport lounges. Happy days.



For more information about Rottnest Island, check out:


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Written by: Debbie Sproule
Published: 12 August 2020

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