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Rottnest Island

Historic buildings of Rottnest Island

Governor's Cottage and the Hotel Rottnest

The Hotel Rottnest is highly valued by the community of Western Australia as an integral part of their holiday experience on Rottnest Island. It is recognised for its significant vista of Thomson Bay and its social associations as a focal recreation point for many visitors to the Island.

The Hotel was constructed between 1859 and 1864 as the Governor's summer residence, Government House, Rottnest Island. More recently, the Hotel Rottnest is open to the public, offering accommodation and serving as the Island's favoured drinking spot.

Boys' Reformatory

In 1881 the Colonial Government decided that the Island would be a suitable location to reform young boys who had come into conflict with the law.

The Rottnest Island Boys' Reformatory was opened in 1881 next to the Aboriginal Prison, and operated for 20 years.

Carpenter John Watson was asked to construct the Boys' Reformatory buildings on Rottnest Island and these included a workshop, kitchen, two large dormitories, a school room and four small cells. Upon completion of the building work, Watson decided to stay on as the Reformatory Superintendent and to teach the boys carpentry, joinery and gardening.

The Reformatory closed in 1901. Since 1909 the Reformatory buildings have been used as holiday accommodation, operated as part of the Lodge.

Historic sites on Rottnest Island

Discover these historic sites around Rottnest and find out about the island's rich military, marine and cultural history.
  • Oliver Hill Battery and Railway
  • Signal Station and Battery Observation Post
  • Pilot Boat Shed
  • Wadjemup Lighthouse
  • Bathurst Lighthouse
  • World War I Prisoner of War Internment Camp Site
  • Boys Reformatory
  • Kingstown Barracks and Bickley Battery
  • The Lodge – Former Aboriginal Prison known as The Quod
  • Rottnest Island Cemetery
  • Aboriginal Burial Ground
  • Vlamingh Memorial
  • Salt Works
  • Chapel
  • Garden Lake

Further Information

If you would like to find out more information on Rottnest Island's rich cultural heritage, please visit the Island Museum in the 'Old Mill and Hay Store' or pick-up one of our priced publications from the Visitor Centre.