Explore Rottnest on foot
There are lots of beautiful walk trails on Rottnest Island and for those who prefer to travel by foot its an ideal way to explore the Island's natural beauty and rich history.
You can take off by yourself to explore at your own leisure or join The Rottnest Voluntary Guides who run lots of free guided walks in and around the settlement. Our Voluntary Guides have a wealth of knowledge and deep passion for the Island so feel free to approach them with any questions or just to have a chat!
Walk Trails on Rottnest Island
Leave the bitumen roads behind and experience the unique natural beauty of Rottnest Island in an environmentally sustainable way.
Over the next 5 years the Rottnest Island Authority will be constructing 50km of walking trails throughout the reserve. The Trail will be made up of 5 sections, each boasting unique experiences. Each unique section is rich with culturally and environmentally significant landmarks to interpret and experience.
Walk the first completed sections of the long awaited Wadjemup Walk Trail:
The Bickley Bay Walk: Completed in December 2013, this section traverses the south east corner of the Island - Thomson Bay to Oliver Hill. Approximately 9.4km in distance, you'll explore the remnants of Coastal Defence systems installed during WWII.
The Lakes Walk: Starting from Thomson Bay Settlement and heading west out of Digby Drive, the Lakes Walk continues past Lake Herschel and meanders through the lake systems. Experience the southern edge of Lake Vincent via a 110m boardwalk that provides the façade of “walking on water”. Following Pink Lake Road, the walk heads for Little Parakeet Bay, continuing along the coastline to Bathurst Lighthouse, and ending back in the main Settlement.
You will also be able to walk from Oliver Hill to Salmon Bay and Oliver Hill to Wadjemup Lighthouse by the end of 2014.
Don't forget to stop and enjoy the panoramic views from the elevated Vlamingh Lookout located only 500m from the settlement (accessed next to the European cemetery).
Walk one of the heritage trails on Rottnest and learn about the island's rich cultural history.
- Bickley Battery Heritage Trail (Military)
- Oliver Hill Heritage Trail (Military)
- Rottnest Ship Wrecks Heritage Trail – Land and Water
- Colonial Buildings Heritage Trail
- Parker Point Loop Environmental Trail
- Signal Ridge Heritage Trail
Free walking tours of Rottnest Island
Learn about Rottnest Island's history by taking a free walking tour with the Rottnest Voluntary Guides Association. Find out more about the Association by visiting the Rottnest Voluntary Guides Association website, or by visiting the Guides in the Rottnest Island Visitor Centre upon arrival.
See the current Essential Guide for tour days and times.
History of the Settlement
See where gaolers and ship pilots lived and worked. Learn about how Rottnest became an Aboriginal prison in 1838.
Reefs, Wrecks and Daring Sailors
Hear alluring tales of shipwrecks and sailors on this scenic walk to Bathurst Lighthouse. See the boathouse and replica pilot boat along the way.
Vlamingh Lookout and Salt Lakes Walk
Enjoy stunning views from lookouts and lakes at the heart of the island and learn about the remarkable agriculture carried out by Rottnest’s early inhabitants.
Bickley Battery Walk
You'll enjoy stunning views on this 1.5hr walking tour. Visit the Kingstown Barracks and walk to the site of the 6-inch guns that made up the Bickley Battery.
Discover the famous marsupial unique to Rottnest Island, the quokka. Learn about the iconic and mysterious animal and watch them in their natural habitat.