Boating on Rottnest Island

View Marine and Boating Guide 2017-18.

Navigate your way to Rottnest Island

Navigate your way to Rottnest Island and discover a unique marine environment! Situated 18 kilometres from the Perth metropolitan area, Rottnest Island has some of the most pristine reefs, beaches and bays in the world and the southern most tropical coral reef in Australia. 135 species of tropical fish live in and around the Island’s reefs, compared to only 11 species along the metropolitan coastline. Overall, 450 species of fish and 20 species of coral are found in Rottnest Island waters. The waters of Rottnest Island are also home to Bottlenose Dolphins and Australian Sea Lions at various times of year. Migrating whales pass through the area on their way to and from northern breeding grounds.

To conserve this special marine environment, anchoring and admission fees apply to boats visiting the Island. Admission fees contribute to the conservation of Rottnest Island and maintenance of facilities and services. Sanctuary zones, no boating areas, speed limits and other guidelines are in place to balance recreation activities with the natural environment. Please help look after Rottnest Island by observing the guidelines as outlined on the linked pages.

Beach Access Points

Works have begun at Catherine Bay on the set down area. A bus stop will be installed over the coming couple of months as part of the works. Bus stops are also being installed at two other sites at Strickland and Stark Bays. For all currently accessible bus stop locations, please view the Essential Guide.

Site redevelopment is being finalised for Salmon Bay currently with construction planned for commencement in May, and Narrow Neck and Stark Bay are at the design stage. Beach accesses are to be constructed at Rocky and Marjorie Bays between 2017 and 2018. 

Site Developments for Recreational Facilities

Rolling capital works are being undertaken around the Reserve, including: beach anchor points in Geordie Bay and Thomson Bay; Sanctuary Zone markers to easily identify zones; in water hazard demarcation at bay entries; and new ladders to Island jetties.

Other improvements and initiatives include new toilets at Parker Point, universal access beach ways and improve site facilities; on-water rubbish collection throughout summer peak periods; refurbished jetties at Geordie Bay and South Thomson; Wadjemup Walk Trail implementation; and improvements to Geordie Bay toilets.  Design work is currently underway at Narrow Neck, Salmon Bay and West End recreation nodes.  These facilities will corporate improved toilets, drinking water, shelter, seating, bike capacity, waste provision and signage.

The Rottnest Island Authority are also currently working with a commercial operator on the main jetty to undertake major upgrades in partnership and in accordance with their commuter contract.

The Rottnest Safety Convoy

The Boating Industry Association of Western Australia runs regular Boating Convoys to Rottnest Island. The Rottnest Safety Convoy is an event for boat owners and their families and friends. The convoys are for seagoing craft that are between five and ten metres in length and capable of maintaining a consistent minimum speed of 15 knots. Visit the Boating Industry Association of Western Australia website.

Fuel and Potable Water

Fuel, (Diesel, Unleaded and Premium Unleaded) is available from the Fuel Jetty in Thomson Bay: 24 hours/ 7 days a week - self service. Payment to be made by credit card (Mastercard or Visa) or EFTPOS. Small quantities of LPG are available from the Geordie Bay Store.

Potable water is available at three points on the Fuel Jetty and a single point on the Geordie Bay Jetty. On the Fuel Jetty there is a 20m retractable hose near the gantry, and the same on the western side of the Geordie Bay Jetty. Users are asked to only take what water is necessary and reminded that both areas are 20 minute loading zones.

No swimming area in Thomson Bay

The Rottnest Island Authority in conjunction with Department of Transport Marine Safety has established a “No Swimming” area between the Main and Fuel Jetties.  The boundaries are from the barge landing site along the Main Jetty to the end, to the southern tip of “T” of the Fuel Jetty (fuel bowsers), along the northern side of the Fuel Jetty to the end of the Ranger boat pen, then back to the barge landing site.  This area was declared a no swimming area because of the risks associated with the high volume of private and commercial vessels that use this area.  Some of these vessels have restricted maneuverability. Signs have been erected in some of the closed areas.

For more information regarding this ' No Swimming' area in Thomson Bay please read the following map (PDF 4MB) carefully, and the current Marine and Boating Guide.

Sanctuary zone buoys

The Rottnest Island Authority is currently trialling a new style of in water marker buoys to assist marine users in defining the sanctuary zones within the Rottnest Reserve. The new markers are yellow and have a 3 metre focal height. Each marker has a St George cross and a white light flashing 0.3 on,  0.7off,  0.3on, 0.7 off,  0.9on, 7.1 off - FL (3)  10S. The words “SANCTUARY ZONE” are printed down the shaft of the marker. The first area to trial the new markers are off Parker Point.

Sanctuary Zone Rottnest Island

The new marks are easily visible (unaided) from 1 nautical mile.

 It is envisaged that markers will be more cost efficient than the existing tri markers and better suited for the water conditions.  If the trial is successful the markers will be deployed in the sanctuary zone near Geordie Bay before the cray fish season opens later in 2016. Please refer to the sanctuary maps and the current Marine and Boating Guide.

Marine useful links

Please view the links below for useful PDF guides and links to other useful resources.

Contact Marine Administration

Phone: +61 8 9432 9111
Email: moorings@rottnestisland.com