Our little piece of marine paradise

Western Australia has the highest per capita boat ownership in Australia, and Rottnest Island is WA boaties’ favourite destination. Navigate your way to Rottnest Island and discover a unique marine environment!

  • What if I wish to take my boat to the Island?

    Before entering the boundaries of the Reserve or immediately on arrival you need to pay admission fees. Admission fees are paid by all persons who enter the Reserve. Daily admission fees can be paid online or on arrival, at the Visitors Centre on the island.

    Boat owners can also pay an annual admission fee based on the size of their vessel. The annual admission fees are valid from 1 September to 31 August each year. You will need to complete an application form for an Annual Admission and supply copies of your boat registration and insurance cover.


    Payment of admission fees only does not entitle you to use any mooring. Pecuniary penalties do apply for failing to pay or avoid paying admission fees.

  • Can I anchor?

    You can anchor anywhere within the Reserve providing it is not within 50meters of a mooring or unless specified by signage. Do not drop your anchor in the sea grass as it plays an important role in the ecology of the island. Popular anchorages are indicated on the map in the Marine and Boating Guide.

  • Can I get fuel and water on the Island?

    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.

  • Can I raft another vessel along side my vessel?

    Only on swing moorings are you able to raft another vessel along side, providing that vessel does not exceed 6.75m AND the mooring has been endorsed and displays the lettering “+ 6.75metres” on the float All RIA hire rental moorings are endorsed for + 6.75 metres. Each vessel must pay the appropriate admission fees.

  • Can I swap moorings if I am a Licensee?

    Two Licensees within the same bay are able to request a permanent mooring swap on application to the RIA. Under Regulation 30, and subject to approval including satisfactory mooring assessments, inspection reports, and apparatus ownership, this process will incur an administration fee per Licensee upon approval. Licensees need to advise the RIA what they wish to happen to their Authorised Users: either keep them with the mooring or take them to the new mooring. Should the swap occur, any grandfather clause in existence will cease to have effect.

  • Can I use any mooring?


    There are three types of moorings buoys (floats);


    GREEN– Rottnest Island hire moorings, these can be rented from the RIA on a daily basis from 10am to 10am.

    YELLOW – Private Licensee moorings. Only vessels that have submitted an application and have been issued with the appropriate sticker can use these moorings.

    WHITE – Emergency moorings. Only for approved vessels.


    Pecuniary penalties do apply for unauthorised use of a mooring.

  • Do I have to pay admission fees for my tender?

    No, a tender is defined under the RI Regulations as vessels less than 3.75m in length.  Any vessel greater than 3.75m must pay admission fees.

  • How do I become a licensee?

    Make application to the RIA and pay a one off fee to go on a wait list.  When your name comes to the top of the list you will be offered a mooring when one becomes available.

  • How do I become an Authorised User?

    There are two ways to become an Authorised User. If you know a Licensee and your vessel length is suitable for their mooring, they can appoint you. You will need to complete an Authorised User application form and have the Licensee authorise it. You will also need to supply copies of your boat registration and adequate third party public liability insurance cover. Fees will be calculated and once paid the RIA will issue with a sticker for the port side of your vessel. You cannot use the mooring until you have the sticker. “No sticker = no mooring”

  • How do I get to use a private mooring?

    There are two ways, become a Licensee or an Authorised User.

  • How do I hire a mooring?

    You can make a booking online, up to three months in advance. If you do not have access to the internet, you can contact Central Reservations Monday to Friday on 9432 9111 between 8.30am and 5.00pm, or the Visitors Centre on the Island or at Fremantle E Shed Reception.

  • How is the maximum vessel length determined for my mooring?

    In 2004 the RIA had concerns about the size of vessels on moorings. Subsequently the RIA had all moorings surveyed to determine their exact centre point location and space between them. Following this survey the RIA engaged the services of a local marine architect to review the RIA mooring system. One of the issues was how to determine the maximum vessel length (MVL) permissible for each mooring given the manner in which moorings had been installed. One of the prime factors was safety should an emergency unfold. he naval architect reviewed mooring systems used around the world and recommend that RIA apply a formula to determine the MVL of each mooring. In determining the MVL for each mooring the following measurements are essential:

    Buoy Swing Radius (BSR): The distance the buoy can move in any one direction at LLW.

    Pickup Rope Length (PRL): The total length of the rope if laid flat from the buoy to the end.

    Maximum Swing Room (MSR): The distance from the centre point of the mooring to the nearest mooring. (This does not include and underwater obstructions)

    The formula is:

    MVL= (MSR - 2m - PRL - BSR) /1.2


    The formula will determine maximum vessel length permitted without causing undue interference to neighbouring moorings.However, approval is still required from the RIA and your chosen mooring contractor needs to certify the mooring is capable of holding the nominated vessel. In calculating MVL the RIA does not take into consideration draft issues associated with each vessel.

  • How long will it take for my name to get to the top of the wait list?

    You can only nominate to be on the wait list for one bay.  Depending on the bay you select and the size of your nominated vessel waiting time vary dramatically. The RIA cannot give you a time frame however on average it is about 10 years.

  • I do not know a Licensee?

    The RIA can appoint you to a mooring as an authorised user, depending on availability.  There is no guarantee given the high demand.

  • What are the coloured discs on the moorings for?

    These denote the maximum size vessel permitted to use that mooring under the Shared Mooring System (SMS).

  • What are the yellow buoys on the beach in Geordie Bay and Thomson Bay between the Fuel Jetties and the south side of Hotel Rottnest?

    The yellow buoys are beach anchoring points.  Boat owners who have paid admission fees for vessels up to 8m length can secure to them free of charge.

    There are 22 beach anchoring points in Thomson Bay between the Fuel Jetties and the south side of Hotel Rottnest. There are also 5 beach anchoring points in Geordie Bay. These beach anchoring points are allocated on a “first in best dressed” rule. Skippers must/should deploy their bow anchor to sea and secure their own ropes to stern corners and to each beach anchoring point.

  • What bays can I go into?

    You can take your vessel into any bay. The decision to take your vessel into a bay is the responsibility of the skipper. The RIA cannot determine the skipper’s skill level, vessel suitability or weather condition at the time. The RIA recommends that you purchase a marine chart Rottnest Island WA412. Several boat convoys are conducted each year by various sea rescue groups to educate skippers on the best approaches into Rottnest Island.

  • What happens if I lose my mooring sticker?

    All stickers remain the property of the RIA and must be returned on the sale of a vessel. Stickers are not transferable to another person or vessel. If you have purchased a new vessel the old stickers must be returned to the RIA for appropriate replacement, subject to suitability of the new vessel to each mooring. Use of mooring sites is also not transferable with the sale of your vessel. Recent amendments to the RIA Regulations allow penalties to anyone found with an unauthorised or altered sticker. 

    If lost or damaged, stickers will only be replaced on written request from the applicant and payment of a new replacement fee. A request forms available under Boating Application Forms.

  • What happens if someone is on my mooring?

    Vessels using the SMS system should remain on their vessel during casual use and can only leave their vessel for a period of up to 20 minutes if required. During the 20 minutes they must display their contact mobile number for licensees and authorised users of the site to contact them. Call the owner and ask the vessel to move on. Should they refuse, contact (08) 9372 9788 and RIA security will assist you to resolve the matter.

  • Can I get a refund of the admission fees paid for my boat when I travel on the ferry?

    No, annual admission fees are issued to the vessel to carry people to the island, not the individual.

  • Where can I get more information about boating at Rottnest Island?

    Each year the RIA publishes a Marine and Boating Guide to assist boat users to enjoy the Rottnest Island Reserve. You can contact the Marine Administration area Monday to Friday on 94329111 visit the RIA website or speak to a Ranger on 9372 9788.