What do I need to do to take my boat to Rottnest?
All visitors to Rottnest are required to pay an admission fee as a contribution to the conservation of the Island and the provision and maintenance of facilities and services.
Those who visit by ferry or commercial vessel pay the admission fee as part of their fare. Those who visit by private vessel have two options for payment.
1. Individual admission fees can be paid online, or upon arrival, at the Visitors Centre on the Island, or when you book a hire facility online. These can be paid per person for a day trip or an extended stay. View Fees.
2. Boat owners can also pay a seasonal “annual admission” fee based on the size of their vessel. You will need to complete an Application for Annual Admission form and supply copies of the boat’s registration and insurance certificate. The annual admission fees are valid from September 1 to August 31 each year.
Once the admission fee is paid, boat operators can anchor or beach-anchor in the appropriate areas or hire a rental facility. Payment of admission fees does not entitle a boat operator to use any mooring. Penalties apply for failing to pay admission fees.
Where can I anchor my boat?
Boats can be anchored anywhere within the Island reserve, providing the vessel is not within 50m of a mooring or as specified by signage. Anchors cannot be dropped in sea grass or on a reef. Popular anchorages are indicated on the map in the Marine and Boating Guide.
What are the yellow buoys on the beach in Geordie and Thomson bays, between the Fuel Jetties and the south side of Hotel Rottnest?
The yellow buoys are free beach-anchoring points. There are 27 beach anchor points for visitors to the Rottnest Island Reserve – 22 are in and around Thomson Bay and five are at the eastern end of Geordie Bay.
The beach anchor points are suitable for vessel eight metres long or less Boat owners who have paid admission fees for their boat can secure them free of charge. The beach anchoring points are offered on a first-in/best-dressed basis.
Can I get fuel and water on the Island?
Please note: Due to the construction of the new Fuel Jetty, supplies of fuel and potable water are not available at the Thomson Bay Fuel Jetty until 30 November 2020. The RIA apologies for the inconvenience this may cause however it is necessary to ensure this ongoing service into the future. Potable water remains available from the Geordie Bay Jetty and small amounts of LPG is available from the Geordie Bay store.
What bays can I go into?
Vessels can be taken into any bay and should be based on the skipper’s skill level, vessel suitability or weather conditions at the time. Operators should check the marine chart Rottnest Island WA412
Several boat convoys are conducted each year by various sea rescue groups to educate skippers on the best approaches to Rottnest Island. Please contact your local group for details.
How do I hire a mooring?
Can I use any mooring?
No. There are three types of moorings identified by different coloured buoys:
Green: These are moorings that can be hired on a daily basis, from 10am.
Yellow: These private licensee moorings are part of the Shared Mooring System. Only vessels that have submitted an application and have been issued with the appropriate sticker can use these moorings. White: These are emergency moorings for approved vessels only.
Penalties apply for unauthorised use of a mooring.
What are the coloured discs on the moorings for?
The discs denote the maximum-size vessel permitted for casual use under the Shared Mooring System. This colour is shown on the licensee or authorised users sticker. (link)
Can I raft another vessel alongside my vessel?
Rafting is permitted on swing moorings, providing the vessel does not exceed 6.75m and the mooring has been endorsed and displays the lettering “+6.75metres” on the float. All Rottnest Island Authority hire rental moorings are endorsed for + 6.75m. Each vessel must pay the appropriate admission fees.
Do I have to pay admission fees for my tender?
No. A tender is a vessel that is 3.75m or shorter. Vessels of this length do not need to pay admission fees because they enter the reserve via another vessel. Tender vessels cannot be used independently within the reserve if admission fees have not been paid.
All vessels longer than 3.75m must pay admission fees.
How do I get to use a private mooring?
There are two ways, become a licensee or an authorised user. Link to that page
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 for Authorised Use form and have it authorised by the licensee. You will also need to supply copies of your boat’s registration and adequate third-party public liability insurance cover.
Fees will be calculated and, once paid, the Rottnest Island Authority will issue a sticker. You cannot use the mooring until your sticker is correctly displayed on the port side of your vessel.
I wish to become an authorised user but I do not know a licensee.
The Rottnest Island Authority can appoint you to a mooring as an authorised user, depending on availability.
How do I become a licensee?
Applications for a licensed mooring go on a waiting list after the payment of an application fee. Applicants will be offered a mooring site licence when one suitable for their nominated vessel becomes available. (link)
Can I swap moorings if I am a Licensee?
Two licensees within the same bay can request a permanent mooring swap on an application to the Rottnest Island Authority. This process will incur an administration fee per licensee upon approval.
How long will it take for my name to get to the top of the wait list?
Applications can only be made for the waiting list of one bay. Depending on the bay selected and the size of the nominated vessel, waiting time can vary dramatically. The Rottnest Island Authority cannot provide an exact timeframe, but the average is about 10 years.
What happens if I lose my mooring or admission sticker?
Lost or damaged stickers will only be replaced upon application and payment of the replacement fee by the applicant. Request forms are available under Boating Application Forms.
What happens if someone is on my mooring?
Skippers of vessels using the SMS system should remain on their vessel during casual use. They can only leave their vessel for up to 20 minutes as required and must remain contactable. During the 20 minutes, they must display their contact mobile phone number.
Boat owners can be called and asked to remove the vessel. Should they refuse, contact (08) 9372 9788 and RIA Rangers will assist.
How is the maximum vessel length determined for my mooring?
Maximum Vessel Length (MVL) is determined by a formula that includes body swing radius, pickup rope length and maximum swing room. The formula ensures safety for vessel occupants in the event of an emergency.
Can I get a refund of the admission fees paid for my boat when I travel on the ferry?
No, annual admission fees must be applied for by the vessel owner and are only valid for people using that vessel to travel to the island. Annual admission fees are not issued to an individual.
Where can I get more information about boating at Rottnest Island?
Each year, the Rottnest Island Authority publishes online a Marine and Boating Guide to assist boat owners to enjoy the Island Reserve. Visit the RIA website for more information.