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City of York Bay

A place to reflect over the waves

A quiet, secluded bay on the northwest coast of Wadjemup / Rottnest Island, City of York bay sits in an embrace between Ricey Beach and Catherine Bay. 

The bay is named after the ill-fated City of York iron ship, which sank off the coast of Wadjemup in 1899. The ship’s large iron anchor was recovered and now sits in remembrance near the main jetty at Thomson Bay.

Despite the tragedy that unfolded offshore, the beach itself is calm and relaxing. A great picnic spot, there’s a canopy of trees just off the beach providing shade from the Western Australian sun. Families can enjoy lounging by the beach, or watching quokkas nearby — but be sure to let them enjoy their fun, without getting too close.

Up through the dunes, the Karlinyah Bidi winds its way past City of York Bay, making it a beautiful spot to stop and take a breather. And with good reason, as the section of the Karlinyah Bidi between City of York Bay and Ricey Beach is some of the more rugged terrain found on the walk.


You might see...

Calm blue water

Resident quokkas

Osprey stacks

Stop by on the Karlinyah Bidi

Where to find City of York Bay

City of York Bay is accessible by bike, just a 20-minute ride through the centre of the island, or around the northern coast. You can also get there on the Quokka Coaches Island Explorer, hopping off at Stop 16.


Exploring the skies of Wadjemup

One of the notable sights of City of York Bay is the resident yoondoordoo / eastern osprey population. There are at least six ospreys that call the island home, with anywhere from two to six breeding pairs living on Wadjemup. This number swells to 20 during breeding season, as ospreys from all around the state come home to roost.

City of York Bay is one of the 14 nesting sites around the island. You’ll find the osprey’s home, known as a stack, built up off the ground. Made from sticks and debris, they’re carefully woven together to form high piles - which, for a bird of their size, can get surprisingly large. Some stacks have measured several metres across and more than one metre from bottom to lip.

They’re such a beautiful, graceful bird, so be sure to give them the space and distance they need to enjoy their home in peace. Disturbing the osprey by approaching them or their nest, especially during breeding season, can lead to them abandoning their nest. 
City of York Bay
Sunset at City of York Bay

Frequently asked questions

Public toilets are available just off the beach.
Yes, hand line, reel, and rod fishing is allowed off the beach—but no spearfishing or netting. 
While the yoondoordoo aren’t endangered, they are quite sensitive. Getting too close can startle them, causing them to leave the island—and never come back. So please keep your distance, and give them the space and respect to make their homes in peace.