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Pilot Boathouse

A visit to the boathouse offers an insight into the maritime history of Wadjemup / Rottnest Island.

The Pilot Boathouse features a replica pilot boat and historical photographs, inviting visitors to get a glimpse of past maritime life on the island during the 19th and 20th centuries.

For those with a keen interest in the maritime history of the island, no itinerary is complete without a visit to the Pilot Boathouse. Built in 1846, a secure boathouse was the first building constructed on Wadjemup at the northern end of the seawall. Without the assistance of today’s modern technology, the pilot’s primary task was to guide ships safely though the dangerous reefs around the island to Fremantle Harbour.

Six years later, quarters for the pilot crew were added to the top of the boathouse. Another boathouse, which remains standing today, was built in 1859 to house an additional pilot boat. The last pilot left in 1903, ending more than 57 years of piloting on the island.

A visit to the Pilot Boathouse will open your eyes to the diverse heritage of Wadjemup, with its collection of carefully preserved imagery and intricate recreations.

Pilot Boathouse is open daily from 1 pm to 3 pm.

Where to find the Pilot Boathouse

Located on the sandy track running parallel to North Thomson Bay, the boathouse is found a short walk north of the Visitor Centre.