There is something calming about watching a wild ocean. Wrapped up in soft blankets, safely positioned on your sheltered balcony, with routine sips of red wine sending warmth to exposed fingers and cheeks. The adventurous spirit of the off-season traveller — the one who ventures beyond the mainland for a day or an extended trip — lays dormant for only brief intermissions.
Let these ideas help navigate your exploration of winter on Wadjemup, but don’t be afraid to craft your own personal experiences along the way. This is your journey… let curiosity be your guide.
The island is threaded with a network of hiking trails called the Wadjemup Bidi, 45 km split into five unique adventures. Take the chance provided by mild off-season temperatures and fully immerse yourself in nature without the sun slowing you down. The Hike Collective offers guided tours of the Wadjemup Bidi and their Lakes & Bays hike takes you on a trek past pink-tinted salt lakes, historic landmarks, and windblown coastal headlands. Or you can set your own pace on a self-guided walk, whether that’s wandering mindfully through bushland and spotting every flower or testing your endurance with the full 45 km stretch.
The heritage buildings of Wadjemup are places to spend rainy intermissions, where stories of the past are grounded by tangible pieces of history. Begin with Wadjemup Museum. As you step into the Old Mill and Hay Store building, you can feel the presence of a complex and meaningful history. Then the Wadjemup Lighthouse is located a short bus ride into the centre of the island, offering a 38-metre ascent to the top to take in a unique perspective of the Perth skyline, distorted by distance and the shimmering ocean in between. The Wadjemup Hill precinct also holds the Signal Station, Battery Observation Post, and the Women’s Royal Australian Navy Service House, which are all linked by self-guided interpretive signage.
An empty beach greets you for your first surf at Wadjemup. A pre-sunrise glow warming the surface of the ocean, disguising the refreshing waters beneath. At Strickland Bay, swells come from various directions and light up different sections of the reef — so there are good waves guaranteed. Other Wadjemup surf breaks include the West End, Stark Bay, and Chicken Reef. You can hire surfboard racks for your bike from Pedal & Flipper Hire and you can transport surfboards over on the ferry.
During the cooler months, native wildlife is often seen nesting, emerging for the first time, and even migrating through ocean waters. It’s as if this special time on the island has been purpose-designed for a memorable wildlife experience. Watch multiple bird species glide across the water, encounter bats fly silently overhead as you barbeque a feast, and witness mother quokkas carrying their babies in their pouches.
There’s a stillness that is hard to replicate at any other time. You feel it and the wildlife feels it too. When you choose to travel Wadjemup during the cooler months, the experiences are bountiful.
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We look forward to welcoming you to Wadjemup / Rottnest Island soon.